Volk's 3-pointer in final seconds lifts Trinity to 5th place
MINOT -- Jacob Volk didn't feel good about the shot he launched from 30 feet off one foot with 2 seconds remaining on Saturday.
The 6-foot-3 senior guard from Dickinson Trinity was hoping to break a 54-all tie after a set play fell apart with time winding down.
"I was thinking it was going to overtime," jokingly said Trinity coach Gregg Grinsteinner, who was named Class B Coach of the Year.
On the other end, Rugby coach Mike Santjer wasn't sure about the range, but he saw the accuracy.
"From here, it looked pretty good," he said. "I couldn't tell distance, but it was definitely right on."
The shot fell through, lifting the Titans to fifth place at the Class B state boys basketball tournament with a 57-54 triumph at the Minot State Dome. Volk said he also expected overtime after he released the shot.
"It felt like it was gonna be an airball," he said. "I got lucky and it went on."
It was a fitting end to a tournament that started with disappointment for Trinity. The third-ranked Titans (24-3) had their championship aspirations halted by LaMoure-Litchville-Marion in the opening round.
"It's a little disappointing not being in the night bracket, but we're the fifth best team in the state," said Grinsteinner, who has never finished worse than fifth in 10 trips to state. "We're really happy where we're at. ... It's a credit to what those kids have been doing all year long."
Volk scored a game-high 18 points, averaging more than 22 points in three tournament games. He was a unanimous selection to the all-tournament tean.
He brought the ball up the court with 12 seconds remaining after Rugby's Brad Heidlebaugh hit a game-tying 3-pointer. A pass to the corner yielded nothing, so the ball was sent back to Volk on the perimeter. He tried dribbling around two defenders to get a clean look, but had to settle for launching off one foot.
Fellow senior Jacob Good felt confident.
"He makes all those shots in practice," he said with a smile. "They're just crazy. I thought he had a chance of making it right away."
Trinity's first lead of the game came to open the second half, when Alex Binstock drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Rugby (25-3) led just twice in the second half, but did manage to tie it on several occasions. The spread was never more than five points in the second half. Lovcik paced the Panthers with 15 points, while Heidlebaugh had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
"We were hoping to see these guys on the other side of the bracket," said Santjer, whose team lost to Four Winds-Minnewaukan in the opening round. "It was a heck of a battle. ... Both teams are just battlers. Nobody was gonna lay down for this."
Isiah Binstock had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Titans, while Alex Binstock and Good finished with nine and eight points, respectively.
A senior-laden team, the Titans graduate all five starters and four reserves.
"This has been a great group of kids," said Grinsteinner, who coached many of the same players to state as sophomores. "They've really done a lot of great things for the program. It's been a fun year. Other than Thursday, I thought the kids did a really nice job of representing the region well."
Rugby 13 26 42 54
Trinity 9 24 43 57
R: Kyle Lovcik 15, Bradley Heidlebaugh 13, Josh Michaels 8, Chris Hamilton 8, Kyle Halvorson 6, Jaedon Haman 2, Matthew Johnson 2. Totals 21-24 7-14 54.
T: Jacob Volk 18, Isiah Binstock 10, Alex Binstock 9, Jacob Good 8, Jesse Kubik 6, Ben Gordon 4, Austin Deichert 2. Totals 19-48 15-24 57.
3-pointers: R 5 (Michael 2, Hamilton 1, Heidlebaugh 1, Lovcik 1), T 4 (Volk 3, A. Binstock 1). Total fouls: R 17, T 13. Rebounds: R 29 (Heidlebaugh 11), T 30 (I. Binstock 10). Assists: R 15 (Halvorson 5, T 6 (Volk 3). Turnovers: R 12, T 9. Records: R 25-3, T 23-3.