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Early foul trouble sinks Trojan boys
The New Prague Trojan boys basketball team lost one game to a state-ranked team and another to weather in the final week before Christmas.
The Trojans (5-2) stormed back to cut an 18-point deficit to three points against No. 5-ranked Delano before losing 60-53 Tuesday, Dec. 18. On Thursday, Dec. 20, a storm in southeastern Minnesota forced postponement of a game with Section 1AAA foe Kasson-Mantorville. The KoMets will travel to New Prague on Monday, Jan 14, to make up the game. That date is a change from the originally announced makeup date.
The Trojans (No. 9, Class AAA) will return to the court Friday, Dec. 28, against another state-ranked team. They travel to Austin (No. 2, Class AAA). It will be a rematch of last year’s Section 1AAA championship game, which the Packers won in dramatic fashion, with a lastsecond alley-oop dunk. The Trojans will host Winona on Saturday, Jan. 5.
Tigers 60, Trojans 53 Early foul trouble left the Trojans short-handed, with four players getting three fouls in the first half. That allowed Delano to build a 17- point halftime lead.
The Trojans battled back and cut the deficit to three points with about three minutes remaining.
“We had two possessions to cut the lead, but missed an open three-pointer and a layup,” Coach Aaron Jasperson said. “We lost to a very good team because of early foul trouble. Our top players need to stay on the floor.”
Senior Luke Rynda led the Trojans with 17 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Paul Friendshuh had 15 points for the Trojans. Also scoring were Joe Kneip (6), Kyle Stepka (5), Nick Johnson and Blake Wooten (4 each) and Michael Soderlund (2).
Wooten dished out four assists for the Trojans.
Despite the early foul trouble, only one player (Johnson) fouled out. Rynda and Stepka wound up with three each. New Prague was whistled for 22 fouls while the Tigers had just 13.