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Spark at the start: Trinity opens District 14 play with win over Hazen

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity junior Jillian Stockert, left, goes up for a shot in the post against Hazen sophomore Dakota Wood on Thursday during a District 14 girls basketball game at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

Coaches preach strong starts and solid finishes.

The Dickinson Trinity girls basketball team had the strong start, but not a solid finish.

The Titans outscored Hazen by a combined 20 points in the first and third quarters en route to a 55-42 win in both teams' District 14 opener on Thursday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

"I didn't think that we finished the second quarter very well," Trinity head coach Alysia Barman said. "We talked at halftime about how important it is to start and finish quarters. We have to be able to finish a game. I thought our first three quarters we did a good job, but we have to step up in the fourth quarter."

The finish wasn't exactly an area the Titans (7-4, 1-0 District 14) could hang their hats on. Trinity took a 51-29 lead going into the fourth quarter and remained scoreless until 2 minutes, 12 seconds left in the game. Trinity freshman center Brianna Soehren scored on a putback layup.

"We needed to do more offensive rebounding and go harder at the boards," Trinity freshman forward Alanna Sickler said. "We struggled in the fourth quarter on that."

Trinity was able to jump out to a 19-9 lead after the first quarter as Sickler scored eight points in the opening frame. Sickler, who added to the varsity roster this month, finished with 11 points. Soehren supplied six.

"Alanna has really stepped up," Barman said. "She has some really nice length that she uses well. One of the biggest things with Alanna is she attacks the boards so hard and she creates a lot of her own shots."

Sickler's eight points to open the game helped bridge the gap for Katelyn Grinsteinner.

The junior guard and team leader scored 10 points in the first half and ended with a game-high 14. Grinsteinner struggled in the first quarter, but lit up the scoreboard in the second quarter. She was an uncharacteristic 0 of 5 from the free-throw line.

Nonetheless, Grinsteinner's biggest presence on the court came on the defensive end, where she guarded Hazen leading scorer Ashton Carter. The junior guard came into the game averaging 12 points per game and Grinsteinner held her to four, all of which came at the free-throw line.

"Night in and night out, we ask Katelyn to guard the other team's best player," Barman said. "She's an excellent defender. It's was nice to see her go off in that second quarter. She has so many tools offensively."

Trinity built a comfortable 35-23 lead going into halftime and the third quarter was a defensive punctuation on the night. The Titans held Hazen to six points in the quarter, while their offense scored 16 points.

"We wanted to come out in the third quarter and just clean things up," Hazen head coach John Ward said. "We had some turnovers. We weren't reversing the ball well and we were going into their trap. Trinity does a nice job and they did a nice defensive job tonight."

In the fourth quarter, however, the Bison (4-4, 0-1 District 14) finally got rolling on offense. But it was a little too late. Trinity scored just four points in the final frame, while Hazen scored 13.

Trinity's Rachel Jahner and Kennedy Keator each supplied six points, while Gretchen Weir, Jillian Stockert and Madison Jahner all had four.

Dakota Wood led the Bison with 10 points, while Rachel Hansana added seven and Mariya Schneider supplied six.

The Titans are on a four-game win streak and have a week off before traveling to Hebron-Glen Ullin for a district game at 6 p.m. next Thursday.

"(Winning four games in a row) we have some confidence," Sickler said. "We have a whole week off where we can just practice to make each other better."

Hazen 9 23 29 42

Trinity 19 35 51 55

H: Dakota Wood 10, Rachel Hansana 7, Krista Slaubaugh 6, Mariya Schneider 6, Ashton Carter 4, Kendra Slaubaugh 3, Sadie Bolton 3, Hannah Zimmerman 2, Madison Leintz 1.

T: Katelyn Grinsteinner 14, Alanna Sickler 11, Brianna Soehren 6, Kennedy Keator 6, Rachel Jahner 6, Madison Jahner 4, Jillian Stockert 4, Gretchen Weir 4.

3-pointers: H 1 (Wood 1), T 1 (R. Jahner 1). Free throws: H 13-24, T 8-24. Total fouls: H 17, T 23. Fouled out: T, R. Jahner. Technical fouls: H, coach. Rebounds: H 34 (Slaubaugh 4), T 37 (Soehren 5). Assists: H 5 (tied with five), T 13 (Jahner 5). Steals: H 8 (Hansana 3), T 12 (Jahner 4). Blocks: H 0, T 2 (Sickler 1, Grinsteinner 1). Turnovers: H 21, T 17. Records: H 4-4 (0-1 District 14), T 7-4 (1-0 District 14).