Titans take top seed into District 14 tournamentThe No. 5-ranked Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team hasn’t played at home since Jan. 3, but that wait is finally over.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The No. 5-ranked Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team hasn’t played at home since Jan. 3, but that wait is finally over.
The teams from District 14 will hop on the bus and travel to Knights of Columbus Activities Center in Dickinson for the District 14 Tournament that begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
Though the top three teams in the district have a combined record of 49-7 and the bottom three are 9-48, coaches said this tournament isn’t going to be easy.
“We told the kids in the postseason that we don’t take anybody for granted,” Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. “We can’t make the assumption that we are going step on the court and win. We’ve got to come out and play.”
The Titans (17-1) have a opening-round bye after claiming the tournament’s No. 1 seed. Trinity has hopes of winning the district tournament, but the main goal is just to win one and qualify for the Region 7 tournament.
“I think we are all excited,” Trinity senior forward Dylan Fridrich said. “I think we are focused on just one game at a time. We’ve got to get one. One win and we’re in regionals and that’s what kind of counts right now.”
To start the district tournament, the Titans may be without their top scorer, junior guard Jacob Volk, after he rolled his ankle during practice on Monday. Volk ranked second in scoring in Region 7 during the regular season with 18.2 points per game.
Senior guard Mason Schiff came back from an ACL injury to start the season and slipped his hip during practice on Tuesday.
Volk and Schiff are both listed as game-time decisions.
“We’re without two key guys, but I think something that we’ve talked about all year is our depth,” Fridrich said. “It’s going to start to show now that we have a couple guys injured. That’s when everyone has to step up.”
Though it may be without two of its top players when they open tournament play Saturday against the winner of an opening-round game between No. 4 seed Killdeer (6-13) and No. 5 Richardton-Taylor (3-16), Trinity’s depth has been a driving force throughout the season.
“We found out with the depth that we’ve been playing with all year long is coming back in our favor,” Grinsteinner said. “We are confident when any kid steps on the floor.”
Hazen (16-3) grabbed the No. 2 seed and a bye. Hazen head coach Randy Johnson said he’s comfort with his depth as well.
“I think we’ve done a lot of good things throughout the year,” he said. “We’ve had pretty balanced scoring and have been able to start any five to seven kids.”
Beulah (16-3) is the No. 3 seed after starting out the year on a hot streak.
They were ranked No. 1 in Class B until they were defeated 74-49 by then No. 2-ranked and current No. 1 North Star on Dec. 22. The Miners went on a seven-game win streak to close out the regular season.
“I think we’ve got better at a few things,” Beulah head coach Jeremy Brandt said. “I think, defensively, we’ve been a little better lately.”
Glen Ullin-Hebron (0-19) rounds out the district with the No. 6 seed.
Only four teams will have their season’s extended and qualify for the Region 7 tournament.
“We know we are going to get everybody’s best effort,” Trinity senior forward Austin Gawryluk said. “That’s always a given and the talent we’ve been playing is just going to pick up more in the postseason.”