Shiloh Christian rallies, beats Titans
With the audience at Knights of Columbus Activities Center holding its breath, Dickinson Trinity junior guard Joe Mayer took a half-court shot with no time left in the game.
The ball bounced off the backboard and Shiloh Christian defeated the Titans 56-53 Saturday night.
It was Trinity’s season opener and despite the close loss, head coach Gregg Grinsteinner couldn’t be more pleased with his team’s first game performance.
“I thought our kids did a nice job coming back in the fourth quarter,” Grinsteinner said. “We didn’t quit, we had a chance to get blown out of our own gym and they said no. We had a chance at the end to tie the game up and that’s all we can ask for.”
In the first half, Trinity came out and played a clean game. The team kept up with the Skyhawks, which answered with a basket after each one Trinity made.
Trinity sophomore guard Willy Jahner went a perfect 4 for 4 from the field and 1 for 1 from the free-throw line for 11 points. Austin Deichert — a senior guard — posted a team-high 12 points.
At halftime, the Titans held a 29-25 lead, but Shiloh quickly started to gain momentum.
Trinity junior post Brett Mortenson started the scoring off with a two-point jump shot but Shiloh sophomore guard Chad Coulter, who finished with team-high 16 points, retaliated going coast-to-coast for a layup. The Skyhawks outshot the Titans 12-8 to tie up the game 37-37 at the end of the third quarter. Trinity turned the ball over on six straight possessions in the third which would eventually come back to haunt them in the end.
“We just had a lot of turnovers,” Jahner said. “We had four at half and 13 by the end of the third quarter. So it’s pretty much the turnovers that did that.”
Down 52-43 in the fourth, Trinity scored six unanswered points and with under a minute left, freshman forward Shawn Stoltz scored the Titans last two baskets to bring his team within three both times. But the team wasn’t able to hang on to beat the Skyhawks.
“It was only our second game so it was a little ragged on both ends,” Shiloh head coach Mike Dwyer said. “But it was hard, fought, both teams fought hard and we’re just fortunate to come out on top.”
Entering the season the Titans lost nine valuable seniors including Jacob Volk, who is a freshman at Dickinson State. Deichert said he understands his role as a leader this year is to work with the inexperience and try to keep emotions in check as the team learns to transition from the junior varsity level.
“We’re an inexperienced group, but our job as the two seniors, me and Nick Klug, our job is to lead the team, get them calm because we’re a quick team,” he said. “But with a quick team comes quick decisions and turnovers which happened tonight in the second half that’s what we’ll work on.”
It is still too early for Grinsteinner to tell who will be a statistics leader for his team, but he does know he will have to play a lot of bodies.
“I think we’re going to be more of a balanced team. Right now we don’t have that guy who can just take a game over,” Grinsteinner said. “We’re going to have to go nine, 10, 11 kids every game, that’s just the way we’re going to have to play. I think (the bench is) going to be a strength of ours by the time the year rolls around.”
Trinity plays Glen Ullin-Hebron at 3 p.m. Tuesday during the Roughrider Tournament. The key for the Titans playing the Bearcats is to contend, go back to basics, play fundamentally sound and watch the turnovers.
“It always goes back to being fundamentally sound,” Grinsteinner said. “When you play the first game of a tournament, you don’t know what to expect. You want to play in a night bracket and to play in a night bracket you got to take care of game one. And Glen Ullin has two games under their belt, again they got a veteran group back, they’re playing extremely well right now.”
Deichert added: “We’re just going to have to play our game and stay in control. If we play like we did in the first half tonight, I’d be happy with that. But second half we kind of got away from our game and that’s not good. We got to stick with our game plan and do what we’re good at.”
SC 10 15 12 19
Trinity 14 15 8 16
SC: Chad Coulter 16, Jace Ritzke 15, Zac Martin 9, Blake Emmel 6, Zach Kost 4, Josh Wood 4, Andrew Hartman 2.
T: Austin Deichert 12, Willy Jahner 11, Brett Mortenson 9, Shawn Stoltz 7, Joe Mayer 6, Cole Wilhelmi 4, Nick Klug 4.
3-pointers: SC 2-5 (Martin 1, Coulter 1), T 6-9 (Wilhelmi 1, Jahner 3, Deichert 2). Free throws: SC 18-24, T 7-12. Total fouls: SC 19, T 21. Fouled out: Ritzke, Deichert. Rebounds: SC 17 (Wood 3), T 25 (Stoltz 5). Assists: SC 1 (Martin), T 1 (Deichert). Steals: SC 8 (Wood 2), T 8 (Klug, Deichert, Stoltz, Mortenson 1). Blocks: SC 1 (Wood), T none Turnovers: SC 8, T 9. Records: SC 2-0, T 0-1.