Trojans start slow, beat SWC in girls basketball
WORTHINGTON -- At first, the Worthington Trojans were lax on defense. Then, with pressure, they became tough on defense.
The toughness came soon enough, leading to a 69-59 girls basketball victory against the Southwest Minnesota Christian Eagles Friday night at the WHS gymnasium.
After scoring the game’s first two points, Worthington allowed six unanswered points from the Eagles’ smooth 5-11 junior center Makenna Moss. Sloppy with the basketball, unfocused on defense, and impatient on offense, the Trojans fell further behind, 15-7.
But by applying pressure in the back-court and forcing the Eagles to work to get into position to score, the situation began to change. Worthington moved to a 34-22 lead late in the first half and stayed in front throughout the second half.
“With our pressure, we got some runs, got back out to a lead,” said WHS head coach Eric Lindner. “Their post players are good. They’re aggressive. For a while there, we were letting them go where they wanted to go.”
Southwest Christian never stopped fighting, scoring the final seven points of the first half and getting off to a good start in the third. But those Trojan scoring flurries still came. With 12:31 remaining in the game, WHS led 48-36. The lead was 16 points at its highest point.
Olivia Hayenga was active on both ends of the floor for Worthington, finishing with 28 points and seven steals. Tarren Spartz and Ellie Weg played tough inside once the Trojans got their feet under them; Spartz had 11 points and six rebounds. Weg, who had seven points, also had eight rebounds.
Lindner was very pleased with his point guard, senior Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor, who had 14 points, seven steals, five assists and three rebounds.
“That was her best game of the year,” he said.
Moss scored 17 points for Southwest, with seven rebounds. Ana Veldkamp had 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Kierra Binford had five steals to go along with seven points. And sophomore forward Jocelyn Barron scored nine points.
The non-conference win pushed Worthington to 14-9 on the season. Southwest is 18-6.
Southwest Christian 29 59
Worthington 34 69
SOUTHWEST CHRISTIAN (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Binford 1-1-2-7, Mak.Pap 0-1-0-2, Veldkamp 3-2-2-15, Fey 1-1-0-5, Moss 0-7-3-17, Mor.Pap 1-0-1-4, Barron 0-4-1-9. Totals 6-16-9-59.
WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Scheitel-Taylor 0-5-4-14, Beckmann 0-1-0-2, Hayenga 4-8-0-28, T.Spartz 0-4-3-11, Weg 0-2-3-7, Potter 2-0-0-6. Totals 6-20-12-69.