Saint Ansgar ends TV’s run

By Becky Walz,

It was a heck of a ride for the Turkey Valley girls’ basketball team, putting together a nine-game win streak and advancing all the way to the regional finals.

However, that ride came to an end Wednesday night in New Hampton as TV fell to No. 3 Saint Ansgar, 56-46. The Trojans were trying to earn their third trip to the state tournament.

“It’s tough to see our run come to an end,” said Coach Carla Nymeyer. “Our girls did everything we asked of them in challenging the 3rd-ranked Saints. We were able to match up well in many ways, except with their length, which ended up the big determining factor. We created great shot opportunities, but the lid was on too many times and our second chances were limited or stripped by the Saints powerful rebounding.”

Saint Ansgar (22-1) will face Montezuma in the Class 1A state quarterfinals Wednesday, March 3, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines at 8 p.m. Turkey Valley ends the year 19-6.

One game away

The Trojans came out looking to find a rhythm; however, it was the Saints running out to an 11-2 lead by the 4:39 mark. It was Jalyssa Blazek who broke through offensively, adding another two points less than a minute later. Getting in on the action with a pair of steals and layouts was Jaycie Byrne to make it 17-11 in favor of the Saints after the first eight minutes. Turkey Valley’s defense went to work in the second period, allowing just a pair of free throws at the 6:55 mark to bring the score even at 19-all at the half.

Saint Ansgar came out of the locker room with energy, knocking down the first two buckets of the second half and continuing to pull away throughout the third, 37-28. With eight minutes remaining, TV tried to cut into the Saints’ lead, managing only to get within eight as the Trojans couldn’t come up with the stop.

Let’s talk numbers

Byrne, a senior, led Turkey Valley with 14 points, seven steals and three rebounds. Sisters Ali and Aubrey Hoffert each provided 10 points. Ali added five boards, two assists, three steals and two blocks in her final high school basketball game. Junior Blazek added eight points, three assists and two rebounds, while Kara Reicks put in four points.

“We also struggled to help free up Ali as SA face guarded her defensively the whole game. Jalyssa and Aubrey did a great job stepping up their offensive game and knock down some great shots at opportune times,” said Coach Nymeyer. “Defensively, we had the intensity high the whole way. Everyone was locked in and Jaycie really created a lot of havoc with her steals and the rest kept the pressure tight and forced tempo. Just can’t say enough about how our girls stepped up to the challenge, outstanding effort by all of them.”

Final thoughts

“We are so appreciative of the efforts put forth all season and proud of the second-place conference finish and the spectacular postseason run. Our seniors, Jaycie, Ali and Kylie really embraced each other and together formed our team unity. We are grateful for their leadership, commitment and dedication to the program,” said Coach Nymeyer. “We also want to thank our cheerleaders and all of the wonderful fans that supported us through all the spectator limitations this season.”

The Trojans will veterans on the squad next year, losing Jaycie Byrne, Ali Hoffert and Kylie Wurzer to graduation.


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