Turkey Valley senior Eli Reicks provided 17 points in Monday's game versus Don Bosco. (Photo by Becky Walz)
Turkey Valley senior Eli Reicks provided 17 points in Monday's game versus Don Bosco. (Photo by Becky Walz)

The Turkey Valley boys’ basketball team (18-3, 14-2 UIC) is riding some momentum into the postseason, having won its last two games and sharing the Upper Iowa Conference title with MFL MarMac. It marks the fourth consecutive season the Trojans have been at the top of the conference.

Rolling over Dons

Monday night, Don Bosco (15-5) came to Jackson Junction with a defense that saw the Trojans struggle, but overcome to win the non-conference battle, 71-39.

In the first quarter both teams played good defense; however, the shots weren’t falling for the Red and White leaving them trailing, 9-8. The Trojans’ energy picked up midway through the second frame, allowing them to go on a run to take a 23-15 lead at halftime.

“Our defense was suffocating in the second quarter and we did a great job of boxing them out and holding them to one shot,” said Coach Sullivan.

The tides completely turned in the second half as TV came out with aggressiveness on traps. The defense caused Don Bosco to throw the basketball around the gym as the Trojans converted the turnovers into easy points and capturing 48 points in the two periods.

“Our energy on the defensive end throughout the night was what set the tone for the game. It kept the game close early and once we got our offense clicking, we ran away with it,” said Coach Sullivan.

Eli Reicks led the way with 17 points, seven assists and three steals. Three other Trojans were in double figures including Kalvin Langreck who came off the bench to knock down 12 points. Closing out the scorers in double digits were Keegan Balk with 11 and Garrett Kurtenbach with 10. Under the hoop, Ethan Leibold hauled in nine boards, while Eli Nymeyer had the quick hand to collect four steals.

Eagles caged

Knowing a win clinched a portion of the UIC title, the Trojans entered Tuesday’s finale with an intensity Clayton Ridge (2-19, 2-14 UIC) couldn’t contain, defeating the Eagles, 73-32, at home.

Turkey Valley opened the contest quickly, finding the inside guy to lead 19-2 after the first eight minutes. The Trojans remained active in the second quarter, to take a 41-16 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, the Red and White put the game away with 22 points dropped in the basket.

Hitting five treys and scoring 19 points, Keegan Balk led Turkey Valley in scoring. Ethan Leibold had another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Providing sparks off the bench were Kalvin Langreck and Garrett Kurtenbach with 10 points apiece.

“We had 23 steals and 21 assists on the night and overall it was a great team win and everybody contributed in one way or another. The eight seniors have put in the work over the years and for them to reach one of their goals of being conference champs is great to see,” said Coach Sullivan. “The message after the game was the same it has been all year and that is to enjoy the victory but once tomorrow comes, we are 0-0 again and need to continue to clean up some things and also work on our strengths. The kids have played hard all season but their attention to detail has been the difference in us playing our best basketball down the stretch and we will look to ride that momentum going into the postseason.”

Postseason looms

The Trojans open the Class 1A District 4 action at MFL MarMac Thursday, Feb. 20, at 6:30 p.m. Turkey Valley will face versus the winner of the West Central and Central Elkader contest which will take place Monday, Feb. 17.