Dickinson Trinity Titans fall to Four Winds-Minnewaukan Indians in Class B state boys basketball tournament semifinals

MINOT -- Four Winds-Minnewaukan played like it was holding a grudge. Given a second chance at Dickinson Trinity, the only team to hand the Indians a loss this season, Four Winds-Minnewaukan made sure there would be no second loss. At least not ye...

2402473+0319 Trinity 2.jpg
Dickinson Trinity sophomore forward Easton Walby attempts a shot in the lane against Four Winds-Minnewaukan during the Titans’ semifinal game of the Class B state boys basketball tournament on Friday at the Minot State Dome. (Press Photo by Parker Cotton)

MINOT - Four Winds-Minnewaukan played like it was holding a grudge.
Given a second chance at Dickinson Trinity, the only team to hand the Indians a loss this season, Four Winds-Minnewaukan made sure there would be no second loss. At least not yet.
The Indians were in control from the start, and though the Titans made a handful of mini-comebacks, Four Winds-Minnewaukan earned a 60-46 victory in the semifinals of the Class B state boys basketball tournament Friday at the Minot State Dome.
The win advances the top-seeded Indians to the state championship game at 7 p.m. today against Our Redeemer’s. Four Winds-Minnewaukan (25-1) will attempt to improve its runner-up finish from last year against Rugby.
The No. 4-seeded Titans (21-5) will face No. 2-seeded Bismarck Shiloh Christian in today’s third-place game at 5 p.m.
Against Four Winds-Minnewaukan, Trinity committed 18 turnovers - 10 in the first half - which allowed the Indians to put up points going the other way.
“The first three or four minutes, we probably got three or four shots up, and that’s it,” Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. “We needed to match their intensity, and we didn’t quite do that, and it was an uphill battle the whole night.”
The Indians turned in a balanced effort with four players scoring 12 or more points, led by Jason Feather’s 15.
“We got running, and it’s been awhile since we’ve done that,” Indians head coach Rick Smith said. “But we had to get some key defensive stops to do that. We did, and we got out in the big floor and ran.”
Steve RedFox and Koltin ThreeIrons each put up 13 points, and Tronis McKay added 12.
Four Winds-Minnewaukan built a 17-6 lead near the end of the first quarter, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Easton Walby and Lucas Jones cut the deficit to 17-12.
Walby was one of three Titans in double-figures, scoring 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting. Willy Jahner added 10, and Shawn Stoltz recorded his second double-double of the tournament with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
“Watching Stoltz (Thursday), he was a maniac on the boards against Kenmare,” Smith said. “Tonight, we did a pretty good job on him, I think. We made him work for everything, which was really a big key.”
The Titans trimmed the lead to four in the second quarter, but five straight points from ThreeIrons put the Indians ahead 29-20 at halftime.
“It was tough that we weren’t having some shots falling,” Walby said. “We’d let them leak out the back and get a couple transition buckets, and that really slowed our game down.”
Four Winds-Minnewaukan led by 12 after three quarters, and the Titans got within nine several times - and within eight once - in the fourth quarter but wouldn’t get any closer.
“They have five guys on the floor that can handle it and shoot it,” Grinsteinner said. “Our shooters had great looks, and a lot of shots were going in and out all night, and that got frustrating. But the effort was there. I’m proud of our effort.”
Smith credited the Titans for making enough shots to stay close late in the game. However, after allowing 64 points to Trinity in his team’s December loss, 46 was a stark defensive improvement.
“Jahner and Jones are great shooters, and even Stoltz when he wants to pull up,” Smith said. “There were a few times we fell asleep, and they got some open looks. But lucky for us, they missed those first few and couldn’t get into a rhythm. Holding that team under 50 points is a great effort on our part.”
While they won’t be playing in the later game of today’s evening session, the Titans still have a chance to finish their season with a win.
“I told the kids, ‘The sun’s gonna come up tomorrow, and we’re still representing ourselves, our school and our region, so we have to show up,’” Grinsteinner said. “I know this group. They’re going to bounce back. Whatever happens tomorrow, we know we’ll finish in the top four teams in the state, and that’s a pretty good season.”

DT 12 20 31 46
FWM 17 29 43 60
DT: Shawn Stoltz 13, Easton Walby 12, Willy Jahner 10, Lucas Jones 5, Noah Sickler 4, Brock Messer 2.
FWM: Jason Feather 15, Steve RedFox 13, Koltin ThreeIrons 13, Tronis McKay 12, Jaylen LaRock 3, Durell Keo 2, Jacob Yankton 2.
3-pointers: DT 4 (Jahner 2, Jones 1, Walby 1), FWM 4 (Feather 2, RedFox 1, LaRock 1). Free throws: DT 4-9, FWM 10-15. Total fouls: DT 19, FWM 15. Fouled out: DT, Sickler. Rebounds: DT 38 (Stoltz 16), FWM 33 (McKay 8). Assists: DT 4 (two tied with 2), FWM 7 (two tied with 3). Blocks: DT 2 (two tied with 1), FWM 2 (McKay 2). Turnovers: DT 18, FWM 9.

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