Trojans fall 64-50 to Mankato East in Section 2AAA championship game
The Trojans finish their boys basketball season with a 21-7 record, and graduate six seniors in Abagotte Opiew, Marenono Opiew, Charles Brands, Nasim Zeidi, Mikele Walu, and Omot Okony.
ST. PETER — The Worthington Trojans played valiantly but were unable to upset top-seeded Mankato East in the Section 2AAA championship on Friday night on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.
The Trojans defense kept them in the game against the Cougars but a lack of a scoring run after forcing consecutive turnovers sunk WHS to a 64-50 loss.
The Trojans’ faithful traveled well given road conditions and wintry weather conditions.
Mankato East jumped out to an early lead, taking a 9-3 lead. The Cougars would hold that lead for the entire night as defense reigned supreme on both ends of the court.
“Uncharacteristic turnovers, we didn’t take care of the ball like we have all year,” said Meyer. “I thought defensively we played pretty well for the most part. We held them to 64 which is where we have been about all year with teams but we just weren’t able to convert when we needed to. A couple stretches where we got 6, 7 consecutive stops but we just weren’t able to make a dent into their lead.”
The Trojans finish their boys basketball season with a 21-7 record. The Trojans graduate six seniors in Abagotte Opiew, Marenono Opiew, Charles Brands, Nasim Zeidi, Mikele Walu and Omot Okony.
The leading scorer for the Trojans was Abagotte Opiew with 12 points. Marenono Opiew scored 10 points, Jacari Swinea scored nine, Kaleb Knothe scored eight, and Walu scored seven.
The leading scorer for the Cougars was Duane Bryant with 15 points. Bryant is a high-flying guard who springs towards the basket for layups, and he scored 11 of his points in the first half. Carson Schwim and Manaow Omot scored 11 points each.
The Cougars were able to win the ball back on several transitions through a steal or intercepted pass.
“Great season — not how we wanted to finish, obviously, but I am very proud of their effort,” said Meyer. “The effort was there — just needed to make a few more shots.”
The Cougars and Trojans were even on 2-point field goals with 16 apiece. Mankato East was able to break away with a more consistent 3-point shot, making eight while WHS made three.
“Very, very proud of just everything all year, the effort they put in everyday, they really bought in to what we were trying to do this year with this group, they stuck together all year. Our seniors led that, and just trickled down to everybody else,” said Worthington coach Clint Meyer. “I don’t know if a lot of people thought we would be in this position, but we believed that we could get this far and compete for conference and section championships — and we were right there for both.”
Worthington 23 50
Mankato East 36 64
WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Walu 1-2-0-7, A. Opiew 2-3-0-12, M. Opiew 0-4-2-10, Brands 0-0-2-2, Hayenga 0-1-0-2, Knothe 0-4-0-8, Swinea 0-2-5-9. TOTALS 3-16-9-50.
MANKATO EAST (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Lancaster 1-0-0-3, Madson 0-3-0-6, Bryant 0-7-1-15, Omot 2-2-1-11, Gosch 0-2-4-8, Schwim 3-1-0-11, Reliporo 0-0-2-2, Petzel 0-1-0-2. TOTALS 8-16-8-64.