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Girls basketball: Wild and mild: Trojans get it done

WORTHINGTON -- Worthington High School girls basketball coach Eric Lindner is a guy who demands his teams play aggressively. So there he was again Tuesday night shouting repeatedly from the bench the moment his Trojans grabbed a rebound:...

3944401+Trojans Girls Basketball vs Fairmont web.jpg
Worthington Trojans Sophie Wietzema (left) and Madisyn Huisman are picked off the floor by Fairmont's Alli Lardy (53) in a struggle Tuesday over the possession of the ball. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- Worthington High School girls basketball coach Eric Lindner is a guy who demands his teams play aggressively. So there he was again Tuesday night shouting repeatedly from the bench the moment his Trojans grabbed a rebound:

“Go … Go … Go!” he said.

And the Trojans, as they always do, did exactly as he asked.

Then, leading by 16 points with about six minutes to go, the Trojans got another message from the bench. Slow it down. Be patient. Protect the lead.

To their credit, the Trojans did just that. They emerged finally with a 57-42 victory over the Fairmont Cardinals to lock both teams’ records at 7-7.

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It’s not always easy to change gears in mid-stream, said senior center Anneke Weg.

“It comes with experience, and maturity, too. But from where we were early in the season, we’re getting better at it,” she said.

Lindner agreed that suddenly going from aggressiveness to patience can be a difficult change of mindset, and the Trojans haven’t always been real good at it.

“But it’s gotta be something that you gotta be able to do,” he said. “We have to be able to execute that down the stretch.”

Weg scored 10 points in the game and pulled down six rebounds. Emma Thuringer led the Trojans in scoring with 16 points, and she also had five rebounds and six assists. Nyamer Diew scored 11 points with seven rebounds.

Alli Lardy tallied 12 points for the taller Cardinals team, and teammate Taylor Crissinger scored 11.

The first half was plodding, for both teams. Worthington committed a few fouls early, which seemed to take the hosts out of their rhythm.

Pressing from the start, the Trojans led 8-2, fell behind 21-17, then broke free late. A 3-point shot by Diew gave the Trojans a 28-25 advantage with 42 seconds remaining, then a steal and a pass to Diew for a layup with eight seconds remaining gave WHS a 30-25 lead to take into intermission.

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Worthington continued to apply some full-court pressure in the second half and slowly increased its lead. Sophomore guard Payton Sauerbrei made four of four free throws in the first three minutes of the half and the score was 37-29. Minutes later, an inside basket by freshman Sophie Wietzema made the score 47-32. Fairmont began to press under six minutes to go, but Worthington broke it without a lot of trouble. Showing patience in the halfcourt, the Trojans were able to keep the visitors from making a run.

Final charts showed Fairmont committing 22 turnovers to Worthington’s 14 for the game. The Trojans had 17 offensive rebounds and finished with 30. Fairmont had 18 rebounds total.

Lindner agreed that the first half was not Worthington’s best basketball.

“When they’re big, they have a tendency to wear you down inside. And when you have players in foul trouble, it doesn’t help,” he said.

Weg said as much, too.

“It took a while to run our normal fast-paced basketball,” she explained.

Even with Lindner shouting from the sidelines.

“You hear it a few thousand times, and it’s normal,” said Weg, smiling.

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Fairmont 25 42Worthington 30 57FAIRMONT (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Lunn 1-1-3-8, Hunwardsen 0-0-1-1, Crissinger 0-5-1-11, Tonder 0-0-1-1, B.Cutler 0-1-0-2, C.Cutler 0-1-3-5, Miller 0-0-2-2, Lardy 0-5-2-12. Totals 1-13-13-42.WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Diew 1-3-2-11, Othow 1-2-3-8, Sauerbrei 0-2-4-6, Thuringer 0-7-2-16, Weg 0-4-2-10, Wietzema 0-1-0-2, Rosenberg 0-1-0-2, Veen 0-1-0-2. Totals 2-21-13-57.

3944404+Trojans Girls Basketball vs Fairmont 3 web.jpg
Payton Sauerbrei (12) of the Worthington Trojans takes a shot over Fairmont guard Lexi Lunn (3). (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

Related Topics: GIRLS BASKETBALL
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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