WINDOM - Martin County West guard Taryn Tumbleson and Worthington guard Ana Boever seemingly covered every inch of the hardwood basketball court at Windom during Friday night's South Sub-Section showdown.
Unfortunately for Tumbleson and the No. 2-seeded Mavericks, the sure-handed Boever garnered a pair of steals and two key rebounds during the final minute of regulation to help the No. 1-seeded Trojans survive to play another day.
The 5-foot-10 Boever neared triple-double territory by producing 11 points to complement game-highs of 14 boards and seven steals, while teammate Brooke Henning delivered a game-high 17 points to go with 11 rebounds to steer Worthington to a 52-50 victory over Martin County West.
BREAKING AWAY — Martin County West guard Taryn Tumbleson (11) triggers a fastbreak as Maverick teammates Madyson Larson (35) and Reilly Geistfeld (33), along with Worthington’s Lydia Kemper (far left) and Brooke Henning (back left), trail the action during the Section 3AA, South Sub-Section basketball championship game on Friday night in Windom. Photo by Leanna Becker
The Trojans (21-5) will look to defend their Section 3AA crown against North Sub-Section champion BOLD (25-3) at 8 p.m. next Friday night at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
The Warriors gain the sectional finale via a 56-49 triumph over Montevideo.
Martin County West ended its season with a 22-5 record.
"Clock run, clock run. That's what was running through my mind during the final minutes of the game tonight," said Worthington head coach Eric Lindner, who guided the program to its 10th appearance in the section finals during his 14-year tenure. "I have to give Martin County West credit for playing aggressively tonight, and they battled us right down to the end."
Indeed. Trailing 50-43 on the heels of Trojan guard Lydia Kemper's pull-up 12-footer in the lane, freshman forward Reilly Geistfeld and Tumbleson stampeded the Mavericks within two of the lead with 2:19 remaining in regulation.
Geistfeld, who delivered 14 points and a team-best eight rebounds off the Martin County West bench, hit a solo free throw before converting one of Tumbleson's five assists into a low-post lay-in at the 7-minute mark.
Henning countered from the low post off one of Paige Gravenhof's four assists at the 3:48 juncture before Tumbleson pocketed a steal and drove the distance for the layup to narrow the Mavericks' gap to 52-48 with 2:53 showing.
Tumbleson then pocketed one of her six steals by diving to the floor and firing an accurate pass to teammate Madyson Larson for the breakaway layup to inch Martin County West within two points only 34 seconds later.
Boever then displayed her defensive skills by blocking what appeared to be a sure layup at the 1:10 mark, but the Trojans could not put the game away, missing the front end of two one-and-one situations with 22 and 14 seconds to go.
Boever later pocketed a key steal with 14.5 ticks left on the scoreboard, but an errant free throw allowed the Mavericks one last chance to either tie or win the South Sub-Section championship.
Martin County West opted for a game-winning 3-point attempt from the right corner that caromed long. The Mavericks tracked down the miss, but also missed a 2-pointer from the baseline as time elapsed.
Tumbleson and Geistfeld each scored 14 points to co-lead the Mavericks; Morgan Williamson, Libbie Lange and Kate Thiesse chipped in six points each; while Larson added four points.
Kemper netted 15 points for the Trojans, while teammate Abbie Landgaard supplied seven points and five assists.
Kate Thiesse 3-7 0-0 6, Madyson Larson 2-8 0-0 4, Libbie Lange 2-6 2-2 6, Taryn Tumbleson 6-13 0-0 14, Morgan Williamson 2-5 0-1 6, Whitney Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Reilly Geistfeld 5-7 4-6 14, Hailey Leiding 0-1 0-0 0, Ellie Kuehl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-49 6-9 50.
Ana Boever 4-13 2-5 11, Brooke Henning 8-18 1-2 17, Abbie Langaard 3-6 1-3 7, Paige Gravenhof 1-7 0-0 2, Lydia Kemper 6-12 1-2 15, K.C. Riley 0-2 0-0 0, Whitney Coriolan 0-0 0-0 0, Rebecca Linder 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 5-12 52.
3-pointers: Martin County West 4-6 (Tumbleson 2-2, Williamson 2-3, Smith 0-1); Worthington 3-13 (Kemper 2-3, Boever 1-8, Landgaard 0-1, Gravenhof 0-1). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Worthington 41 (Boever 14, Henning 11); Martin County West 24 (Geistfeld 8). Assists: Worthington 12 (Landgaard 5, Gravenhof 4); MCW 10 (Tumbleson 5). Steals: Worthington 14 (Boever 7); Martin County West 12 (Tumbleson 6).