New Ulm girls outscore depleted WHS team, 88-38
WORTHINGTON -- They shot 3’s in the first half like it was taking a walk in the park. They played stifling defense. They took advantage of a Worthington High School girls basketball team that was missing three productive players.
The New Ulm Eagles rolled past the Trojans 88-38 at the WHS gym Friday night, which improved their record to 14-6 on the 2022-23 season. The Trojans, who had senior Ellie Weg and junior Madison Beckmann on the bench with foot injuries, and senior Karissa Bickett sitting next to them with a back injury, just couldn’t keep up and fell to 4-14.
A pair of 3-point shots by Mackenzie Enger and Daviney Dreckman, and then a layup by Morgan Hulke gave New Ulm an 8-0 lead before the Trojans were able to get off their first field goal attempt. When the Trojans finally did hit from the field, with 12:53 remaining in the half on a 3-pointer by Tarren Spartz, the Eagles already led 23-6.
The score was 64-18 at halftime. New Ulm made 10 3-point attempts in the half and shot nearly 68 percent from the field overall. They also made 14-of-15 free throws.
“We just came out ready to play. We shot really well tonight,” said Eagles head coach Julie Rogers. “But when they’re down three starters, that really helps us. I hope they can get them back. They’ve been playing some good basketball.”
Rogers’ counterpart, first-year WHS head mentor Jessica Hogan, said the return of her three injured players is uncertain at this point.
“Credit to New Ulm. They ran their offense really well, and they got quality shots and they knocked them down,” she said, offering no excuses. “Everybody battles through injuries. It’s just part of the game. Other people have to step up.”
New Ulm scored the first eight points of the second half and finished the game with 13 3-point connections to Worthington’s three. The Trojans did their best to make a game of it, but it just wasn’t their day.
Hulke, a sophomore, led New Ulm scorers with 23 points and five 3-pointers. Dreckman, a junior, scored 22 points, and freshman Brooklyn Lewis scored 15. Much of the second half was running time.
Spartz, who also had a team-high seven rebounds, led Worthington with 10 points. Newyouman Gora scored eight points. Janessa Hamann scored all seven of her points in the second half.
Rogers describes her New Ulm team as not very tall -- a team that needs to play good defense and hit the outside shot in order to win the majority of its games. The Eagles did indeed play excellent defense, coming up with many steals. Their shooting was, for them, about as good as it gets.
“If we shoot above 40 percent, we’re going to win games,” Rogers explained. “Every game we’ve shot over 40 percent, we have won the game.”
The Trojans are back in action Saturday night (Feb. 4) with a home game against Windom Area.
New Ulm 64 88
Worthington 18 38
NEW ULM (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Dreckman 2-6-4-22, Hulke 5-3-2-23, Backer 0-3-0-6, Hopp 0-0-4-4, Nesvold 1-0-2-5, Enter 1-1-0-5, Wilson 0-0-2-2, Lewis 3-2-2-15, Joyce 0-0-1-1, Wilker 1-1-0-5. Totals 13-16-17-88.
WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- P.Gora 1-1-0-5, N.Gora 1-2-1-8, T.Spartz 1-3-1-10, J.Spartz 0-0-1-1, Hamann 0-2-1-7, Zeidi 0-3-0-6, Scheepstra 0-0-1-1. Totals 3-11-5-38.