Jan. 19—WORTHINGTON — Worthington's girls basketball team faced a tough Big South Conference matchup Friday night in its 83-46 loss to the Marshall Tigers.
The Tigers are the defending Section 2AAA champions with a 13-1 record this season. The two teams matched up on Dec. 8 in Marshall and the Trojans lost 61-38 to drop to 0-5 at the time.
After starting 0-6 this year, Worthington reeled off wins in three of its last five games, the latest coming on Tuesday against Fairmont prior to Friday's loss. The defeat to Marshall drops the team's record to 3-9.
Early on in the contest, the Trojans were active on both sides of the floor. On defense, they forced back-to-back turnovers that led to both a layup and then a 3-pointer from senior Madison Beckmann. After the Trojans took the early 5-2 lead, Marshall began to assert itself by forcing turnovers and hitting outside shots, which would become the theme of the game.
After a 10-0 run, the Tigers led 12-5 before their lead eventually grew to 10 points at 19-9. The Trojans stayed in the game after a Beckmann assist to Jayden Spartz for a layup and Phamananewyou Gora breakaway layup off a steal. At that point, the Trojans trailed by five at 19-14 with 8:40 left in the first half. That's the closest they would be with Marshall for the rest of the contest.
The Tigers again went on a 10-0 run before a 3-pointer from Beckmann ended it with around five minutes left. Marshall's full-court press on defense was causing issues for Worthington as turnovers on the offensive end led to points for the Tigers.
With a little over two minutes left, the Tigers extended their scoring run to 18-3 as they stretched the lead to 20 points. They led by 24 points before Beckmann connected with Spartz for a layup just before halftime. At the break, Marshall led 43-21.
When the second half began, the Trojans gained a little bit of momentum out of the gate. Janessa Hamann got a steal right away that led to a Newyouman Gora layup. Regan Schaefer then fed the ball inside to Hamann for a layup.
Worthington tried to continue that little spark of momentum early in the second half, but Marshall quickly responded and continued to protect its lead. Once the Tigers went back up by 20 points, the Trojans couldn't generate much momentum after that.
Throughout the rest of the half, Marshall continued to steadily stretch its lead until it grew past 30 points at 73-41 with around five minutes left before winning by 37 points.
Beckmann led the Trojans in scoring with 14 points and she hit all four of the team's 3-pointers. Spartz and New Gora added 11 points each, Pham Gora added six and Hamann and Schaefer each had two points.
For the Tigers, they made 10 3-pointers and four of their players scored in double figures. Reese Graven scored 18 points to lead the way, while Taleigha Bjella added 15, Kennedy Drake 13 and Paige Gillingham 11.
Up next for Worthington is a game Monday night against Spirit Lake (Iowa) before returning home Tuesday night for a game with New Ulm.
Marshall 43 40 — 83
Worthington 21 25 — 46