ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Needing wins, West basketball teams to host MState

The Minnesota West men’s basketball team is preparing for its first home game of the 2021 season tonight (Wednesday), and head coach Taylor Lupton is determined that the squad put its best foot forward.

WORTHINGTON -- The Minnesota West men’s basketball team is preparing for its first home game of the 2021 season tonight (Wednesday), and head coach Taylor Lupton is determined that the squad put its best foot forward.

A re-set could be needed after Saturday’s 78-59 road loss against Riverland Community College in the Bluejays’ first Southern Division contest of the year.

“First conference road game, it’s always tough,” Lupton recalled from Saturday.

The Bluejays, a quick and aggressive team that’s difficult to guard one-on-one, had a slow start against Riverland, and the shooters were not sharp. The Jays, in fact, made just nine percent of their 3-point attempts.

Like their men’s counterparts, the Minnesota West women need to connect on their outside shots to be productive this winter. And like their men’s counterparts, the Lady Jays lost to Riverland on Saturday, 71-63, getting outscored 22-9 in the third quarter after trailing by just one at halftime.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Bluejays are 2-2 overall. The Lady Jays, who played their first four games against four-year schools, are 0-5. The local squads host MState-Fergus Falls tonight in Worthington, with the women tipping off at 5:30 p.m. and the men at 7:30.

Despite their winless season so far, the West women have reason for some optimism. They have seen promising play from several individuals. Freshman Shelby Christensen, a Murray County Central grad, scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in last Wednesday’s 95-61 loss to Dakota State JV, and she added 12 points and nine rebounds in the Riverland loss.

Mallory Thorson, a freshman from Luverne, continues to impress as a scorer and a rebounder. She had 17 points and seven rebounds against Riverland before fouling out late in the second half.

Hunter Garcia continues to shoot well from outside. Point guard Justine Bernazeau continues to become more comfortable handling the ball.

For the Lady Jays, it’s now a matter of putting everything together. For the Bluejays, it’s a matter of leaving Saturday behind them and going on to the next task.

“We’re ready for Wednesday. We’ve never really been out of anything. We’re improving still,” said Lupton earlier this week. “We’re going to try to push the ball really hard on them. We’re still going to try to find our open shot. We don’t plan on shooting nine percent very much.”

ADVERTISEMENT

What To Read Next
Monday high school sports roundup:
Luverne is seeded No. 1 in the upcoming Section 3A girls high school hockey tournament and Worthington is seeded sixth.
The Worthington Trojans boys basketball team played exceptional defense against Canistota, surrendering a mere 11 points in the first half.
Outstanding outside shooting helped the Eagles beat Worthington in Worthington, 82-68