Prep basketball: Historic night for Worthington, Windom Area

WORTHINGTON -- History was made in both ends of a girl-boy doubleheader Friday in Worthington.In the opener, the Trojan girls pulled away for a 64-48 Big South Conference win over Windom Area. It was the 300th career coaching victory in the 17-ye...

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ZACH HACKER/DAILY GLOBE Worthington’s Emily Shaffer (44) knocks the ball away from Madison Maras (25) of Windom Area during the first half of the Trojans’ 64-48 win Friday. Shaffer finished the night with 17 points and four steals.

WORTHINGTON - History was made in both ends of a girl-boy doubleheader Friday in Worthington.
In the opener, the Trojan girls pulled away for a 64-48 Big South Conference win over Windom Area. It was the 300th career coaching victory in the 17-year career of head coach Eric Lindner.
“It’s nice,” Lindner said of the milestone. “We talked about it a little bit today and it’s one of those milestones that all coaches shoot for. But it’s really all about the great players and all the great coaches that have come through here. It’s been a total team effort. Three-hundred wins is nice, but what’s more important to me is how we got here.”
The Eagles were the ones to accomplish something special in the nightcap. When the final horn sounded on their 71-45 win, it signaled the first time since 1991 that Windom Area had won a game on Worthington’s home floor.
“It feels great,” Eagles’ senior guard Sam Huska said. “To beat that streak after all this time, it’s pretty cool. This is just a fun team to be a part of. It’s always a great atmosphere.”
Worthington 64, Windom Area 48
The home team pulled away from a close start to the game with a nice run at the end of the first half.
Eagles’ junior forward Madison Maras - who finished with a game-high 24 points - kept her team in it early. A turnaround jumper with 3:56 in the first half had the Eagles within three at 21-18, but from there the Trojans went on an 11-2 run to pull away.
That started with a quick layup by Emma Thuringer before Emily Shaffer buried a three. Bruns and Thuringer both added quick jumpers of their own to extend Worthington’s lead to 10. Shaffer gave her team even more momentum when she banked in a 10-footer at the buzzer to put it on top 34-25 at the break.
“The thing that teams do against us - they wanna play us in that 2-3 zone and force us to shoot from the outside,” Lindner said. “Thank God we were hitting some of those outside shots. When Shaffer hit that shot for us, I think that did so much to relax the whole team.”
An old-fashioned three-point play by Allie Bruns just 31 seconds into the second half was a good sign of things to come. A little run of four straight points for Windom Area’s Hallie Will eventually got the Eagles back within five, but quick buckets for Emma Gerber and Anneke Weg pushed the lead back to nine in a hurry. Shaffer’s second triple of the evening with 10:41 to play gave the Trojans a 12-point lead, their biggest to that point.
A three by Bruns with 7:20 left essentially sealed it for the Trojans.
“I kind of got after (seniors) Emma Gerber and Allie Bruns after our game last night,” Lindner said. “I thought they did a much better job tonight of stepping up and leading our team.”
The Trojans finished with four players with double-figure scoring totals. Shaffer led the way with 17 points and four steals with Thuringer pouring in 12. Bruns and Weg finished with 10 each as the latter also led the team in rebounds off the bench with eight.
Maras racked up 24 points for the Eagles with Will checking in at five and Natalie Resch scoring eight.
After a loss Thursday evening, Lindner - who now boasts a career record of 300-108 - was happy to end the week on a positive note.
“It’s better for the coach’s sleep, that’s for sure,” he said.
Windom 25 48
Worthington 34 64
WINDOM (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) - Naumann 0-0-1-1, Isaacs 0-1-1-3, Bartelt 0-1-0-2, Will 0-2-6-10, Resch 0-3-2-8, Maras 0-10-4-24. Totals 0-17-14-48.
WORTHINGTON (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) -Alwal 0-2-0-4, Thuringer 0-6-0-12, Bruns 1-3-1-10, Gerber 0-4-0-8, Woll 0-0-1-1, Heidebrink 0-1-0-2, Weg 0-5-0-10, Shaffer 3-4-0-17. Totals 4-25-2-64.
Windom Area 71, Worthington 45
The Eagles were red-hot from three-point range pretty much all night Friday. In fact, they made more shots from beyond the arc (13) than from inside of it (12).
Zach Boever and Nathan Braaksma did most of the Trojans’ heavy lifting early as they tried to keep pace. A putback by Gbrown Ochothow with 8:06 in the first half had them within five at 18-13. Soon after, it began raining threes.
The first came from Luke Gilbertson with 4:55 on the clock. Next it was Kaden Elder, then Huska on consecutive trips. Finally, Jeff Pfeffer buried yet another from downtown. In all, Windom Area tallied five of its seven first-half three-pointers on five straight possessions. It also gave it a 37-17 lead with 2:09 before the break.
“We just try to get into our offense,” Huska said. “I think it just happens as a result of the smoothness in our offense. We get settled in and get good shots.”
“Windom was getting a lot of good looks and - credit to them - they were making them,” Worthington head coach Clint Meyer said. “We were a little slow on our weak-side rotation. We talk about contesting every shot and we had trouble with that skip to the back side.”
Despite a trifecta by Trojan junior Tucker Sorenson late in the half, Windom Area held a comfortable 39-22 lead at halftime. It quickly grew to 43-22 before OD Othow buried a three for Worthington. The Eagles answered with treys from Pfeffer and Huska, and the tone was set.
Windom Area’s largest lead was 28 midway through the half when Huska knocked down his sixth and final three-pointer of the night.
“When a team shoots the lights out like they did, they’re going to be tough for anybody to beat,” Meyer said.
Huska and Pfeffer both had huge nights for the Eagles with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Gilbertson chipped in with eight. Boever led the Trojans with 14 points with Braaksma tallying 10 to go with seven rebounds. Tyler Linder pulled down a team-best eight boards.
Windom 39 71
Worthington 22 45
WINDOM (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) - Theesfeld 0-3-0-6, Pfeffer 5-1-3-20, Farag 0-2-2-6, Gilbertson 1-2-1-8, Huska 6-1-2-22, Elder 1-1-0-5, Bro. Ogeka 0-2-0-4. Totals 13-12-8-71.
WORTHINGTON (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) - Othow 1-0-2-5, 0-1-0-2, Boever 0-6-2-14, Braaksma 0-4-2-10, Huisman 0-2-1-5, Sorenson 1-1-0-5, Coriolan 0-0-1-1, Linder 0-1-1-3. Totals 2-15-9-45.

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