Dickinson Trinity seniors Sickler, Soehren leading Titans to top of Region 7
There's something to be said for being the hot team at the right time. The Dickinson Trinity girls basketball team unquestionably fits the bill as a winner of eight straight games and the only undefeated team in Region 7. The Titans (17-3 overall...
There’s something to be said for being the hot team at the right time.
The Dickinson Trinity girls basketball team unquestionably fits the bill as a winner of eight straight games and the only undefeated team in Region 7.
The Titans (17-3 overall) put their 11-0 region record on the line at 7 p.m. today against Glen Ullin-Hebron at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center, a game that coincides with senior night festivities.
Trinity has positioned itself this well at this point of the regular season thanks in large part to those very seniors - guards Madi Jahner and Kennedy Keator, and posts Alanna Sickler and Brianna Soehren.
“They’ve done so much to help me establish a program here that I think we can sustain,” said Titans head coach Carter Fong. “They’re all the first kids rooting for their teammates when they come out of the game. They’re very unselfish, and I’m very grateful for that.”
Sickler and Soehren, in particular, have performed at a level this season that few teams in Region 7 have been able to match.
It helps, of course, that the duo’s height is also difficult to contend with. In 20 games this year, the 5-foot-10 Sickler has averaged 15.8 points on 43 percent shooting with 9.1 rebounds, and the 6-foot Soehren has averaged 11.2 points on 50 percent shooting and 8.6 boards.
“One thing we have seen is teams have thrown a lot of defensive looks at us, whether it’s a man-to-man or some type of zone,” Fong said. “But I think (Sickler and Soehren) put other teams in a position to pick their poison. We usually free up one, if not two, to have a big night.”
Sickler has scored 10 or more points in 18 games this year, including five 20-plus nights, and nine double-doubles. Soehren has reached double figures in scoring in 15 games while posting three double-doubles.
“Alanna and I, we’ve been together for so long,” Soehren said. “We know how each other work. We know how each of us play our game. We know strengths and weaknesses, and we play off of that.”
Combined, they’ve helped carry the Titans when they needed it most.
Keator suffered an ACL injury in the team’s fourth game of the season, a win against New Town. Up until then, Keator had averaged 18.3 points per game, and Fong asked each player on the team to step up her performance.
“After practice, (Fong) went up to each person individually,” Sickler said, “and he said what he saw in each person and talked about their potential. … He expected me to put up 20 points a night, and I said it was doable. I’m glad that he sees that in me so that I can see that in myself.”
Keator has since returned to the floor, but the posts are still carrying the load.
“They both just understand that they’re very gifted and leaders of the team,” Fong said, “and it’s not selfish for them to take a high volume of shots. We need them to score and our team relies on that.
“They complement each other very well. They understand as well as anyone that they’re partially responsible for the success of the other. We almost always give the hardest post defensive assignment to Brianna, and that frees up Alanna to be a help defender and expend more energy on the offensive end.”
Sickler said a lot of her and Soehren’s success in the post is due to the team’s guards, namely Jahner and Keator.
“Madi can make a full-court pass to us, and we wouldn’t get those layups if it weren’t for the guards,” Sickler said. “They get down the court so we can run more in transition. They make it so we can be successful.”
All told, Sickler and Soehren will join Keator and Jahner - who are averaging 10 and 5.2 points per game, respectively - to defend their home court one final time tonight before embarking on a journey for a second consecutive Region 7 championship.
The quartet went through a similarly emotional night during volleyball season, but basketball might be more memorable.
“We’ve been playing basketball a lot longer (than volleyball), since elementary school,” Soehren said. “There are more emotions there because it’s a game we grew up playing together. The game is what got us to be friends in the first place.”