WHS basketball: Trojans blister the nets in first half en route to win over Fairmont
WORTHINGTON -- After starting the season with a pair of victories, the Worthington Trojans boys basketball team sustained a pair of tough losses to Marshall and Waseca. On Tuesday, just three days after the Waseca setback, they decided it was tim...
WORTHINGTON -- After starting the season with a pair of victories, the Worthington Trojans boys basketball team sustained a pair of tough losses to Marshall and Waseca. On Tuesday, just three days after the Waseca setback, they decided it was time to reassert themselves.
The Trojans converted eight-of-10 3-point shots in the first half of Tuesday’s game against Fairmont at the WHS gym. Their 44-15 halftime lead was all that they needed and more, and they coasted in the second half to a 58-39 victory.
Maybe it wasn’t a statement game. But it was just what the Trojans needed. They came out on fire, and their rebounding and their passing was as good as their shooting. They pounded the boards on both ends. And they just couldn’t miss.
“We just wanted to get the shots we wanted,” said Logan Huisman, who finished with nine points -- all of them in the first half on three 3-pointers.
Teammate Zach Boever lit it up, too, with four 3-pointers for 16 first-half points. His last three-pointer -- from about eight feet behind the arc -- gave Worthington a 37-13 advantage with 2:55 left till intermission.
“Makes me look really smart as a coach when they shoot like that,” said WHS head coach Clint Meyer. “It seemed like everything we were putting up went in.”
The second half wasn’t quite so impressive. Worthington, in fact, didn’t score at all in the second half for the first six and a half minutes. It wasn’t a problem, though, because the Cardinals scored only four points of their own in that span.
Boever, a 6-2 senior and returning all-conference pick, meshed his second 3-pointer and eighth overall point with 12:55 showing on the first half clock which gave Worthington a 10-1 lead. From there, the lead increased.
Junior reserve guard Ben Koepsell made a mid-court steal and layup for a 12-1 lead. It became 21-6 on a Nathan Boneschans layup. An OD Othow 3-pointer made it 29-11 and the rout was on. Worthington’s final points of the half were scored on a patented high-arching 3-point shot by Huisman that fell through the basket like a bird falling out of a clear blue sky.
Huisman employs an unusual long jumper. It happens quickly, and it’s hard to pick up on the fact that he’s actually aiming before he lets it go.
“That’s what they were telling me at halftime -- that it didn’t look like I was even looking at the basket,” he laughed after the game. “But I told ‘em I was.”
Boever finished with a game-high 21 points, and junior post Tyler Linder scored 10. Boever and Koepsell led the team with four assists each. Huisman had six rebounds while Linder and Boneschans each had five.
Walker Tordsen led FHS with eight points.
The Trojans outrebounded Fairmont (1-2) 32-26.
Both Meyer and Huisman said the win came at a good time -- after back-to-back losses.
“It was good to be able to step on the floor and have something positive again. We had a really good practice yesterday,” said Meyer. “It was a good team win.”
Meyer credited Fairmont with playing a more aggressive defense in the second half. The Cardinals’ pressure forced Worthington to attempt some shots a little too soon -- something the Trojans have a tendency to do when pressured, he said.
But the Trojans played good defense throughout, he added, and the first-half shooting was outstanding.
“We just had to keep our heads up,” Huisman said about the losses. “Because we knew we had a lot of games left in the season. All coach wants us to do is compete. That’s all we want to do, is compete.”
It’s still early. Meyer said each new game is an opportunity to try something new and to see what works.
“We’re still figuring out rotations. We’re trying other lineups based on the other teams’ personnel. All the guys gotta step up and be ready to play,” he said.
On Tuesday, they certainly did.
Fairmont 15 39Worthington 44 58FAIRMONT (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Schwieger 0-0-2-2, Kallenbach 0-0-2-2, Allen 0-2-0-4, Lloyd 1-0-0-3, Thingstad 0-0-2-2, Klanderud 0-2-0-4, Johnson 0-1-0-2, Torsden 3-1-0-8, Quiring 1-0-2-4, Missling 0-2-1-5, Denney 0-1-0-2. Totals 5-9-9-39.WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Othow 1-0-0-3, Boever 5-2-2-21, Asefa 0-0-0-0, Huisman 3-0-0-9, Merrigan 0-1-0-2, Sorenson 0-0-0-0, Boneschans 0-4-1-9, Linder 0-5-0-10, Koepsell 0-1-2-4. Totals 9-13-5-58.