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Posted On: 01/31/18 10:43 PM
Mayer Lutheran is on the short list of legitimate contenders in Class A. The Crusaders have all the components with experience, good guard play and a quality frontcourt. Garrett Tjernagel represents a big cog in that frontcourt.
Tjernagel, a 6-foot-7 center is averaging around 10 points per game while supplying quality defense in the paint for the 14-3 Crusaders.
Mayer Lutheran went into the season with heightened expectations thanks to a solid year a season ago and a bevy of returning proven talent. Tjernagel said the success so far this season has exceeded his expectations.
“I think we’ve really picked it up from last year and I’m really proud of how we’re doing so far,” said Tjernagel. “Our starting five is great and we have a deep bench. I knew coming into the season that we’d be a good team. We brought back a lot of guys but overall, everyone has blown me away with how well we’re playing. Everybody has been doing really well.”
Tjernagel was one of several players for Mayer Lutheran who spent the spring and summer playing AAU basketball. He used that season to improve his overall game (particularly on the defensive end) and it allowed him to gain some college recruiting exposure.
“I’ve got a few schools recruiting me,” said Tjernagel. “I’m still up in the air on if I want to play in college. I haven’t decided yet. I want to major in electrical engineering with a minor in bio-medical so academics will be a big factor as well.”
For now, Tjernagel is focused on helping Mayer Lutheran have as good a season as possible. The Crusaders are among the best five teams in Class A but they play in the absolutely loaded Section 2 which features arguably the best team in the state in Springfield as well as strong teams in Cleveland and Cedar Mountain/Comfrey (which Mayer Lutheran just beat).
“It’s going to be really interesting,” said Tjernagel. “Springfield is really good. Cedar Mountain, us, Cleveland, there are a few others too. It’s a really good section. It’ll be a lot of fun to see what happens.”