Virginia’s Trygg earns top area hoops honor

Virginia’s Lexiss Trygg has been named the All-Iron Range Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year by the Mesabi Tribune and the Grand Rapids Herald-Review.

VIRGINIA — Two months removed from her final high school basketball game, Virginia’s Lexiss Trygg is still watching game film on her iPad.

The Blue Devils standout says watching film always helped her as a player, especially in the last four years as a varsity starter.

“I feel like you can learn a lot by watching film,’’ she said last week at Virginia High School. “You see all the small things. It gives you a better learning of the game.’’

Looking at her statistics and achievements on the court, the impact of the basketball study habit clearly shows. Trygg averaged nearly 21 points a game this season, while also pulling down more than 11 rebounds per game. In the 2020-21 campaign (her senior season), she also reached 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.

Based on her achievement, Trygg has been named the All-Iron Range Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year by the Mesabi Tribune and the Grand Rapids Herald-Review.

“I think she does watch film and I think that’s helped her a great deal in bettering herself,’’ head coach Spencer Aune said. “We have a number of players that do that and I think it’s important that they do because you can often see things better on film than what you thought you were doing.’’

What stands out about Trygg on the basketball court?

“She’s a smart player. She can play both inside and outside, which makes her quite a threat, especially in high school. I think she’s an exceptional rebounder, she’s a good shooter. Defensively she can cause problems for other teams just with her anticipation and height underneath the basket. She’s really an all-around basketball player.’’

With Trygg headed to play college basketball at the University of Jamestown in North Dakota, the Jimmies’ coaches saw many of the same things.

“I know my coach really liked my length (6-1) and how I could run the floor pretty well. He likes my size and that I’m kind of versatile. I can shoot a three. I can handle the ball.’’

Aune added he thinks “Jamestown is going to absolutely love her. I think they’re going to be very happy they went after her. I think she’s going to do really good things there. I think she’ll fit in nice with the players I do know they have there.’’

“I’m excited to go out to Jamestown and play with them and meet more people,’’ said Trygg, who will be majoring in mechanical engineering.

The University of Jamestown started recruiting her when she was playing AAU basketball. She eventually visited the campus and liked it there.

“I knew a lot of people who had gone there. It’s a really nice campus.’’

All of the coaches and players are really nice, according to Trygg, who said, “OK, this is definitely somewhere I can go and fit in.’’

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Looking back on her prep career, she liked watching the games where she got her 1,000th point and her 1,000th rebound. “Those are pretty sentimental I guess.’’

Trygg found it hard, though, to watch game film from when her teammate Erin Haerer tore her ACL or when she hurt her own ankle late in the season.

Despite losing to Pequot Lakes in the second round of the playoffs, Trygg does like to look back on the team’s final game.

“Even though I kind of cry every time I watch it. I’ve watched it quite a few times.’’

The 1,000 point and rebound games are much more enjoyable to look back on.

“That was something I’ve been wanting to do since (former VHS graduate) Lexi Ahrens scored hers. I was like that’s so cool. I want to do that,’’ Trygg said about reaching the 1,000-point mark.

“I knew I wanted to get my 1,000 rebounds too, because she (Ahrens) did and she’s so good. I also wanted to do that. It meant a lot to me.’’

While Trygg was focused on more than reaching the rebound mark, she definitely had a plan.

“I kind of tried not to think about it as much because I didn’t want to get hoggy (with the ball) or do too much. I just set a goal,’’ which was averaging a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds per game to reach 1,000 rebounds.

Aune said the goal helped the team and Trygg, as well.

“She knew how important that was to our success as a team for her to really go after it every game.’’

The effort also showed Trygg’s leadership ability, Aune added. In the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season (18 games plus playoffs) athletes were grateful for every game because they never knew if the coronavirus could end the season on the spot.

“She took that to heart as a leader and made sure that our team and her in particular gave her best effort every time out on the floor.’’

Trygg showed that leadership throughout her career also.

“She’s one of those kids that brought all of the kids together. We had kids from seventh grade through seniors on this year’s team. She’s friends with all of them. That’s the type of leadership you want’’ because it makes the younger kids feel comfortable. “She did a great job of that’’ this year and in previous years, he added.

Aune played a major role in Trygg’s development, too.

“He’s really helped me come a long way. He’s always supported me. He always wanted the best for me … and I’m very thankful for him.’’

“It’s been a pleasure coaching Lexiss,’’ Aune said. “She’s always happy coming to practice. You never had to worry about the effort she was going to give. It’s great to coach kids like that.’’

Trygg, who has been in the sport since first grade, loved playing basketball because of her teammates and the game itself.

“I love all my teammates. They’re so fun to be around. It’s so fun to play with people that you like and get along with them. You trust each other and you become a little family. The game is just so fun to play.’’

“After a game, I’m so happy and it just makes me feel so much better, so much more confident after I’m done. It just gives me a really good sense of happiness.’’

Trygg is thankful for her family for supporting her along the way. That includes her dad Scott Trygg, mom Angela Lindgren, older sister Jasmine Trygg (who initially got her into the sport) and her younger sister, Brielle Lindgren.

“My family’s just the best. They’re so supportive and I love all of them so much.’’

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Following is the full list of the Mesabi Tribune and Grand Rapids Herald-Review All-Iron Range Girls’ Basketball Team:

First Team: Lexiss Trygg, Virginia; Hailey Hawkinson, Hibbing; Taryn Hamling, Grand Rapids; Jessa Schroetter, Cherry; Elli Jankila, Eveleth-Gilbert.

Second Team: Hannah Hannuksela, Mesabi East; Sage Ganyo, Mountain Iron-Buhl; Jordan Zubich, Mountain Iron-Buhl; Jadin Saville, Greenway; Jessika Lofstrom, Grand Rapids.

Third Team: Rian Aune, Virginia; Jordan Temple, Chisholm; Lauren Staples, Cherry; Fanci Williams, Hibbing; Madi Owens, Nashwauk-Keewatin.

Honorable Mention: Kora Forsline, Mesabi East; Jenny Bowman, Grand Rapids; Courteney Sajdak, Cherry; Johnnie Waldvogel, Nashwauk-Keewatin; Sofie Anderson, Chisholm.

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