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Mayer, Stolz lead Titans over Spoilers

FNS Photo by Chris Aarhus Dickinson Trinity freshman Shawn Stoltz, middle shoots over Grafton’s Julian Martinez, left, and Garek Droog at the Hoopster Classic on Saturday at the Minot State Dome.

MINOT — Dickinson Trinity pressured its way into an early-season signature win on Saturday.

Junior Joe Mayer poured in 21 points and freshman Shawn Stoltz added 20 as the Titans overcame a rough start to post a 72-61 win over Grafton at the Hoopster Classic at the Minot State Dome.

“I’d say this is our best game of the year, without a doubt,” Mayer said.

A good second quarter paved the way for Trinity, which improved to 3-2 on the season thanks to strong post defense and ball pressure. Junior Brett Mortenson joined Stoltz and sophomore Brock Messer in limiting the chances given to Grafton 6-foot-6 center Garek Droog.

Droog had a team-high 21 points, but only two came in the second quarter, when the Titans rallied from a six-point deficit with a 13-0 run.

“We just started coming out with a lot of energy,” Mayer said. “We were getting a lot of ball pressure and making them force their shots so they couldn’t get post entry.”

Trinity coach Gregg Grinsteinner said defense made a big difference in the second quarter.

“I thought our execution (on defense) carried over to the offense,” he said. “We got some really good looks and shot the ball extremely well.”

Grafton got within two in the third quarter, but failed to get the lead back. Zak Hernandez finished with 20 for the Spoilers (5-2), who were receiving votes in the latest state media poll.

Trinity also benefited from 37 points from its bench. Willy Jahner contributed 11 of those.

“I thought our kids really put it together on both ends of the floor,” Grinsteinner said. “They started believing in what we wanted to do, defensively, and they really got after it.”

Trinity 13 37 55 72

Grafton 17 30 44 61

Trinity: Joe Mayer 21, Shawn Stoltz 20, Willy Jahner 11, Brett Mortenson 8, Brock Messer 6, Cole Wilhelmi 4, Austin Deichert 2. Totals 29 10-11 72.

Grafton: Garek Droog 21, Zak Hernandez 20, Julian Martinez 6, Hunter Baldwin 5, Austin Contreras 5, Jacob Garza 2, Andrew Carignan 2. Totals 26 8-11 61