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Three for the road: WHS gym team hits 144.6; basketball teams split

Three Worthington High School sports teams were road warriors Friday night. The gymnastics team scored 144.6 points. The boys basketball team lost to a top-ranked Waseca team. The girls beat Fairmont.

Consistency, at a high level, has driven the Worthington High School gymnastics team in 2021. But even the Trojans have room for improvement.

On Friday, coach Joni Reitmeier’s tumblers secured their highest team score of the season by accumulating a 144.6 at a triangular meet in Windom. Host Windom Area scored 119.6, and Pipestone Area had 126.425 points.

Even the Worthington junior varsity team set a season-high, reaching 134.35.

The WHS boys basketball squad traveled to play Waseca, the top-ranked team in Class AA, and lost 79-56. The girls basketball squad traveled to Fairmont on Friday, winning 35-30.

Gymnastics

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Windom/ML Triangular

WINDOM -- Trojan freshman Hali Bullerman won the uneven parallel bars and floor exercise, and also captured the all-around. Teammate Mekyla Nystrom won the vault, and another Trojan, Gracia Elias, won the balance beam event.

“We’re peaking just at the right time,” said Reitmeier. “We went 5-for-5 on the balance beam (no falls), which was helpful. And to be honest, we went 5-for-5 on every event.”

Bullerman’s score on bars was 8.95, her score on floor was 9.275, and her all-around total was 36.725. She placed second on vault (9.3) and third on beam (9.2).

Nystrom won the vaulting competition with a 9.325. She was third on bars (8.425) and third in the all-around (35.675). Elias won the beam with a 9.3 score. She was third on vault (9.175), second on bars (8.9), third on floor (9.2) and second in the all-around (36.575).

Trojan Abby Bristow was second on two events, the beam (9.275) and the floor (9.225).

“Every person on the team has stepped up. We’re working on those tiny details,” said Reitmeier.

Boys basketball

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Waseca 79, Worthington 56

WASECA -- Worthington led the top-ranked Bluejays early in the game. But that was when the score was 3-2. The Jays began to assert themselves after that.

Ryan Dufault finished with 29 points, Kyreese Willingham had 24, and 6-9 Andrew Morgan scored 17.

Trojan senior Terbuto Ochothow scored 21 of h is 25 points in the first half. Teammate Jake Brandner had eight points and five rebounds. And Godmar Gach pulled down eight rebounds.

Head coach Clint Meyer said the Trojans learned from playing a team like the Bluejays.

“We had to compete for the whole 36 minutes. If we didn’t it was going to get ugly real quick,” he said.

Worthington, which fell to 7-8 with the loss, made only nine turnovers in the game. Waseca, now 14-1) had 10 turnovers.

“There’s not a lot of weaknesses (with Waseca). Those top three guys are pretty good players,” Meyer said. “I think we competed really well. Our effort was there.”

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Worthington 27 56

Waseca 47 79

Girls basketball

Worthington 35, Fairmont 30

FAIRMONT -- In a low-scoring game, the Trojans improved to 11-4 even though they scored only 11 points in the second half.

Partially, that was due to a patient, ball-control effort, said head coach Eric Lindner. And it worked. Fairmont, which trailed by six points at halftime, only scored 12 points in the second half.

Olivia Hayenga led the visitors with 13 points and Tarren Spartz scored 11. Sophie Wietzema had 10 rebounds and seven steals, and Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor had 11 steals and three assists.

Worthington’s zone defense held down the Fairmont scorers, and its full-court zone press led to a bunch of turnovers. Overall, the Cardinals turned the ball over 31 times.

Maggy Totzke and Faith Olson scored 9 and 8 points, respectively, to lead the home team. The Cards did not attempt a single free throw, compared to Worthington’s 7-of-12 shooting at the charity stripe.

Worthington, which committed 19 turnovers, won the rebounding war 36-21.

Traditionally a man-to-man team, the Trojans have been doing well with the zone. “We seem to react better out of it,” Lindner said. “We’re able to cover some more, and we don’t give up those dribble penetrations as much.”

Worthington 24 35

Fairmont 18 30

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