Regaining confidenceThe unimpressed look on Dickinson Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner’s face at halftime said more than words.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The unimpressed look on Dickinson Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner’s face at halftime said more than words.
The Titans walked into the locker room trailing Hazen by one only point, yet deflated and seeming somewhat lost. They walked out of it confident, determined and on a mission.
The No. 3-ranked boys basketball team in Class B used a huge third quarter to break away from the Bison en route to a 68-57 District 14 victory on Friday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“As a coach, sometimes halftime is a good time and tonight was a good time for halftime,” Grinsteinner said.
After going back and forth with Hazen in the first half, the Titans (16-1, 3-1 District 14) shot 18 of 26 from the field in the second half and scored eight unanswered points early in the third to establish a lead they wouldn’t give up.
Senior guard Jacob Volk sparked the Titans, scoring eight points in both the third and fourth quarters to put Trinity in the driver’s seat. He finished with team highs of 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“It was a tough start,” Volk said. “I mean, we came out slow through the (first) half and he (Grinsteinner) just after us at halftime. I had to be a leader and tell the guys that we’ve got to keep it moving, we’ve got to push the tempo in the third quarter and they listened.”
Trinity scored points in transition, attacked the basket and improved its ball movement after halftime.
Hazen, meanwhile, had lapses.
Senior guard Stetson Carr was the only Bison player to start the second half strong. Carr scored the team’s first nine points after halftime — he finished with 17 points, six steals and four assists, though he shot just 8 of 28 from the field — but no one else got in on the act.
“We didn’t put it in the basket, they hit some shots and the next thing I knew … all of a sudden we were down 11 points and I said, ‘Is that right?’” Hazen Randy Johnson said.
Trinity took an 11-point lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter on, off all shots, a 3-pointer from 6-foot-7 senior center Jesse Kubik.
The Titans led 54-41 by the end of the third quarter and stretched their lead to 66-51 midway through the fourth on back-to-back shots from Volk.
Kubik finished with 11 points, senior Ben Gordon came off the bench to add 13 and the Titans, whose varsity is made up of nine seniors and one junior, had almost everyone get in on the act.
Senior guard Alex Binstock shot 3 of 3 from the field and made both of his free throws to finish with eight points and four assists. Senior forward Isiah Binstock added eight points and six rebounds. Senior guard Jacob Good, who defended Carr, scored just four points, but added eight boards and three steals.
“When we play together as a team, that just shows how good we can be,” Volk said. “When we move the ball and work the ball inside, that opens up a lot of things on the perimeter and inside.”
Junior forward Austin Cieslak had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Bison (9-7, 2-2 District 14). He scored 10 in the first half.
Hazen led 15-12 at the end of the first after Dominick Opp hit a 3-pointer with 24 second remaining and went ahead 30-29 at halftime after Carr tipped in a missed shot and Volk had a 3-point attempt go in and out.
While Trinity shot 29 of 46 (63 percent) from the field for the game, it also had a problem with turnovers. The Titans committed 25, many on ill-advised passes.
“That’s something we’ve got to clean up. Our kids know that,” Grinsteinner said. “It wasn’t full-court pressure either. A lot of it was on us.”
Nonetheless, Grinsteinner was impressed by the defensive play of his guards — Good, Alex Binstock, Austin Deichert and Mitch Meyer — and said the team will look to close out the season strong as it hosts Richardton-Taylor in its final District 14 game at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Watford City in its regular-season finale at 7 p.m. next Friday.
“Our kids are starting to buy in,” Grinsteinner said. “We’re going to have the role talk next week, everybody understanding what their role is. We have to do some affirmation, as far as where we are as the season goes and where we want to be in a couple weeks.”
Hazen 15 30 41 57
Trinity 12 29 54 68
H: Stetson Carr 17, Austin Cieslak 13, Collin Maas 10, Nich Klein 4, Kyle Lindquist 4, Michael Maas 4, Dominick Opp 3, Casey Neameyer 2.
T: Jacob Volk 24, Ben Gordon 13, Jesse Kubik 11, Isiah Binstock 8, Alex Binstock 8, Jacob Good 4.
3-pointers: H 4 (C. Maas 2, Carr 1, Opp 1), T 3 (Gordon, Kubik, Volk). Free throws: H 3-7, T 7-9. Total fouls: H 10, T 9. Rebounds: H 27 (Cieslak 9), T 36 (Volk 9). Assists: H 14 (Carr 4), T 18 (Volk 4). Steals: H 13 (Carr 6), T 12 (three with 3). Blocks: H 3 (Cieslak 2), T 5 (I. Binstock 2, Good 2). Turnovers: H 16, T 25. Records: H 9-7 (2-2 District 14), T 16-1 (3-1 District 14).