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Deichert allows Titans to flow: Dickinson Trinity guard shares scoring responsibilities

A year ago, Dickinson Trinity’s Austin Deichert was the sixth man coming off the bench on a team which finished fifth at the North Dakota Class B boys state basketball tournament.

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One year later, Deichert — a senior guard — is a staple of maturity for a roster made up of mostly underclassmen.

Deichert said the expectations entering the season were a little bit unknown, because he was the only returner with valuable varsity minutes.

“When the season started, there were no expectations from anyone really,” he said. “I didn’t really know what to expect and we’ve come a long ways.”

Though Deichert was the only returner, it was established on the first day of practice there wasn’t going to be any comparisons between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 teams.

“I didn’t want to be some hot shot coming into practice thinking I’m better than everyone, because that’s no true,” Deichert said. “I wanted everyone to calm down and just play basketball. That’s all it is. It’s just basketball at a high level.”

Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner, who won his 400th game on Thursday against Killdeer, said Deichert’s biggest strength is his defensive play.

Deichert has the ability to limit fouls and force opposing teams to commit turnovers. Grinsteinner said the game which stands out in his mind for Deichert this season was on Jan. 3 against where the Trinity senior took four charges against Fargo Oak Grove.

“He’s by far our best defensive player and he’s carried that energy over to everybody else,” Grinsteinner said. “He has expectations of himself. He expanded his role a little bit more this year. He’s one those who is just so pesky. As a coach, you love having him on your team and if he’s on the other team, it’s like ‘OK, we have to get this guy off the ball.’”

The Trinity senior guard prides himself on playing sound defense. Deichert, who averages 7.4 points per game, said defense is the name of the game and the offense will take care of itself.

Trinity has scored 59.2 points per game, while allowing 50.4. The Titans are 12-8 and the No. 2 seed entering the Region 7 Tournament. Trinity plays No. 7-seed Hettinger-Scranton at 6 p.m. Monday.

“Overall, I’m excited where we are at,” Deichert said. “We are in a good position to take care of things and if we play our best basketball, I’m happy with that.”

Sophomore guard Willy Jahner — who comes off the bench to score 10.2 points per game — said Deichert has taught the entire team what it takes to be a varsity basketball player.

“He’s a really good leader and he’s the only one that has played in a regional tournament for us,” Jahner said. “He brings a lot of energy to practice and games.”

Not only is Deichert a leader on defense, but strives to get the entire team involved on offense. Deichert’s selflessness has allowed seven different people lead the Titans in scoring this season.

“That’s what I like about our team,” he said. “You never know who it’s going to be on any given night. No one feels like they have to step up and have to take the game into their own hands. They trust the offense. They trust what coach Grinsteinner has done. We just run the offense and if it’s there we’ll take it. If it isn’t there, we’ll wait for the next opportunity.”