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Titans handle Wildfire: Mortenson scores 15 as Dickinson Trinity tops Mott-Regent

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson Trinity sophomore guard Willy Jahner, left, goes up for a jumper against a pair of Mott-Regent defenders during a Region 7 game on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

After a rough weekend in Bismarck, the Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team found its groove again.

Trinity went 0-2 at Shiloh Christian’s New Year’s Invite, but bounced back for a much needed Region 7 win.

The Titans rolled Mott-Regent 63-33 on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

“We came out with a purpose tonight knowing it was our first regional game,” Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. “I thought our guards set the tone, getting after Mott right away and then we attacked the basket right away … We talked about being a good inside-outside team and I thought that really showed tonight.”

Trinity (4-3, 1-0 Region 7) had no problem getting its game started immediately. Junior post Brett Mortenson scored the first four points of the game and Trinity never relinquished its lead. Mortenson had a game-high 15 points, while junior guard Joe Mayer followed close behind with 14 and tied the team-high with seven in rebounds.

“We came out tonight, we knew (Mott-Regent) would have a lot of confidence because they played with us last time. We didn’t play a very good game,” Mayer said regarding the Dec. 12 matchup in the Roughrider Tournament. “But we just came out tonight and wanted to prove something and wanted to prove how good we are and how good we can play.”

Mott-Regent (2-4, 0-1 Region 7) didn’t hit its first basket until half way through the first quarter. On the other hand, Trinity was on fire taking a 22-5 lead after the first quarter. The Titans held a 39-13 lead at halftime.

“We did the little things right,” Mortenson said. “We executed our game plan that coach said in the locker room before the game. We just executed and turned into being fun.”

The Wildfire started to warm up and kicked off the second half with a 3-pointer by senior guard Tyler Zentner, who finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Mott-Regent kept up with Trinity and slightly outscored them in the third quarter 12-10, but Trinity was on a roll and couldn’t be slowed down.

Trinity shot 28 of 58 (48 percent) from the field. Mott-Regent struggled shooting and taking care of the ball. The Wildfire was 26 percent (14 for 54) from the field and committed 21 turnovers.

“Very flat, we got to play better and even more so got to coach better,” Mott-Regent head coach Nate Zachmann said. “That’s basically what it comes down to and getting mentally ready for the game.”

The bad weather this week cancelled many high school games and closed schools around the area, which made it difficult for teams to practice. Despite the obstacles, Zachmann said his team shouldn’t use it as an excuse and needs to get back to the basics.

“Four days off going right into a game is no excuse, but it’s something we got to think about,” he said. “When a guy comes to practice you got to be ready to play and got to get better.”

Though the first seven games, Trinity’s season has been a roller coaster. The goal for the Titans is to try and string together wins instead of losses and to work on becoming more consistent.

“We’re still on the learning curve,” Grinsteinner said. “We’ve been so up and down play one good game and then we come back in the next game and don’t play very well. The challenge tonight was let’s put two games together.”

Trinity travels back to Bismarck for the Civic Center Jamboree to play Linton-HMB on Saturday.

“That’s a rivalry game for us outside of our region so we know that we got to step up to the plate,” Grinsteinner said. “The kids have been challenged, they know what to expect. We’re putting a lot of emphasis on getting better. Everybody’s got to do one thing better the next game and we’ll be OK.”

Mott-Regent 5 13 25 33

Trinity 22 39 49 63

MR: Tyler Zentner 13, Carter Honeyman 7, Brady Wegh 6, Benjamin Friedt 2, Austin Kautzman 2, Brett Messmer 2, Chance Roth 1.

T: Brett Mortenson 15, Joe Mayer 14, Cole Wilhelmi 8, Willy Jahner 8, Brock Messer 6, Austin Deichert 6, Connor Friske 2, Sam Sherer 2, Zach Kubas 2.

3-pointers: MR 2-10 (Zentner 2), T 3-8 (Jahner 2, Wilhelmi 1). Free throws: MR 3-7, T 4-9. Total fouls: MR 8, T 7. Rebounds: MR 35 (Zentner 9), T 33 (Mayer, Messer 7). Assists: MR 5 (Warner, Zentner, Friedt, Honeyman, Messmer 1), T 24 (Wilhelmi 8). Steals: MR 12 (Zentner 3), T 19 (Deichert 7). Blocks: MR 2 (Zentner 2), T 2 (Messer 2). Turnovers: MR 21, T 12. Records: MR 2-4 (0-1 Region 7), T 4-3 (1-0 Region 7).

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.