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Trojan boys enter 1AAA play as No. 2 seed
The New Prague Trojan boys basketball team completed its regular season with a pair of wins last week, against Red Wing and Northfield.
The Trojans were scheduled to open the Section 1AAA playoffs Wednesday, March 6, at home against Faribault. That game was played after this edition of The New Prague Times went to press.
New Prague drew the No. 2 seed in the section, behind undefeated Austin.
If the Trojans win, they will host either Albert Lea or Red Wing at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9. The Section 1AAA championship game will be played at 6 p.m. Friday, March 15, at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.
Trojans 64, Wingers 54 Red Wing came into the game determined to stop the Trojans two big men, Paul Friendshuh and Mike Soderlund. They double- and tripleteamed the two and it worked to an extent - the Trojans trailed 31-29 at halftime.
But New Prague adjusted, with senior guard Blake Wooten leading the way. He hit three-pointers on three consecutive possessions early in the second half and started a run that gave the Trojans a good-sized lead. He ended up with four three-pointers in all. Luke Rynda and Kyle Stepka both had two three-pointers and the Trojans had 12 as a team as they defeated Red Wing 64-54.
Soderlund led the Trojans with 13 points, while Wooten had 12. Others scoring were Friendshuh (9), Stepka (8), Nick Johnson (7), Rynda and Kyle Zweber (6 each) and Joe Kneip (3).
Johnson had 10 rebounds for the Trojans while Friendshuh and Johnson each had three steals and Rynda had two blocks. Friendshuh had six assists.
Trojans 62, Raiders 59 In front of a packed gym on Senior Night, the Trojans defeated Northfield 62-59 to complete their regular season. New Prague finished with an 18-7 record, 9-5 in the Missota, good for third place.
“Northfield is a physical team and gave us a hard time,” Coach Aaron Jasperson said. “Our kids fought back and notched the win. “
Friendshuh had a hard time adjusting to the physical contest. He was held scoreless in the first half and had three turnovers. However he began taking it to the basket in the second half, scoring 19 points and adding eight rebounds. Rynda had 14 points and Soderlund had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Others scoring were Johnson (7), Kneip (6) and Wooten (4). Friendshuh had six assists and Rynda had three steals.