March 28, 2013

Junior High Troopers take first

Junior high Troopers take first
By STU MERRY

The Garrison Junior High boys basketball team is the cream of the crop in McLean County. The Troopers swept through the county tournament undefeated March 15-16 in Max.
According to coaches Steve Ruhland and Dave Kerzmann, it is unknown the last time a Garrison junior high boys team has taken first place at the county level. It’s also unknown the last time Troopers boys and girls teams have each claimed first in a county tournament the same year.
While other teams brought one team to the tourney, the Troopers were able to field an A squad, comprised of mostly eighth graders, and B squad, made up mostly of seventh grade boys.
The A squad opened, defeating Wilton 70-9. In the semis, the Troop took care of Turtle Lake, 35-32. Against Minot’s Jim Hill the Troopers prevailed 49-34. The B squad fell twice, losing to Washburn 38-20 and Jim Hill 52-17.
Ruhland and Kerzmann said the kids worked hard throughout the year.
“We told them all season, offense wins games – defense wins championships,” Kerzmann said.
Ruhland said the goal was to go undefeated. The A team ended 12-2. The B squad was 7-2.
“We didn’t do that, but we won the tournament,” he said.
The coaches praised the team for being coachable, making their job easier. “You play what you practice … and the kids worked hard in practice,” Ruhland said.
Being in shape is vital, the two added, saying being so paid off in the title game.


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