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Voss, Huskies outscore Worthington, 76-65

Trojans Boys Basketball Vs Jackson County Central S2.jpg
Jackson County Central Huskie Noah Carr (right) fires a shot over Worthington defenders Brock Bruns (15), Marenono Opiew (11) and Daniel Pavelko (45) Tuesday night. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- Jackson County Central’s Rudy Voss recently announced plans to accept a football scholarship from South Dakota State.

On Tuesday, the Huskies’ superstar athlete made a different kind of statement.

Voss poured in 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as JCC defeated Worthington 76-65 in a Big South Conference boys basketball game at the Trojan gymnasium.

Senior guard Jack Brinkman scored 15 points on 6-for-6 shooting and burly senior forward Andrew Hesebeck had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Huskies won for the ninth time in 10 games and improved to 11-3 overall. Jackson avenged a one-point loss to Worthington earlier this season and ended the Trojans’ three-game winning streak.

“We were hungry tonight. They got us the last time,” said Voss, who now has scored 1,810 career points. “It’s always a tough environment here and they’ve got a good team and good players. But we came together in the end and pulled through.”

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Junior star Terbuto Ochothow scored 25 points and freshman guard Marenono Opiew added 15 for the Trojans (8-9). Junior sniper Brock Bruns battled foul trouble throughout and finished with 13 points.

The Huskies never trailed and opened up a 15-point lead in the first half behind Voss, who had 23 points by halftime. Sparked by the ever-improving Opiew, Worthington rallied early in the second half and sliced the deficit to four.

But the Trojans got no closer.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” said Worthington coach Clint Meyer. “We got within four, with the ball, and we just didn’t shoot particularly well from the 3-point line (5-for-26).”
With about two minutes to play, Voss found teammate Alex Bretzman all alone for a hoop that gave JCC a seven-point lead. Moments later Voss scored after a steal. Then he hit Hesebeck with a nice dime to complete a flurry that effectively ended the suspense.

“We came out with a lot of energy,” said Huskies’ coach Alex Hein, a former Fulda star athlete who played an excellent basketball teams coached by Brad Holinka. “I wish we had shot free throws a little better (15-for-31), but overall we played a good game.”

Voss had several slick assists and steals to go along with his 12-for-22 shooting from the floor.

“He’s hard to guard,” said Meyer. “He takes the ball strong to the basket, he shoots the 3 and does a little bit of everything for them offensively. He’s a tough matchup, that’s for sure.”

Said Hein: “Rudy is very good. He not only got scoring himself early on, he got other guys some good looks. He’s a special player and I’m glad he’s on our side.”

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The 6-foot-3 Voss had many offers for both football and basketball. The record-setting quarterback who led the Huskies to the Prep Bowl last fall ultimately decided on football.

“It was a very hard decision,” he said. “I had a lot of schools to choose from and I met a lot of great coaches along the way. I fell in love with the environment up there and the family feel there (in Brookings).”

On Thursday, the Trojans play at Marshall and the Huskies travel to Windom.

JCC 46 76

Worthington 35 65

JACKSON COUNTY CENTRAL (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) - Carr 0-0-3-3, Voss 2-10-8-34, Bretzman 0-2-2-6, Brinkman 3-3-0-15, Bargfrede 0-2-0-4, Hesebeck 0-6-2-14. Totals: 5-23-15-76.

WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) - Walu 0-1-0-2, Ochothow 1-6-10-25, Opiew 1-6-0-15, Bruns 3-2-0-13, Brandner 0-3-0-6, Pavelko 0-1-0-2, Boever 0-1-0-2. Totals: 5-20-10-65.

Trojans Boys Basketball Vs Jackson County Central S4.jpg
Worthington's Marenono Opiew (11) goes for the hoop as JCC's Andrew Hesebeck (33) and Jack Brinkman (10) defend. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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