End of one great run

Trojan girls give Saints run for their money before falling in regional final

Carla Nymeyer has not lowered the bar at Turkey Valley.

But it was a pretty impressive season for her Trojan girls hoops squad in 2020-2021 despite falling short of qualifying for the state tournament.

Third-ranked St. Ansgar (22-1) utilized its commanding height advantage to slow down the fast-paced Trojans to reach state in back-to-back seasons with a 56-46 Class 1A, Region 3 Final win this past Wednesday in New Hampton.

St. Ansgar — a state semifinalist last winter — outrebounded the smaller Trojans, 43-16, and never trailed.

Turkey Valley — a state finalist under the direction of Nymeyer and then co-head coach Dan Stepan in consecutive years (2016-2017) — entered the postseason fray on a nine-game winning streak.

But the Saints imposing frontline, coupled with Turkey Valley’s inconsistent outside shooting, helped St. Ansgar overcome a two-point scoring effort in the second period and 10-minute scoring drought that kept the game’s outcome in doubt well into the final period.

“Our girls did everything we asked of them in challenging the third-ranked Saints. We were able to match up well in many ways, except with their length, which ended up the big determining factor,” said Nymeyer.

St. Ansgar led big early after a Brooklyn Hackbart 3-pointer made it 11-2, Saints. Then TV’s pressure defense started to cause turnover after turnover. Back-to-back steals by TV senior Jaycie Byrne fueled a run that would draw the Trojans closer, down just 17-11 after the first period was put in the books.

The second period was all Turkey Valley (19-6).

Saint Ansgar only managed two free throws at the 6:55 mark of the second quarter and was outscored 8-2 in the stanza. After Adrianna Kruse’s putback in the first quarter, the Saints did not have a made field goal again until 10 seconds had elapsed into the second half.

That led to a jam-packed Trojan crowd that was on its feet in celebration as an 11-2 run tied the game at 19-19 at intermission.

— For more on this story, see the March 2 Tribune

New Hampton Tribune

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