Titans prepare for District 14 battleDespite having the No. 1 seed in the District 14 girls basketball tournament, Dickinson Trinity head coach Alysia Barman said it’s going to be no easy task running away with a district title.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Despite having the No. 1 seed in the District 14 girls basketball tournament, Dickinson Trinity head coach Alysia Barman said it’s going to be no easy task running away with a district title.
After starting the season with a 3-4 record, the Titans won 11 of their last 12 games, including a 10-game win streak.
“Early in the season, we learned a lot of valuable lessons and we learned a lot about ourselves,” Barman said. “In the second part of the season, we’ve really come together. We have a good mixture of juniors and freshmen that play a lot of minutes for us.”
Trinity, which as no seniors on its roster, has a first-round bye and will play the winner of the first-round game between No. 4-seed Richardton-Taylor and No. 5-seed Beulah on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“We’re fortunate to have the No. 1 seed, but we also know that we can’t take anything for granted,” Barman said. “It’s game-by-game tournament time. We have to make sure we are mentally ready to go on Saturday, whether it’s against Richardton or Beulah.”
The Raiders and Miners play the opening game of the District 14 tournament beginning at 6 p.m. Friday. The second first-round game on the schedule that night is No. 3 seed Hazen playing No. 6 seed Hebron-Glen Ullin at 7:30 p.m.
The winner of the Bison and Bearcats game plays No. 2 seed Killdeer at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Sarah Doe, the Cowboys’ third-year head coach, also knows her team will have to show up every game.
“Everybody is going to show up to play in the tournament, so we have to be on the top of our game,” Doe said. “We need to have a great start. We play great defense. We just have to be confident in our shooting.”
Leading the charge for Trinity offensively and defensively is Rachel Jahner. The junior guard averages 11.1 points per game, while helping shut down the opposition’s top offensive player.
“Rachel has been playing in the program since she was in eighth grade,” Barman said. “Her eighth grade, freshman and sophomore year, she was being corrected on every single thing that she did. This year that has completely paid off. She’s made herself, in the offseason, a better player. There are so many things she does for us night-in and night-out.”
The Titans are also aided by junior guard Katelyn Grinsteinner with 9.1 points per game. Freshman Kennedy Keator supplies 6.9 points off the bench. Freshman post Alanna Sickler joined the team in early January but suffered an ankle injury against Mott-Regent on Feb. 4 and rested the final game of the season with the flu. With her flu symptoms gone, Barman is expecting Sickler, who averages 8.7 points per game, to play on Saturday.
The Cowboys leaned heavily on Morgan LeMieux last season as a sophomore. Now as a junior, LeMieux is averaging a team-best 13.6 points per game and Doe said it’s because off her work in the offseason.
“She works on her game year round and it shows,” Doe said. “She’s great at seeing the floor and giving opportunities to her teammates as well.”
Twins Halle and Logan combine for 19.2 points per game to lead Richardton-Taylor. Halle Olson averages 10.2, while Logan scores nine. Mikayla Aluise supplies 9.3 points per contest. The Raiders finished the season with a 7-11 overall record.
Beulah has five players averaging more than five points per contest. Delaney Johansen and Jaime Murschel lead the Miners with 9.6 and 9.1 points per game, respectively. Beulah has a 3-16 overall record.
Hazen’s key offensive weapon is sophomore guard Ashton Carter, who is supplying 11.9 points per game.
“Most teams realize she’s going to threat to hit one or two 3-pointers,” Hazen head coach John Ward said. “In today’s game, that can be big.”
Though Hebron-Glenn is the No. 6 seed, Ward knows his team can’t look past the first-round opponent. Mackenzie Glass leads the Bearcats with 7.1 points per game, but they’ve had several players take the offensive reins in games this season.
“I don’t think there’s a gimme game,” Ward said. “In our district, every single night you are going to have to play well to give yourself a chance to win. It’s going to be both offensively and defensively.”