Trenton Girls BB team aiming at getting healthy, improving before districts

January 16, 2018 3:00 pm

Editor’s Note: NDHSAA Media Specialist Tom Mix writes periodic feature stories showcasing individuals, teams and coaches associated with NDHSAA sponsored sports and activities. They appear on NDHSAA NOW.

By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – Only illness has been able to slow down the Trenton girls basketball team this winter.

Winter flu bugs have hit the Tigers’ roster hard in the last week forcing the team to postpone several of its games including a Tuesday, January 16 home game against Parshall.

Longtime Trenton basketball coach Bob Turcotte said the team is making progress at getting back to full strength and will be back on the court Thursday, January 18 at Watford City.

Trenton has 12 girls out for basketball and nearly all have been hit with some sort of illness, which has kept them from the court – a place where the Tigers have been pretty successful this winter.

“In my 20 years of coaching basketball I’ve never seen every kid get hit by the flu all at the same time,” Turcotte said. “We postponed a couple of games and when we come back we’ll have to get back up to speed.”

Prior to its illness hiatus, Trenton was clicking on the court rattling off nine straight wins to begin the season.

Trenton, a school that has 68 students grades 9-12, sits at 9-0 and is ranked No. 7 in the latest North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NDAPSSA) Class B girls basketball poll. An impressive start considering the Tigers have no seniors or juniors on its roster.

“We have young talent here this season,” Turcotte said. “Every player is getting valuable experience. We have a good group coming up through our program right now and they all love to play basketball.”

Sophomore guard Kaitlynn Hove runs the Tigers’ offense averaging 14 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and seven steals per game.

“She is such a unique player and plays the game so hard,” Turcotte said of Hove.

Freshmen twins Alyssa and Alexa St. Pierre are also having solid seasons for Trenton. Alyssa St. Pierre averages 19 ppg and 10 rpg. Alexa St. Pierre is averaging around 10 points per game and Turcotte said she and sophomore guard Taytum Kreil are the team’s top perimeter shooters who have the ability to play multiple positions.

Turcotte also mentioned starter Zoe Gunville as being a key contributor on the defensive side of the ball. Together, the team has made strides in 2017-18.

“We are probably a year ahead of schedule from where I thought we’d be this season,” Turcotte said. “We’ve excelled a little sooner, but that’s a good thing. Being a smaller school located up in the Northwest part of the state we don’t travel much to play some of the other traditional power teams in Class B, but we have a lot of good competition in Region 8. Our girls played at a lot of team camps in the summer months and we were competitive. I think that has given the girls a lot of confidence.”

Defensively, Trenton is holding opponents to 29.9 ppg.

Turcotte said he realizes the team will need some time to get back into the swing of things. Loses may come, but the focus now is for the Tigers to get healthy and be on an uptick in time for the District 15 tournament set for February 8-10 at the Four Bears Events Center.

“The important thing for us is that we keep improving each game,” Turcotte said. “We are looking forward to the postseason. Hopefully we can advance to games like a district championship game, a region qualifier game or even a region semifinal game and get some quality experience playing those types of games. You can’t easily replicate those types of games so it would be nice to get there.”

In the meantime, the Tigers are enjoying the success even if it’s a little ahead of schedule.

“Trenton is a basketball town and we are building a nice team that should be very competitive the next several years,” Turcotte said. “We’ve been strong in basketball before, but for a small school like ours it comes in cycles. We are certainly looking forward to the future as this group comes along. This year is all gravy and it’s been exciting for our community.”

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