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Trojan girls get 5 seed in tournament, beat New Ulm 83-67

The Worthington Trojans girls basketball team will open Section 2AAA tournament play Tuesday at St. Peter. On Friday night, they defeated New Ulm in Worthington.

Trojans Olivia Hayenga (20) shadows New Ulm Eagles Madeline Backer as she moves down court during a Friday night game in Worthington.
Trojans Olivia Hayenga (20) shadows New Ulm Eagles Madeline Backer as she moves down court during a Friday night game in Worthington.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- With their section seed and quarterfinal matchup set earlier on Friday, the Worthington Trojans girls basketball team took care of the business at hand Friday night, beating section rival New Ulm 83-67 at the WHS gym.

On Tuesday, Worthington will open Section 2AAA competition at St. Peter in a 7 p.m. quarterfinal game. The Trojans are the No. 5 seed in the tournament, and St. Peter is No. 4.

In other section quarterfinal contests Tuesday night, Mankato East (1) hosts New Prague (8), Mankato West (2) hosts New Ulm (7) and Marshall (3) hosts Jordan (6).

Trojans Tarren Spartz (24) takes a layup to the net defended by New Ulm Eagles Bryn Nesvold (11) during a Friday night game in Worthington.
Worthington's Tarren Spartz (24) takes a shot defended by New Ulm's Bryn Nesvold (11) Friday night in Worthington.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

The Trojans, playing on Senior Night, might have been forgiven Friday night for looking past the Eagles, but they played a consistent game en route to the victory. Their strong inside game was a big part of the result, as they went repeatedly to post players Tarren Spartz and Ellie Weg for scores, and when Spartz got into foul trouble (she fouled out with 5:12 remaining in the game), reserve Janessa Hamman played well to make sure her team didn’t miss a beat.

Worthington’s inside game accounted for 16 of the team’s first 18 points.

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“That was obviously the key, us going inside early,” said head coach Eric Lindner.

Linder was also happy about the Trojans’ pressure rotation which, he said, caused the Eagles to rush.

Trojans Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor (1) flips up a shot at the net covered by New Ulm Eagles Daviney Dreckman (1) during a Friday night game in Worthington.
Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor of Worthington (1) flips up a shot covered by New Ulm's Daviney Dreckman.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

Spartz finished with 20 points and Weg had 16. Forward Olivia Hayenga scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half.

It was a game of spurts. Worthington led 7-2, trailed 9-7, led 29-20 with less than eight minutes remaining in the first half, then bumped up the lead to 38-26 at 4:16 on a Madison Beckmann 3-point shot. But barely two minutes later, New Ulm cut its deficit to 38-36.

The score was tied, 38-38, in the initial moments of the second half. Worthington moved out to a 55-45 lead, but when the Eagles’ Morgan Hulke swished two 3-point shots it was 55-51. From there, the Trojans pulled away for good.

While the Trojans maintained a strong inside presence in both halves, the Eagles maintained a productive 3-point shooting effort. They hit 11 3-point shots in the game compared to just four for Worthington.

WHS is 15-10 on the season. New Ulm is 12-13.

New Ulm 36 67

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Worthington 38 83

NEW ULM (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Dreckman 1-3-5-14, Hulke 5-1-1-18, Hopp 2-3-0-12, Dennis 0-2-1-5, Nesvold 0-1-0-2, Lewis 3-1-5-16. Totals 11-11-12-67.

WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Scheitel-Taylor 0-1-6-8, Beckmann 1-2-0-7, Hayenga 1-7-1-18, T.Spartz 0-7-6-20, Weg 0-8-0-16, Potter 2-1-0-8, Hamann 0-2-1-5. Totals 4-28-14-83.

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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