Girls hoops win pair to go to 6-2

The New Prague Trojan girls basketball team won a pair of non-conference games in different fashion last week.

On Tuesday the Trojans broke open a tight game with a big second half to defeat Glencoe-Silver Lake 59-45. Three nights later they held a comfortable 17-point halftime lead, saw it disappear, but came through with clutch plays in the final seconds to defeat Simley 51-50.

The Trojans, ranked No. 6 in Class AAA, will play at Mankato West Thursday, Dec. 20, and at Jordan (No. 8, Class AA) on Friday, Dec. 21. The squad will then have a two-week break before beginning Missota Conference play at Northfield Friday, Jan. 4.

Trojans 59, Panthers 45 New Prague defeated a pesky Panther squad 59-45 at Glencoe Tuesday, Dec. 11. The lead changed hands several times in the first half, with the score tied 24-24 at halftime. 

Things changed in the second half as the Trojan defense caused problems for the Panthers, and the Trojans began pulling away. Annie Dittberner led the Trojans with 17 points, with Lexi Ruehling adding 15 and Steph Hanson 12. Ella Grote added 9 and Maizie Deihl and Rachel Haecherl had three each.

One reason the Panthers were able to stay close to the Trojans was rebounding, where they had an advantage. However the Trojan defense made a huge difference, forcing 27 turnovers. Hanson and Ruehling had five steals each, while Dittberner had six assists.

Trojans 51, Spartans 50 Dittberner provided two key plays that helped the Trojans go to 6-2 on the season.

The senior guard hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left, then calmly sank two free throws with just two seconds remaining to give the Trojans a 51-50 win.

Ruehling had a career high 26 points. The senior post player made 9-of-13 from the field (69 percent) and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. She added eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Dittberner had 12. Other Trojans scoring were Hanson (6), Deihl (5) and Allar (2).

New Prague had a 28-22 advantage in rebounding.