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New season, new roles for Trinity Titans boys basketball

Dickinson Trinity senior guard Benson Kramer has told his head coach Gregg Grinsteinner that he wants to be tasked with guarding the opposing team's best player this season. A request like that makes Grinsteinner recognize his players are already...

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Trinity junior forward Shawn Stoltz looks to pass the basketball in a game at South Heart High School Jan. 23. (Press File Photo)

Dickinson Trinity senior guard Benson Kramer has told his head coach Gregg Grinsteinner that he wants to be tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best player this season.
A request like that makes Grinsteinner recognize his players are already embracing their responsibilities.
“That’s the thing I like about this group. They know what their roles are,” Grinsteinner said. “If they go out and execute those roles, it makes my job a lot easier. Benson Kramer has all kinds of basketball IQ, and the kid has gotten a lot stronger and a lot bigger, but we don’t expect Benson to go out and get 10 points a game. We expect him to go out and guard well. If he gets five, six points a game, that’s gravy for us.”
Grinsteinner hopes for extra gravy all season.
The Titans return seven players, including three starters, from a team that lost to New England in the Region 7 championship last year.
For the Titans to return to that point and extend their season into the state tournament, those players will be expected to step up in each of their roles to replace the production of the graduated Joe Mayer and Cole Wilhelmi, both All-Region 7 players last year.
Grinsteinner is confident they will answer the call.
“Our kids are finally finding out that, ‘If I buy into my role, that’s where success happens,’” he said. “They know who our scorers are, but they understand everybody is a big cog in what we want to get done.”
Senior Willy Jahner started at shooting guard last season but will be expected to play more point guard this year while also being an offensive threat.
“We’ve talked that we need 20 points out of him a night, but that doesn’t mean that we need him to score 20 points,” Grinsteinner said. “If he gets seven assists and scores six points, that’s 20 points. He’s going to be the catalyst for everything we do offensively.”
Brock Messer, a 6-foot-5 senior, and 6-foot-4 junior Shawn Stoltz give the Titans strength in the paint on both ends of the floor.
Lucas Jones was the team’s sixth man last year when he was healthy, and Kendall Jones will be a nice second point guard for the Titans this season.
Grinsteinner said 6-foot-4 senior Zach Kubas will also be called on after showing a lot of improvement in his game.
“The kid is just a monster. He’s gotten so much better with his finesse game,” Grinsteinner said. “He was a bull in a China cabinet before, and now he’s so much better with his finesse game. I can say that with Brock too. Both those guys are going to create mismatches because of their size.”
Everybody playing within themselves leads Grinsteinner to believe that the Titans can work up another special season. The rest of Region 7 is surely going to make that more difficult, though.
“You look at who you have to guard in this region,” Grinsteinner said, as he mentioned Hettinger-Scranton senior Hayden Sadowsky as a possible Mr. Basketball candidate, as well as the talent of other athletes returning at Hettinger-Scranton, Beulah and Heart River. “That makes for a fun region coming back this year.”

Dickinson Trinity Titans
Head coach: Gregg Grinsteinner (22nd season)
Last year: 16-8, lost to New England in Region 7 Championship game
Returners: Willy Jahner, Sr., G; Brock Messer, Sr., F; Zach Kubas, Sr., F; Benson Kramer, Sr., F; Shawn Stoltz, Jr., F; Lucas Jones, Jr., G; Kendall Jones, Jr., G.

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