Titans play their style, top WildfireA coach’s biggest fear when playing the Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team is allowing the Titans play the game in their style.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
A coach’s biggest fear when playing the Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team is allowing the Titans play the game in their style.
Mott-Regent head coach Wayne Heckaman knew his team couldn’t let Trinity do what it wanted during Monday night’s Region 7 tournament quarterfinal game.
But the Titans did it anyway, beating the Wildfire 61-49 at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“That’s Trinity for you,” Heckaman said. “I sat on the bench and I kept looking. He (Titans coach Gregg Grinsteinner) had guys coming in and out, in and out and they played uptempo and fast. They kept the pressure on and that’s just Trinity basketball for you. They wore us down. They had some good runs.”
No run was bigger than the 18-1 streak that lasted more than 5 and a half minutes at the end of the second quarter and start of the third.
Trinity led 28-25 with 2:20 remaining in the second quarter when Mason Schiff ignited the run with a layup and a 3-pointer that helped give the Titans a 35-25 halftime lead.
Trinity (15-6) scored the first six points of the second half and Alex Klug did the same as Schiff, making a layup and a 3 that stretched the Titans’ lead to 46-26 with 4:27 left in the third quarter.
“We wanted to worry about playing our game, controlling the defensive side, taking care of the ball and playing our game,” said Klug, who scored a team-high 11 points and added four assists.
The Titans were in control most of the way, sucking the air of out the packed gymnasium expecting a much closer game, and along with it, dousing the Wildfire.
Mott-Regent ends the season at 17-4, losing two of its last three games after coming into the District 13 tournament as the top seed and leaving as the No. 3 seed. The Wildfire, however, lose just three seniors — only one of whom starts.
“I’m proud of these guys for what they went through this year,” Heckaman said. “They’ve came a long ways, they really have.”
Before Trinity went on its game-clinching run, the game appeared as if it were shaping up to be a barn-burner.
Trinity led most of the way, but Mott-Regent stuck with them for about 14 minutes, never trailing by more than 5 points.
Trinity’s defense, however, began wearing down the Wildfire. Mott-Regent shot 14 of 33 (42 percent) from the field.
“I think what happened was we were zoned into what we were trying to get done defensively,” Grinsteinner said. “They had to work for a lot of their points.”
Meanwhile, the Titans were smooth offensively, shooting 25 of 47 (53 percent).
Four Trinity players had nine points or more — Isiah Binstock scored 10 while Jacob Volk and Jesse Kubik each added nine points off the bench — and nine players scored.
“I thought our offensive execution was one of the best we had all year,” Grinsteinner said. “We had very good balance.”
Now two wins away from the region title that has eluded them since 2007, the Titans face New England at 7:30 p.m. today in the semifinals.
Trinity’s junior varsity beat New England on Feb. 7, but Grinsteinner knows his team can’t pay attention to that. The District 13 champion Tigers beat Hazen 60-50 on Monday.
“We’re going to have to be really zoned into what our defensive assignments are going to be,” Grinsteinner said. “We know it’s going to be a championship atmosphere.”
MR 12 25 32 49
Trinity 14 35 46 61
MR: Nate Fries 16, Chad Mosbrucker 12, Taylor Zenter 8, Tanner Vesledahl 6, Jonah Honeyman 5, Jon Carlson 2.
T: Alex Klug 11, Isiah Binstock 10, Jacob Volk 9, Jesse Kubik 9, Austin Gawryluk 6, Mason Schiff 5, Christian Olson 5, Dylan Fridrich 4, Dustin Hibl 2.
3-pointers: MR 3 (Zentner 2, Fries 1), T 3 (Klug 1, Olson 1, Schiff 1). Free throws: MR 18-27, T 8-13. Total fouls: MR 13, T 20. Rebounds: MR 21 (Fries 6), T 27 (Fridrich 7). Assists: MR 7 (Carlson 2, Fries 2), T 18 (Schiff 5). Steals: MR 3 (Mosbrucker 2), T 8 (Olson 2, Volk 2). Blocks: MR 3 (Mosbrucker 2), T 3 (Olson 1, Volk 1, Binstock 1). Turnovers: MR 15, T 11