Red Wing's Buck sits after late-game punch

RED WING — One of the most heated high school basketball rivalries in southern Minnesota took an ugly turn during last Friday's game when Red Wing sophomore Tesha Buck punched New Prague junior Anna Rynda in the face, according to sources close to both teams.

Neither of the two-member officiating crew saw the incident, which occurred in front of Red Wing's bench about 20 feet away from the ball, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified.

The New Prague Trojans won the game 72-64, which likely secures the top seed in Section One, Class AAA, where New Prague has ended the Wingers' season each of the last four years. Buck finished the game but did not play in Tuesday's loss at Shakopee.

Red Wing coach Kraig Ulveling declined to comment on the incident or Buck's status, as did Buck's father, Rich, who is an assistant coach. New Prague coach Ron Gunderson also did not return phone calls or an e-mail seeking comment.

Buck is Red Wing's all-time leading scorer and already is receiving strong interest from numerous Division I programs, including the University of Minnesota Gophers.


The Wingers will play their final regular season game on Friday at home against Chanhassen, but it's unclear if Buck will play. She's the leading scorer at 15.5 points per game for a team that has state tournament aspirations. The Wingers have been ranked as high as No. 3 in Class AAA this year, but have fallen out of the polls after three straight losses.

Red Wing athletic director Matt Schultz refused to discuss the situation while citing data privacy laws, but said the Minnesota State High School League is not involved with the punishment. A punch thrown during an MSHSL-sanctioned game results in an automatic ejection and a one-game suspension. However, an MSHSL rep contacted Thursday said that this was the first she'd heard of the incident; because Buck wasn't ejected, no incident report was filed.

New Prague and Red Wing will be favored to meet again on March 11 in the Section 1A championship game at Mayo Civic Center. New Prague has beaten Red Wing 19 straight times dating back to 2004.

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