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Published December 14, 2011, 08:44 PM

6-foot-8 Junior May Be Tallest Player in MN Prep Girls Basketball History

As, in all likelihood, the tallest player in Minnesota high school girls basketball history, Savanna Trapp is used to making news.

By: Rick Weegman, Duluth News Tribune

As, in all likelihood, the tallest player in Minnesota high school girls basketball history, Savanna Trapp is used to making news.

But the technical foul she received last week for dunking at halftime of a game against Silver Bay was a first for the 6-foot-8 Esko junior.

“(My teammates) wanted me to get my first dunk in the Silver Bay game so they told me to do a practice one,” Trapp recalled. “The other team was still in the locker room so I figured it wouldn’t be intimidating. So I did it, and the refs called a technical.

“The Silver Bay girls came out of the locker room and were confused why they were shooting technical foul shots. One girl said, ‘Why are we shooting?’ and one of my teammates told her what had happened. The girl said, ‘Darn it, we missed it. Will you do it again?’”

If Trapp gets her wish, she’ll soon do it in a game. After setting a state record for single-season blocked shots a year ago, Trapp has more offensive responsibilities this season as sixth-ranked Esko guns for a Class AA state tournament appearance.

The Eskomos (4-0) have won by an average of 31 points per game, beating AAA-level schools Hibbing and Grand Rapids along the way.

Trapp says she put on 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason to help maintain a better position in the post, where she often was pushed around in previous seasons.

“I’ve been working on my strengthening the past two, three years and I’ve gotten a lot stronger,” she said.

After shooting about 60 percent from the field last season, Trapp is closer to 70 percent this year. Her blocks-per-game average, however, has dipped from seven to four.

“She’s getting more patient with physical play, and will continue to get more patient,” Esko coach Scott Antonutti said. “If she gets it in close, she doesn’t miss much. If she does, she’s in good position to get the rebound and put it back up.”

Trapp is receiving high volumes of mail from Division I universities and is on the wish list of multiple Big Ten and Big 12 schools as well major colleges from California, Florida and Texas.

And she might even be taller than what she’s listed at, considering she looked down at Baylor’s 6-8 Brittney Griner during a recruiting visit last week at the University of Minnesota.

“I met her after the game and talked to her, and I am well over an inch taller than her,” Trapp said.

The Eskomos will need to take advantage of that height advantage in order to dethrone defending state champion Braham in Section 7AA. The Bombers are led by junior Rebekah Dahlman (29 points per game in 2010-11), who is well on her way to smashing the state’s scoring record for boys and girls.

“She’s a scoring machine,” Antonutti said of Dahlman, who could surpass 3,000 career points later this week. “There’s not a lot she can’t do.”

The Eskomos have more scoring options than last year and an athletic lineup that includes Stephanie Bandelin, the News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year in volleyball, Marisa Shady, Kallyn Knutson and Brooke Schramm.

“We have gotten so much better; I’m so excited for the season,” Trapp said. “The girls have put in a significant amount of time in the offseason.”

Trapp did likewise, spending only one week at home during the summer as she played in several Amateur Athletic Union tournaments with Twin Cities-based North Tartan. That team lost in overtime in the Nike Nationals championship game in Augusta, S.C.

Now she’s focused on helping her high school team get past Braham.

“We know we can do it,” she said. “We’re going to beat them this year because it’s our turn.”

Other section contenders include International Falls (5-0), which returns four players who scored at least nine points per game: senior Hanna Heibel and juniors Jenna Vergeldt, Sophie Frederickson and Reva Renollet. The Broncos have won every game this season by at least eight points.

Senior-led Virginia (4-2) and Two Harbors are off to respectable starts, while height-challenged Eveleth-Gilbert is led by the high-scoring duo of Megan Vidas and Megan Preiner.

Duluth Marshall first-year coach Joaquim Harris has a pair of double-digit scorers returning in Camille McKee and Mary Baumgartner in the hopes of ending a 54-game losing streak in the Lake Superior Conference.