Volk overcomes illness as Titans edge CougarsThe Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team was ripe for an upset Thursday night.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team was ripe for an upset Thursday night.
Playing one of its biggest rivals in front of a raucous crowd on its home floor at Knights of Columbus Activities Center and with its biggest star beginning the game on the bench because of an illness, the No. 4-ranked Titans had all the makings of a team about to suffer a setback.
But, Trinity did what it does best and found ways to hold off lightning-fast Heart River 51-48 in the semifinals of the 42nd annual Roughrider Tournament.
“At times, we tried to play too much stud ball,” Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. “At times, we didn’t execute as well as we could have on both ends of the floor. We were out there doing our own thing. We’ve got to get a lot more disciplined with the mental aspect of the game.”
A gutsy effort by Trinity senior Jacob Volk put the Titans (4-0) over the top.
Volk scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds despite nursing an illness that forced him to miss Wednesday’s practice.
“When he needed to score, he got it done and we had a pretty good team effort on the glass,” said Trinity senior forward Isiah Binstock, who had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Volk began the game on the bench. It didn’t take him long to warm up though.
He scored Trinity’s final two baskets of the first quarter, including a coast-to-coast finger-roll layup just before time expired to tie the game at 14. It was part of a 12-2 Trinity run that lasted 4 minutes, 35 seconds at the end of the first and start of the second quarter.
“Kids need to know we still have expectations,” Grinsteinner said. “If you show up and you say you can play, then you’ve got to be able to execute what we’re trying to get accomplished. We have kids who are competitors. We have kids who have big hearts.”
Trinity led 24-22 at halftime and it stayed close in the third quarter as the teams traded the lead before Heart River junior guard Tyson Kudrna’s 3-pointer with 31 seconds left forced a 35-35 tie going into the fourth.
Riley Obrigewitch led the Cougars with 15 points and seven rebounds. Kudrna scored 13 points and Seth Ewoniuk added 10.
“What we’ve been trying to do is we’ve been trying to visualize that we can play at that caliber and that’s one thing we want to do,” Heart River head coach Gregg Pruitt said. “We wanted to come in tonight and prove to ourselves that we can play up with them.”
Despite trailing by as much as six, Heart River (2-1) wouldn’t go away in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and wasn’t done until Ewoniuk had a 3-pointer hit the back of the rim as time expired.
Binstock’s hit two free throws with 45.2 seconds left to give the Titans a 48-42 lead.
Ewoniuk responded with a 3-pointer on a kick-out pass off an offensive rebound to close the gap with 31 seconds remaining.
Forced to foul, the Cougars sent Trinity senior Mitchell Meyer to the line. He responded twice, first giving Trinity a 50-45 lead with 17.3 seconds left.
After Meyer’s free throws, Ewoniuk drove the length of the floor for a layup and converted a three-point play after a foul.
Again, Heart River fouled Meyer, who made the first of two free throws. Ewoniuk’s good look from the top of the key was long and put the Titans in the Roughrider title game for the sixth time in eight years.
Trinity looks to repeat as tournament champions when it faces Bowman County at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Heart River takes on Richardton-Taylor at 6 p.m. in the third-place game.
Grinsteinner said a close game, Trinity’s first this year, will do a lot to help them as the season continues.
“A lot of things are basic fundamental stuff. We really got exposed in that tonight,” he said. “We’ve been talking about it all year and now we’ve got it on tape and got the kids’ attention. Now, as a coaching staff, we have to build off that and make them realize it to get better down the road.”
HR 14 22 35 48
Trinity 14 24 35 51
HR: Riley Obrigewitch 15, Tyson Kudrna 13, Seth Ewoniuk 10, Cole Hecker 5, Isaiah Marschner 5.
T: Jacob Volk 15, Isiah Binstock 12, Jesse Kubik 11, Jacob Good 4, Austin Deichert 4, Mitch Meyer 3, Ben Gordon 2.
3-pointers: HR (Kudrna 3, Ewoniuk 1, Hecker 1), T 1 (Volk). Free throws: HR 5-13, T 14-20. Total fouls: HR 18, T 15. Rebounds: HR 26 (Obrigewitch 7), T 36 (I. Binstock 9). Assists: HR 7 (Ewoniuk 2, Marschner 2), T 11 (Meyer 2, Deichert 2). Steals: HR 11 (Hecker 5), T 6 (Volk 2, Binstock 2). Blocks: HR 0, T 7 (Deichert 2). Turnovers: HR 10, T 15.