No. 3 Trinity upsets No. 1 Beulah for Region 7 championship
Those were the final words Dickinson Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner presented to his players before taking the court in front of an overflow crowd estimated to be near 2,500 fans for the Region 7 championship game.
With Grinsteinner using the same pre-game speech made legendary by hockey coach Herb Brooks prior to the United States playing the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics, the No. 3-ranked Titans upset No. 1 Beulah with a 64-52 win to punch their ticket to the Class B state tournament on Thursday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
"I think both teams were evenly matched," Grinsteinner said. "We were fortunate to make a few more plays than they did and we got some shots to fall. I thought we executed our game plan to a tee and played well on both ends of the floor."
Trinity broke the defending state champion Miners' 39-game win streak that dated back to Jan. 10, 2012. Beulah finished with a 23-1 record.
The Titans (22-2) came into the game having lost their last four games against Beulah in the last two seasons, including losing both the District 14 championship games and last year's Region 7 championship.
"It was a pretty good all-around effort for us," Trinity 6-foot-3 senior post Isiah Binstock said. "We just knew if we kept our energy up, we could have a good chance of beating them."
After holding a 27-23 lead at halftime, the Titans never coughed up the lead. The Miners only held the lead once. That was after a 19-5 run put Beulah up 23-19 in the second quarter.
Trinity went from 8-0 run to close out the first half. The Titans' largest lead of the half was 10 points, 14-4, after a Jacob Volk floater at 2 minutes, 4 seconds forced a Beulah time out. Volk finished with a team-high 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
The real drama around Volk emerged when he was charged with his fifth foul with 2 minutes, 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Though the Titans were up 53-37 at that point, Grinsteinner said he was nervous. But Volk said he had faith in his team.
"I have a lot of confidence in my teammates," Volk said. "If I foul out, I'll always trust them."
Beulah didn't fair too well from the field, struggling to make layups from start to finish. The Miners went 19 of 52 (37 percent) from the floor, while going 10 of 22 (46 percent) from the free-throw line.
"I don't know how many layups we missed, I know it was a lot," Beulah head coach Jeremy Brandt said. "When you get good opportunities and miss easy ones, that hurts. It was one of those nights where a lot of things didn't go our way."
As Beulah's shooting problems began to mount in the second half, the Titans took full advantage and extended their lead to double digits.
Jacob Good and Binstock each supplied a layup to put Trinity up 48-35 and the Miners never got it back within single digits.
Binstock posted 14 points and seven rebounds, while Good added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Beulah was cold for the free-throw line and Grinsteinner knew that could decide the game.
Trinity went 26 of 36 (72 percent) from the line and were 21 of 28 in the second half. Jesse Kubik, a 6-7 senior center, knocked down 4 of 4 in the final two minutes. He finished with eight points, all from free-throw line, and eight rebounds.
"The guys stepped up to the line and had a lot of confidence," Grinsteinner said. "We wanted to take the ball strong to the hole and we were more aggressive tonight than the first two times we played Beulah this year. In games like this, you have to make free throws. When we got a two-possession lead our kids became real confident."
Beulah's lone player in double figures was Region 7 Senior Athlete of the Year Trevor Zacher with 14 points. Seniors Cody Nelson and Jesse Hettich each added nine, while sophomore Jett Hettich supplied eight off the bench.
"Sometimes we have the tendency to stand around, when he's (Zacher) got the ball and look for him to create some things," said Brandt, who was named Region 7 Coach of the Year. "That was something we talked about at halftime. We needed to get more movement away from the ball."
The Titans now have a week of preparation before traveling to Minot for the Class B state tournament. Trinity will play LaMoure-Litchville-Marion at noon on Thursday.
"The schedule that we played this year is only going to make us better throughout the year," Grinsteinner said. "This was a very difficult region to come out of this year."
Trinity 17 27 37 64
Beulah 10 23 31 52
T: Jacob Volk 19, Isiah Binstock 14, Jacob Good 10, Jesse Kubik 8, Ben Gordon 7, Alex Binstock 3, Mitch Meyer 2, Austin Deichert 1.
B: Trevor Zacher 14, Jesse Hettich 9, Cody Nelson 9, Jett Hettich 8, Casey Walcker 6, Noah Iverson 3, Randi Julson 2, Karson Hintz 1.
3-pointers: T 2 (Volk 1, Gordon 1), B 4 (Jett Hettich 2, Zacher 2). Free throws: T 26-36, B 10-22. Total fouls: T 21, B 23. Fouled out: T, Volk. B, Nelson, Jesse Hettich. Rebounds: T 36 (Kubik 8, Good 8, Volk 8), B 28 (Walcker 6, Jesse Hettich 6). Assists: T 9 (Volk 3), B 10 (Jesse Hettich 5). Steals: T 4 (four with one), B 14 (Jesse Hettich 4). Blocks: T 2 (Volk 2), B 3 (Jesse Hettich 2). Turnovers: T 20, B 17. Records: T 22-2, B 23-1.
Mott-Regent tops Heart River for third place
In a rematch of the District 13 championship game, Mott-Regent used Taylor Zentner's 26-point performance to claim third place in the Region 7 tournament.
The Wildfire held a 37-23 lead at halftime en route to a 64-59 win over Heart River in the matinee.
Zentner had 11 first-half points and scored his 1,000th career point in the third quarter.
He finished with a tournament-high 85 points. He also had six rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Logan Haberstroh added 14 points, while Tyler Zentner posted nine points for Mott-Regent (16-8).
Senior Riley Obrigewitch led the Heart River (18-6) with 15 points, while senior Isaiah Marschner supplied 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Jordan Wagner posted 12 points off the bench.
HR 10 23 42 59
MR 17 37 54 64
HR: Riley Obrigewitch 15, Jordan Wagner 12, Isiah Marschner 10, Tyson Kudrna 9, Cole Hecker 4, Brady Olson 4, Seth Ewoniuk 3, Eldon Privratsky 2.
MR: Taylor Zentner 26, Logan Haberstroh 14, Tyler Zentner 9, Jonah Honeyman 8, Brett Messmer 4, Jacob Greff 3.
3-pointers: HR 5 (Kudrna 3, Ewoniuk 1, Hecker 1), MR 3 (Ta. Zentner 3). Free throws: HR 8-19, MR 11-14. Total fouls: HR 17, MR 15. Rebounds: HR 40 (Marschner 9), MR 36 (Honeyman 7, Haberstroh 7). Assists: HR 15 (Hecker 5), MR 16 (Ta. Zentner 6). Steals: HR 7 (Hecker 4), MR 6 (Ta. Zentner 4). Blocks: HR 2 (Marschner 2), MR 3 (three tied with one). Turnovers: HR 13, MR 13. Records: HR 18-6, MR 16-8.
All-Region 7 Team: Levi Hollinger, Sr., G, New England; Stephen Kristy, Sr., C, Hettinger-Scranton; Seth Ewoniuk, Sr., G, Heart River; Taylor Zentner, Sr., G, Mott-Regent; Stetson Carr, Sr., G, Hazen; Jacob Volk, Sr., G, Dickinson Trinity; Isiah Binstock, Sr., P, Dickinson Trinity; Jesse Kubik, Sr., P, Dickinson Trinity; Lane Voltz, Jr., G, Richardton-Taylor; Trevor Zacher, Sr., F, Beulah; Jesse Hettich, Sr., F, Beulah; Cody Nelson, Sr., G, Beulah.
Region 7 Senior Athlete of the Year: Trevor Zacher, Beulah.
Region 7 Coach of the Year: Jeremy Brandt, Beulah.