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Second half Trojans shine on senior night

Feb. 22—WORTHINGTON — A second half 32-0 run and a career high point total from birthday girl Regan Schaefer secured a senior night win for the Worthington girls basketball team over St. James Area, 80-65.

Schaefer's day could be described by one as storybook. For starters she woke up being 18 years old, then scored a career high 10 points on senior night and was asked to prom via a charming sign post buzzer.

"It's been a big last few hours for me," said Schaefer. "I would say everything is working out in my favor tonight."

Schaefer returned to the sport this season after taking a year off as a junior. Motivating her was the chance to finish a final season with the girls she grew up playing the sport with.

That decision was very beneficial for the WHS girls, as Schaefer not only proved to be a leader on the court but also off the court by lifting spirits in practice and on the bench.

"I am a fun person," she said through a laugh and a smile. "I really try to be a leader on and off the court for the underclassmen, and I am glad that other people can see that because I really try."

The Trojans started the matchup slowly, with Saints' sophomore Laney Bowers dropping seven points to open the game to a 7-1 lead. The Trojans then tied the game on three consecutive possessions ending in mid range field goals, but St. James fell into a rhythm on offense with corner treys and deep center mid range baskets as staples.

Journey and Jacey Swanson were the sharpshooters for the Saints. Journey had three first half treys and two more in the second for a total of 17 points. Jacey, who was also the primary ball handler, had two first half 3-point shots and one more in the second half for 13 total points.

Bowers had four treys in the game and 16 points, and post Madelyn Malmgren had 14 points on five field goals and four free throws.

The Trojans trailed 42-33 at the half, but after trading some early buckets the WHS girls went on a heater scoring 32 consecutive points to ice the game.

"At halftime CJ (Nelson) kind of kicked us into gear," said Schaefer. "This was the senior's last home game and it really put motivation ... to work hard for it."

The leading scorer for the Trojans was Newyouman Gora with 21 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Janessa Hamann had 14 points and Pham Gora had 11.

Coming in for the final minutes with the game securely in hand was student section favorite Florence Balash. Balash joined Schaefer, Madison Beckmann, Hamann, New and Pham Gora as the six senior members honored by the home gym pre-game.

The Trojans' (8-18) season ends on a two-game win streak as they now await Section 2AAA seeding, where wins and losses will determine who they will face when the section playoffs begin next week.

Worthington 33 80

St. James Area 42 66