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Titans roll Bison: Trinity plays complete game to beat Hazen in Region 7 semifinals

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson Trinity senior guard Rachel Jahner, right, dribbles against Hazen sophomore forward Krista Slaubaugh during a Region 7 Tournament on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. The Titans defeated the Bison 64-35 as Jahner finished with a 14 points, which included four 3-pointers.

The Dickinson Trinity girls basketball team is out for revenge.

For the second year in a row, the Titans will meet Beach in the Region 7 championship game and hope to come out on the winning end this time.

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No. 2 seed Trinity cruised through its semifinal game with a 64-35 win over No. 3 seed Hazen on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium.

‘We came out with a lot of intensity today and we were playing really well as a team together,” Trinity senior Katelyn Grinsteinner said.

The roaring home crowd clad in red fueled the Titans on the court going on an early 8-0 run in the first 3 minutes, 26 seconds of the game. Its defensive game, which the team prides itself on, never let up and allowed the Bison to score just five points in the remaining first quarter.

The Titans continued to build its lead with a nine-point run in the second quarter, which began on a long 3-pointer from senior guard Rachel Jahner and ended with a 3 by sophomore forward Kennedy Keator.

“We started off a lot faster than we did Monday,” Keator said. “We just got after it right away and I think once we score a few on them it gets our confidence and we just go on a roll.”

Grinsteinner, Jahner and Keator, finished in double digits on the night with 15, 14 and 12 points, respectively. Grinsteinner also had a game-high nine rebounds, three steals and one block.

Trinity came out with more intensity and a stronger first half performance on Tuesday compared to Monday, when it struggled to find the basket against Hettinger-Scranton. The Titans were down 22-19 by the half on Monday, but took a massive 34-19 lead against Hazen and didn’t stop there.

“It just felt like mentality wise we were back to ourselves and I think having the school routine is important for us, where we’re getting out of bed and we’re doing something all day,” Trinity head coach Alysia Barman said. “I was real pleased with our efforts tonight.”

Hazen head coach John Ward said coming into the game, he knew the team had a tough game on its hands going against a team as talented as Trinity but also proud of his girls.

Junior guard Dakota Wood went 4 of 10 and scored a team-high eight points. She added three rebounds and two steals. Sophomore forward Krista Slaubaugh came off the bench to grab a team-high six rebounds and three points.

“My girls this year have worked hard all year long,” Ward said. “Defensively, we’ve always played well, they come and play hard, they just keep going at it and it’s been fun this year because they attack each practice and the energy they bring.”

In the second half, both teams dropped percentage wise in shooting — Trinity finished 24 of 58 (41 percent) shooting and Hazen at 30 percent (14 of 46) — but Trinity kept rolling forward and expanded its lead.

The game plan going into the game for Trinity was to get back into its normal defensive routine and outrebound Hazen and did so 41-26. The Titans collected 18 offensive rebounds.

“Before the game we really stressed how important it was for us to rebound,” Barman said. “We told them we needed to double them up on the boards and we gave up a couple of offensive rebounds but for the most part the girls did a good job of limiting them to only one possession at a time.”

The tournament will resume Thursday with the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds battling for a trip to the state tournament. Beach has won four-straight Region 7 titles.

Last season, the Buccaneers beat Trinity 55-35 in the championship game. Earlier in the year, Beach topped the Titans 55-54 on Jan. 16. With both teams familiar with each other and entangled in a little rivalry, Grinsteinner said it’s always fun meeting up with Beach.

“They’re a really good team and come out with a lot of intensity and you just need to come mentally prepared and be ready to meet their physicality,” she said.

The Titans and the Buccaneers play for the Region 7 title at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at DHS gymnasium.

“They have some very outstanding basketball players that we’re going to know where they’re at on the floor,” Barman said. “But we think that our defensive pressure, we don’t want to adjust what we do defensively.”

Hazen 5 19 24 34

Trinity 16 34 48 65

H: Dakota Wood 8, Lexie Biffert 6, Mariya Schneider 4, Kendra Salubaugh 3, Krista Slaubaugh 3, Madison Leintz 3, Hannah Zimmerman 2, Raquel Doll 2, Alexus Zuern 2, Kayla Lindquist 2

T: Katelyn Grinsteinner 15, Rachel Jahner 14, Kennedy Keator 12, Brianna Soehren 8, Alanna Sickler 8, Madison Jahner 3, Jordi McNeilly 2, Jillian Stockert 2

3-pointers: H 2 (Biffert, Leintz), T 7 (R. Janher 4, M. Jahner 1, Grinsteinner 1, Keator 1). Free throws: H 5-10, T 9-12. Total fouls: H 9, T 12. Rebounds: H 26 (Krista Slaubaugh 6), T 41 (Grinsteinner 9). Assists: H 6 (Kendra Salubaugh 2), T 18 (Keator 5). Steals: H 13 (Wood 2), T 20 (Grinsteinner, Sickler 3). Blocks: H 1 (Biffert 1), T 1 (Grinsteinner). Turnovers: H 20, T 13. Records: H 14-9, T 19-4.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.