Boys overcome slow start, beat Winona

The New Prague Trojan boys basketball team came out of the gates slowly against Section 1AAA opponent Winona at the Trojan gym Saturday, Jan. 5, but turned things around and defeated the Winhawks 63-56.

“We had a very slow start, trailing 14-0 early,” coach Aaron Jasperson said.

“We just didn't make any shots, but once they started going in for us, we gained a lot more energy and played better the rest of the night.”

Senior Nick Johnson led the Trojans in the first half. His scoring and offensive rebounding helped the Trojans pull to within two, at 28-26 at halftime.

Michael Soderlund had a career-high 21 points for New Prague. The 6-8 junior made 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He also pulled down 10 rebounds, eight on the offensve glass, to notch a double-double.

Johnson finished with 13 points and Paul Friendshuh had 10. Others scoring were Luke Rynda (8), Blake Wooten (5), Joe Kneip and Greg Vogel (2 each) and Kyle Stepka nad Kyle Zweber (1 each).

“We felt like we dodged a huge bullet after being down 14-0,” Jasperson said. “The kids received new life and took advantage of it.”

The Trojans (6-3) begin Missota Conference play Friday, Jan. 11, when they host Chanhassen. They play a makeup game against Kasson Mantorville at home on Monday, Jan. 14, then travel to Farmington on Tuesday, Jan. 15.