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Tians rally, defeat Night Hawks: Dickinson Trinity uses strong 2nd half to top Hettinger-Scranton

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity sophomore forward Brianna Soehren, middle, shoots a layup against Hettinger-Scranton during a quarterfinals game of the Region 7 Tournament on Monday at DHS gymnasium. Soehren finished with a team-high 13 points.

From the opening tipoff to the final basket of the first half, the Dickinson Trinity girls basketball team were out of sync.

After halftime, the Titans didn’t have any problem finding the bottom of the basket.

Trinity used the second half rush to defeat Hettinger-Scranton 49-37 during the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament on Monday at DHS gymnasium.

“I thought especially in the second quarter we quit attacking,” Trinity head coach Alysia Barman said about scoring five points in the second quarter. “We weren’t doing a lot of little things right. We were running the offense way too far away from the hoop. We didn’t want to push the ball for some reason.

“Hettinger-Scranton did a great job of defending us. It is good to have the first one out of the way.”

The Titans (18-4) were of 10 of 26 (39 percent) from the field in the second half. It was an increase of 15 percent from the first half. The Titans outscored the Night Hawks 30-15 in the second half.

“It was really tough,” said Dickinson Trinity senior guard Rachel Jahner, who finished 11 points including three 3-pointers. “They came out hot right away and they were making everything. We came out a little slow. The nerves went away and then we were OK.”

Entering the game, the Titans could have had a handful of distractions.

A fire on March 3 forced the Titans out of the Knights of Columbus Activities Center and Trinity High School closed its doors for the remainder of the year.

The Titans practiced at Scott Gymnasium the past week and the Region 7 Tournament was moved to DHS gymnasium.

Yet, Jahner said the team maintained its focus from day one.

“Over the last week, we talked a lot about staying mentally focused and we got together as team every day to make sure we were on the same page,” she said. “We got out nerves out of the way and we are ready to play basketball now.”

After the first quarter, the Night Hawks (11-12) held a 15-14 lead. Hettinger-Scranton extended its lead to three, 22-19, at halftime.

Kaitlin Reitz, who supplied eight first-quarter points, netted the final field goal in the opening 8 minutes. Reitz finished with a team-high 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. Hettinger-Scranton senior Cassie Holt added 11 points, 5 rebounds and two steals.

“Kaitlin is a whale of a player,” Hettinger-Scranton head coach Kelly Pierce said. “She’s been our leader and our starting point guard for the last three years. I could just tell she was ready. For the last month of the season, she’s been playing in a stress fracture in her foot. She’s been getting healthier and healthier. She was a little quicker and faster off the dribble.

“Cassie has been our defensive MVP for the two years. We can have her guard their best point guard and have her slide in and score in the post.”

Despite shooting 31 percent from the field, the Titans finished with three players in double figures. Brianna Soehren came off the bench to score a team-high 13 points. Kennedy Keator added 10 points and five rebounds. Alanna Sickler came off the bench to grab a game-high 10 rebounds.

Trinity senior Katelyn Grinsteinner added eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. However, the shot that sparked the Titans was a 3-pointer from Madison Jahner with 5 seconds left before halftime.

“It was definitely great that (Madison Jahner) hit that shot at the end,” Rachel Jahner said. “That gave us a lot of momentum going into halftime. We had to stay focus and play hard in every possession.”

The Titans will play Hazen in the semifinals of the Region 7 Tournament at 7:30 p.m. today.

“We have to make sure we understand where we are supposed to be and our positions,” Barman said.

HS 15 22 32 37

Trinity 14 19 31 49

HS: Kaitlin Reitz 13, Cassie Holt 11, Kinsey Jahner 6, Casey Joppa 3, Nicole Weaver 2, Brooke Slater 2.

T: Brianna Soehren 13, Rachel Jahner 11, Kennedy Keator 10, Katelyn Grinsteinner 8, Madison Jahner 3, Alanna Sickler 3, Jillian Stockert 1.

3-pointers: HS 3 (Joppa 1, K. Jahner 1, Holt 1), T 5 (R. Jahner 3, M. Jahner 1, Keator 1). Free throws: HS 4-8, T 12-19. Total fouls: HS 17, T 10. Rebounds: HS 21 (K. Jahner 5, Weaver 5), T 43 (Sickler 10). Assists: HS 7 (Reitz 3), T 11 (Grinsteinner 4). Steals: HS 18 (two tied with two), T 13 (Grinsteinner 4). Blocks: HS 2, T 2. Turnovers: HS 14, T 18. Records: HS 18-4, T 11-12.