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Boys fall to Red Wing in semis
The New Prague Trojan boys basketball team saw their season end Saturday, March 9, at the hands of the Red Wing Wingers 73-66 in the Section 1AAA semifinals.
The Trojans finish their season with an 18-9 record and for the first time in six seasons did not advance to the Section 1AAA championship game.
Earlier in the week the Trojans defeated Faribault 71- 56.
Red Wing (15-13) will face Austin (27-0) for the Section 1AAA championship and a spot in the State Class AAA boys basketball tourney that begins Wednesday, March 20, at Williams Arena.
Trojans 71, Falcons 55 Faribault kept things close for a while, but in the end the Trojans were too much for the Falcons, winning 71-55.
The Trojans got some scoring from some unlikely sources, Senior Kyle Zweber and junior Daniel Feneis. With Luke Rynda in foul trouble, Zweber came off the bench midway through the first half and went on a tear, hitting 6-of-6 from threepoint range and adding a layup for 20 first-half points. Feneis added 10 points from the inside in the second half.
Also scoring in double figures for the Trojans were Paul Friendshuh and Michael Soderlund with 12 points each. Others scoring were Nick Johnson (7) Blake Wooten (4) and Joe Kneip and Rynda (3 each). Soderlund had seven rebounds for the Trojans, while Johnson had six assists.
“Kyle Zweber was a big spark for us… he picked us up whenever Faribault got close in the first half,” Jasperson said.
“Faribault was very much improved from the first time we played them,” he added.
“They have some good young players and are getting better with every game. Their kids competed and played very hard.
Wingers 73, Trojans 66 Jasperson said the Trojans had known for several weeks that Red Wing would be their semifinal opponent, and they knew it was going to be difficult.
“Trying to beat a team three times in a year and twice in 10 days is a heck of a task,” he said. “Red Wing had some players step up for them. We did as much as we could to take (Ty) Buck and (Ryan) Boldt away and we did that, however, Isaac Toivonen (23 points) and Ben Miller (9 points) had big games.”
New Prague jumped out to a 21-11 lead, but the Wingers caught fire, hitting threepointers and making good passes to the open man. They led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but the Trojans fought back furiously in the closing minutes.
Rynda led the Trojans with 29 points, 25 of them in the second half. Friendshuh had 16 and Johnson 11. Also scoring were Kyle Stepka (6), Soderlund (2) and Zweber and Kneip (1 each).
Kneip had eight rebounds and Soderlund seven.