The Worthington Trojans advanced to the Section 2AAA girls basketball tournament Tuesday night, as WHS used a balanced scoring attack to get past host St. Peter 63-58.
The fifth-seeded Trojans improved to 16-10 on the season and defeated fourth-seeded St. Peter for the second time this winter. In the teams’ other meeting, on Jan. 31, the Trojans outlasted the Saints 71-67 in overtime at Worthington, and it looked for a while as if Tuesday evening’s might go beyond regulation as well.
WHS led by as many as seven in the opening half before St. Peter rallied to knot the score at 32-piece going into intermission. St. Peter then got the first bucket of the second half, but the Trojans quickly answered with a 7-0 run. The teams battled back and forth for most of the second half before WHS grabbed a nine-point advantage late and held on from there.
Olivia Hayenga led the Trojans in the scoring department with 18 points. Ellie Weg contributed 16 points—12 in the first half – and Tarren Spartz had 14.
For St. Peter, which saw its season end with a record of 22-6, sophomore Rhyan Holmgren tallied 30 points.
Worthington will next play at 7 p.m. Saturday at No. 1 seed Mankato East, which fought off an upset bid by eighth-seeded New Prague to win 59-51. The game will be broadcast on 104.3 The Bridge.
Elsewhere in Section 2AAA, seventh-seeded New Ulm surprised No. 2 Mankato West 78-73 and third-seeded Marshall topped No. 6 Jordan 48-39.
Also Tuesday, in Section 3A girls basketball action, it was Tracy-Milroy-Balaton over Red Rock Central 70-39 and Southwest Minnesota Christian beat Hills-Beaver Creek 75-43. In Section 3AA play, Luverne defeated Jackson County Central 75-53 and Fairmont beat Minnesota Valley Lutheran 77-61.