Trojan girls stifle Raiders

The New Prague Trojan girls basketball team began their Missota Conference schedule with a 47-36 win over Northfield Friday, Jan. 4.

The Trojans were without one of their leading scorers, Annie Dittberner, who was injured in practice earlier in the week. Still, they were able to use a strong defensive effort to stifle Northfield, forcing 22 Raider turnovers.

“The kids rallied together and played with great intensity,” Gunderson said. “Without Annie, we looked at this as an opportunity to overcome some adversity. We had several players really step up their efforts and make great contributions on both ends of the court.”

Gunderson said this year’s team plays well together, and Steph (Hanson) and Lexi (Ruehling) showed great senior leadership throughout the game.

“Some of our younger players are showing improvement and our bench is getting deeper. With the continued hard work in practice each day, we are excited about the future. The players have great attitudes and it shows on the court.”

Hanson, a guard, led the Trojans with a double-double, 14 points and 13 rebounds. Ruehling added 11. Also scoring for the Trojans were Maizie Deihl and Jess Allar with 7 each, and Rachel Haecherl and Ella Grote with 4 each.

Hanson and Grote led the team with four steals each, and Grote dished out five assists. Ruehling and Allar both had two blocked shots. The Trojans had a roughnight shooting, making just 30.2 percent of their shots, but their three-point percentage of 41.7 percent helped make a difference. Deihl, an eighth-grader, boosted her confidence early in the game by making a pair of threepointers.

The Trojan defense held the Raiders to just 25 percent shooting from the field.

The Trojans (9-2, 1-0 Missota) are ranked No. 3 in the state Class AAA poll. They were scheduled to face No. 5 Red Wing Tuesday, Jan. 8. New Prague plays at Chanhassen on Friday, Jan. 11, and returns home to take on Farmington Tuesday, Jan. 15.