For the New Prague Trojans to win the conference, a victory was needed over conference rival Chanhassen. The last time these teams played against each other Chanhassen won the very lopsided contest. New Prague Head Coach Jasperson was able to focus all week so his Trojans were dialed in for game night Tuesday in New Prague.
In the beginning New Prague set the pace of the game trading the lead throughout the first half. After the first few minutes Chanhassen began to implement a full-court press, couple that with the quick and active hands of Brandon Arnold, Cole Otto, and Jared Lea handling the ball and crossing the center line became very difficult; at the half Chanhassen had an uncomfortable lead, with the Trojans gaining momentum.
To start the second half Trevor O’Brien single handedly tied the game, working in the lane and a long shot in the corner. The lead would be traded a few more times, but the conference leading Chanhassen Storm would eventually widen a lead to as many as thirteen points, while the Trojans would stumble and let this one get away. The victory tonight was in the Trojans ability to play competitively finishing the game only eight points behind, comparatively speaking to the first meeting that left a thirty-eight point deficit. The final was Chanhassen 66, New Prague 58; Nick Johnson and Sergio Najera would finish in single digits, (7 and 8 respectively). Joe Kneip topped out at ten and it would O’Brien to lead the Trojans with nine-teen points. Next the Trojans head to Farmington on February 24th for more conference action and the Strom of Chanhassen will continue its path of destruction all the way to Red Wing also on the 24th.
The long drive and lagging health issues for Chanhassen could set the stage for a season ending downward spiral that would leave the door open for a title hungry New Prague. For more coverage on local prep sports keep you radio tuned to 1350 KCHK.