Trojan girls rebound with pair of wins

The New Prague Trojans bounced back from a pair of disappointing losses with two Missota Conference wins last week, over Farmington and Shakopee.

The wins put the Trojans (11-4, 3-2 Missota) back on the winning track. The Trojans are ranked No. 6 in Class AAA.

“The wins over Farmington and Shakopee show the resilience of this team,” Coach Ron Gunderson said. “We had just come off a very difficult week, losing two conference games, and it was important to turn things around.”

Gunderson said the players looked like they had some energy and passion back in their play.

“Our defense showed the intensity necessary for us to be successful and we moved the ball well on offense. We are still working on transitioning to offense better and executing in the half court more consistently.

“Our seniors really stepped up and lead on both ends of the court. We have another tough week ahead and we need to keep the momentum going.”

After hosting Holy Angels Tuesday evening, the team will travel to Chaska (No. 4, Class AAA). They host Waseca Tuesday, Jan 29, in a non-conference game.

Trojans 57, Tigers 41 Farmington kept the game close for a while, but the Trojans put the screws to the Tigers defensively in the second half for a 57-41 win Tuesday, Jan. 15.

The win was the 600th in Gunderson’s career. He became just the fourth girls basketball coach in state history to reach that milestone.

Lexi Ruehling scored a career- high 26 points to pace the Trojans. Others scoring included Jess Allar and Annie Dittberner (7 each), Steph Hanson (6), Maizie Deihl (4), Rachel Haecherl (3), Ella Grote and Mikayla Giles (2 each).

Grote led the Trojans with seven rebounds, and she and Allar had three steals each. Dittberner had four assists and Ruehling had four blocked shots.

The Trojans forced 23 Tiger turnovers.

Trojans 66, Sabers 52 New Prague trailed 29-28 at halftime, but came through with a strong second half to defeat Shakopee 66-52 Friday, Jan. 18.

The Trojan senior trio of Hanson, Dittberner and Ruehling combined for 50 of the Trojans’ 66 points. Dittberner and Ruehling each had 17 and Hanson 16. Others scoring were Deihl (7), Grote (6) and Allar (3).

Ruehling had 12 rebounds and four blocked shots while Hanson had six assists and eight steals for the Trojans.