REGION 7 TOURNAMENT: Jahner hits 10 3-pointers as Titans rally to defeat Bulldogs
Dickinson Trinity junior guard Rachel Jahner described herself as focused Tuesday night.
Locked in was more like it.
Jahner tied a unofficial North Dakota high school state record for 3-pointers in a girls basketball game by making 10 -- including four big ones in the fourth quarter -- and scored a season-high 33 points as the Titans rallied to defeat Bowman County 61-53 in the semifinals of the Region 7 Tournament at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
Jahner, who is 5-foot-5, scored 15 of her points in the fourth quarter and was 10 of 16 from 3-point range. She attempted just three shots inside the arc, making one.
"I was just so focused on each possession," Jahner said. "I wanted to get a stop or get a good shot off, and that's what really helped me staying focused and mentally into the game."
According to the Miss Hoopster basketball magazine, Jenny Strand had 10 3-pointers in a game for Minot Our Redeemer's in 2003. The magazine lists Strand as having made the most 3-pointers in a single game.
The Titans were down 47-40 after Bowman County junior Morgan Woodley made a 3-pointer just 12 seconds into the fourth quarter. It was the last field goal the Bulldogs would get until the final minute.
Trinity took the lead for good on Jahner's ninth 3-pointer, a wide-open look from the right corner to put her team ahead 53-51 with 2 minutes, 39 seconds remaining. She followed up 40 seconds later with the backbreaker and record-tying 10th trey from the left wing.
Jahner made two 3-pointers in each of the first three quarters before exploding in the fourth.
"Rachel does, night in and night out, so much for us," Trinity head coach Alysia Barman said. "Not often times does she receive as much recognition as she deserves. We see huge numbers out of her every night and it's almost like it's an expectation. But, every night she does that. Tonight, she was feeling it and it was fun to watch."
Despite trailing almost the entire game until Jahner's go-ahead 3-pointer, the Titans (18-5) didn't let the Bulldogs (15-8) out of their sights.
Bowman County never led by double digits and when it seemed poised to stretch its lead, Trinity always had an answer.
After taking a 33-29 halftime lead, the Bulldogs went up 42-34 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. But a Jahner 3-pointer and some free throws in the final minute helped draw the Titans back within four, 44-40, going into the fourth.
The Titans were difficult to contain in the fourth quarter, as ball movement and switches helped free up Jahner.
"The girls did a really good job moving and we always found the open man," Jahner said.
Her only two-point shot of the game, a running jumper from the right block, cut Bowman County's lead to 49-47 with 4 minutes remaining and sparked a 13-2 Trinity run -- during which Jahner scored the eight points -- that sealed the game.
"We didn't make adjustments quickly enough," Bulldogs head coach Pam Fisher said. "Trying to match up on Rachel Jahner, we just let her go. We didn't make the adjustments when she started to hit. We just let her be."
Jahner made more than half of Trinity's shots and all of their 3-pointers as the team went 21 of 49 (43 percent) despite going 9 of 26 (35 percent) from the free-throw line.
Freshman Brianna Soehren added six points and 11 rebounds and junior Katelyn Grinsteinner had five points, eight assists and four rebounds for the Titans.
Woodley scored 17 points and Brittany Hansey had 13 points to lead the Bulldogs, who were 19 of 51 (37 percent) from the field.
Trinity, which has no seniors on its roster and only juniors and freshmen on its roster, now faces Beach for the first time in a region championship game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Buccaneers are going for their fourth consecutive title and Class B state tournament appearance.
"I think that this group has just come a long ways," Barman said. "It shows how dedicated our kids are in practice every day. We're excited that we're here, but we're ready for Thursday night. We're not just satisfied being in the championship game. We have some things we want to go out and prove to ourselves and we're excited about our entire group of girls that we have."
BC 15 33 44 53
Trinity 12 29 40 61
BC: Morgan Woodley 17, Brittany Hansey 13, Kaylee Heinrich 6, Kit Miller 6, Haley Sabe 5, Ariana Zook 3, Justyce Duffield 2, Kaitlyn Dix 1.
T: Rachel Jahner 33, Brianna Soehren 6, Katelyn Grinsteinner 5, Alana Sickler 4, Jillian Stockert 4, Madison Jahner 3, Kennedy Keator 3, Gretchen Weir 3.
3-pointers: BC 2 (Sabe 1, Woodley 1), T 10 (Jahner 10). Free throws: BC 13-20, T 9-26. Total fouls: BC 21, T 17. Fouled out: BC, Miller. Rebounds: BC 29 (Heinrich 6), T 45 (Soehren 11). Assists: BC 17 (Heinrich 4), T 16 (Grinsteinner 8). Steals: BC 12 (Hansey 4), T 9 (three with 2). Blocks: BC 1 (Miller), BC 6 (Weir 2). Turnovers: BC 14, T 17. Records: BC 15-8, T 18-5.