Dickinson Trinity ends Buccaneers’ run to reach Region 7 title game

For the first time since the 2009 season, the Region 7 Tournament will have a new champion. The five-year run of consecutive Region 7 titles for the Beach girls basketball team is over. No. 10-ranked and top-seeded Dickinson Trinity handled the N...

Alanna Sickler
Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity junior forward Alanna Sickler, middle, battles for possession against Beach’s Brooklynn Zachmann, left, and Ashlynn Dietz during a Region 7 semifinal game on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

For the first time since the 2009 season, the Region 7 Tournament will have a new champion.
The five-year run of consecutive Region 7 titles for the Beach girls basketball team is over.
No. 10-ranked and top-seeded Dickinson Trinity handled the No. 4 seed Buccaneers 59-34 on Tuesday in the tournament semifinals at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“The community of Beach should be very proud of this particular team, how hard they battled and fought throughout the year,” Trinity head coach Carter Fong said. “It took every ounce our effort to beat them tonight. They should be very proud of them.”
Though it’s an end of an era for Beach, head coach Bob Waldal is proud of the team’s resiliency throughout the season.
Beach (15-9) was forced to play without two key contributors, senior forward Lateasha Lechler and freshman guard-forward Taryn Hoffer.
“I love this team,” Waldal said. “They play hard. I’ve been proud of them the whole year. They are really a joy to coach. They have great personality. They aren’t a boring group by any means and they battle hard.”
Though Beach ended Trinity's hopes of reaching the state tournament for the past two years, Trinity’s win against the Buccaneers wasn’t its only goal for the Region 7 Tournament.
Trinity junior forward Brianna Soehren said the goal isn’t complete yet.
“The tournament isn't over,” said Soehren, who finished with eight points and seven rebounds. “That wasn’t our main goal, but it was definitely a priority (on Tuesday.)”
After the first quarter, Trinity held an 11-4 lead. The Titans turned on the jets to take a 30-12 advantage at halftime.
The Titans (18-5) may have had a lead, but they knew it wasn’t safe by any means.
“We knew we couldn’t let down on them, because we knew they were going to come out fighting,” said Trinity junior forward Kennedy Keator, who posted a game-high 21 points.
Trinity outscored the Buccaneers 29-22 in the second half.
The Titans were 23 of 51 (45 percent) from the field. Beach had a tough time finding the basket and shot just 20 percent from the field.
“From the very beginning, we had good looks and good opportunities and we couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” Waldal said. “The lid was on (the basket), but we have to play better defense and we didn’t do that.”
Trinity took its first double-digit lead, 17-6, on a Keator layup. The Titans’ biggest lead of the contest was 25 points on a Keator 3-pointer.
The Titans had eight players in the scoring column. Abby Jones supplied 11 points, which included three 3-pointers, and three assists. Alanna Sickler added nine points and seven rebounds. Madison Jahner had seven rebounds, two steals, two assists and two points.
“I was really proud of our team,” Soehren said. “We all work together. We all look to shoot. We look to drive. We look for the open girl. I’m just really proud of them for that.”
Brooklynn Zachmann led Beach with nine points, three rebounds and two assists. Baili Nielsen added eight points and eight rebounds, and Ashlynn Dietz had six points.
The Titans will play No. 2 seed Hazen for the Region 7 championship at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Beach takes on No. 6 seed Hebron-Glen Ullin for third place at 5 p.m.
“We are taking it one game at time,” Fong said. “The girls have done a good job of that. We need to focus the only opponent that’s in front us. We have one more opponent to prepare for. The girls are trilled right now, but we still have goals left to accomplish.
“Hopefully, we can put together another great effort on Thursday.”

Beach 4 12 28 34
Trinity 11 30 49 59
B: Brooklynn Zachmann 9, Baili Nielsen 8, Ashlynn Dietz 6, Rylee Clarke 5, Abby Wilhelmi 4, Makensie Mattern 2.
T: Kennedy Keator 21, Abby Jones 11, Alanna Sickler 9, Brianna Soehren 8, Emily Spradley 4, Madison Jahner 2, Sami Daniel 2, Jordie McNeilly 2.
3-pointers: B 2 (Zachmann 1, Clarke 1), T 4 (Jones 3, Keator 1). Free throws: B 10-17, T 9-15. Total fouls: B 16, T 15. Rebounds: B 29 (Nielsen 8), T 40 (Jahner 7, Soehren 7, Sickler 7). Assists: B 5 (Zachmann 2, Sofia Muruato 2), T 6 (Jones 3). Steals: B 5 (Zachmann 2), T 10 (Sickler 3, Keator 3). Blocks: B 0, T 1 (Soehren 1). Turnovers: B 15, T 14. Records: B 15-9, T 18-5.

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