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Jays win one blowout, lose another at Thanksgiving Classic

Minnesota West won the women's game, lost the men's game at the Center For Health and Wellness Saturday

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WORTHINGTON -- Basketball fans hoping for two tightly-fought college games at Worthington’s Center For Health and Fitness were hoping for too much Saturday night. In the Minnesota West Thanksgiving Classic, the host Lady Jays blew out Ellsworth Community College 99-45, and in the late game, Ellsworth returned the favor against the Bluejay men, 112-48.

Women

Lady Jays 99, Ellsworth 45

Freshman Olivia Hayenga, a Worthington High School grad, turned in a superlative performance against an under-manned Panthers team, scoring 32 points and making six steals.

Hayenga’s quickness, her anticipation, and her long arms are well-suited to thievery. Officially, she had six steals, but it seemed like she had more than that.

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“She just anticipates. I don’t think you can teach it,” said Lady Jays head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka. “Sometimes kids just have a nose for the ball. Sometimes I chew her out because she sometimes has a tendency to just roam for the ball.”

“I read the ball, read the girls, just see where they’re throwing. I just sit back and I feel like I can get it. I’m taking more pride, since I’m finally figuring it out (the college game),” Hayenga said.

Minnesota West Bluejays

Ellsworth arrived in Worthington Saturday with just five suited players. The Panthers were overmatched at the start, but when one of their players fouled out with 9:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, they had to finish with just four players on the court.

For the game, West hit 54 percent of its field goals.

Tia Murray added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Jays, Madisyn Huisman scored 13 points and Dannyn Peterson 11. Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor had nine assists to go along with her six points.

Ellsworth 16 27 37 45

Lady Jays 18 45 68 99

ELLSWORTH (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Nieves-Martinez 0-3-1-7, Wilson 0-6-2-14, Aragon-Garcia 1-5-1-14, Reimer 0-1-0-2, Martinez-Guillen 0-2-1-8. Totals 2-17-5-45.

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LADY JAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Murray 0-7-1-15, Peterson 0-4-3-11, Scheitel-Taylor 1-1-1-6, Huisman 0-6-1-13, Hayenga 1-14-1-32, Brower 0-3-0-6, DeVries 0-3-0-6, UsesArrow 0-2-0-4, Potter 2-0-0-6. Totals 4-40-7-99.

Men

Ellsworth 112, Bluejays 48

The Ellsworth men are ranked fourth in the nation. For some reason, that seems too low for them.

The Panthers were more than outstanding against the Bluejays on Saturday, seemingly scoring at will from anywhere on the court and playing lights-out defense as well. They hit 60 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half en route to a 66-21 halftime lead. For the game, they out-rebounded Minnesota West 71-36.

West head coach Brian Stoebner was disappointed in how his team played. In a game against Ellsworth on Nov. 8 in Iowa Falls, the Bluejays lost to the Panthers 114-68, but he said his team performed better then than they performed on Saturday.

“The first half, I’ll be honest, we played so tight. There should be no pressure on us in a game like that. We shouldn’t be so tight,” Stoebner said, adding that the Jays needed more energy, more confidence and more mental toughness.

“It doesn’t matter who we play. We’ve gotta be better right from the beginning,” he said.

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The Panthers have a lineup consisting of one 7-footer (Saliou Seye), one 6-9 player, three 6-8 players and two 6-7 players. But size didn’t seem to matter. All the Panthers played magnificently, and the Bluejays just didn’t have answers for them.

Elijah Williams scored 12 points for West. He was the Jays’ only double-figures scorer.

Ellsworth 66 112

Bluejays 21 48

ELLSWORTH (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Davis 1-4-5-16, Kanno 0-2-1-5, Seye 0-2-0-4, Thompkins 0-2-1-5, Ashu 0-3-0-6, Islamovic 1-0-2-5, Keyes 2-2-5-15, Niang 0-4-0-8, Glenn-Hawkins 3-1-2-13, Klompenmaker 0-2-2-6, Fulcher 0-6-4-16, Alvares 1-3-0-9, Lucas 0-0-3-3. Totals 8-31-25-112.

BLUEJAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Ruei 1-1-0-5, Bruns 0-1-0-2, Jackson 0-2-1-5, Williams 1-3-3-12, D.Drent 0-3-0-6, Hayenga-Johnson 1-1-1-6, Dorian 0-2-1-5, Boarman 0-0-1-1, Kindred 1-0-0-3, Unidentified 0-1-1-3. Totals 4-14-8-48.

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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