Seniors lead New Town over Titans for 3rd place
MINOT -- New Town's standouts found a way to come back after a devastating loss to Grafton on Friday.
It's hardly a coincidence that those standouts are seniors.
Mike Young Bird made 10 of his 15 shots, scoring a game-high 23 points and Alex Baker added 12 points and three assists as the Eagles took third place with a 59-48 win over Dickinson Trinity at the Class B state boys basketball tournament Saturday at the Minot State University Dome.
For Baker, it was a night far better than Friday when Grafton held him scoreless. He averages 22 points per game.
"I let myself get out of rhythm," said Baker, who scored his 1,000th point in the second quarter. "It feels great (to score 1,000). It's something I've been working toward."
Baker rebounded by making 6 of 13 for the Eagles, who blitzed Trinity in the first half by getting to the paint and controlling the tempo.
"We came out aggressive and executed," New Town coach Chuck Hunter said. "We felt a lot better. We knew had a chance to finish on a good note."
Trinity trailed by as much as 25 late in the first half and was down 43-22 at halftime. New Town sank 19 of 26 for 73 percent in the first half.
"The first half couldn't get over with soon enough," Trinity coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. "They were getting everything in the paint. They were blocking shots like crazy."
But was a comeback in order?
"You almost have to be perfect," Grinsteinner said.
The Titans were far from perfect, but they stepped on the court with renewed vigor in the second half.
A 10-2 Trinity run cut into the deficit, and an 8-0 run that started late in the third and went into the 6-minute mark of the fourth trimmed it to nine points at 49-40.
Trinity was led by Isiah Binstock's 12 points and eight rebounds.
"We had opportunities, but we'd make a turnover or miss an easy shot," Grinsteinner said.
In its nine state tournament appearances, this was the first time Trinity finished with two losses. It had won two state championships and finished 2-1 in its seven other appearances.
New Town only scored 16 points in the second half, but made enough shots to hold off the Titans.
"They pressured us more and our guys were looking to make the long pass," Hunter said. "We told them that we were OK and to just relax."
Notes: Trinity won the Spirit Award, given to the school whose fans and cheerleaders showed the best spirit at the tournament.
Trinity 13 22 34 48
New Town 19 43 49 59
T: Isiah Binstock 12, Dylan Fridrich 8, Austin Gawryluk 6, Jacob Volk 6, Christian Olson 5, Alex Klug 4, Mason Schiff 3, Andrew Klein 2, Jesse Kubik 2.
NT: Mike Young Bird 23, Jeremiah Wells 13, Alex Baker 12, David Miranda 7, Preston Smith 4.
3-pointers: T 1 (Olson 1), NT 3 (Wells 2, Miranda 1). Free throws: T 11-16, NT 4-6. Total fouls: T 12, NT 12. Fouled out: Schiff. Rebounds: T 40 (Binstock 8), NT 26 (Smith 7). Assists: T 7 (Fridrich 2), NT 8 (Miranda 4). Turnovers: T 19, NT 20.
DeVillers is a sports reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.