Defense paves way for Trinity to reach Region 7 semifinals
The Titans held Heart River to their worst offensive output of the season in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 tournament.
The Trinity boys' basketball team picked the right time to have their best defensive game of the season.
All season long, the Titans’ defense has been stout, holding opponents to 41 points per game before their battle against Heart River Monday night. In fact, Trinity held the Cougars to 26 and 40 points in their two regular season games, both wins for the Titans.
They saved their best defensive effort against No. 7 seed Heart River for last as they shut down the Cougars completely in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 tournament, coming away with a 44-21 win to advance to the next round.
Heart River were held to under 25 percent shooting (9-38) from the field, including a 1-of-16 effort from three point range.
They didn’t score in double figures in any quarter. Both senior guards Braden Obrigewitch (0-8) and Cayden Kling (1-9) missed eight shots. Senior forward Tarence Dillinger was their leading scorer with eight.
“We defended them (well),” Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. “We got under Obrigewitch. He didn’t get a lot of good looks. The guys we had guarding him did a heck of a job and they had a hard time running their offense. That was pretty evident.”
Trinity was up 23-10 at halftime with the Cougars running out of options on offense. There was very little room to operate and the open looks they did get on the perimeter weren’t falling.
Meanwhile for the Titans’ offense, it wasn’t the most impressive day at the office, but they got the job done. Sophomore guard Jake Shobe did what he normally does in leading Trinity in scoring with 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Fellow sophomore, forward Cade Fitterer, had ten points off the bench.
They did a great job of sharing the ball, registering 16 assists on 20 made field goals. Six different players had multiple assists.
The only concern Grinsteinner had about his group was how they would come out of the gates after having over a week off.
“There’s nerves,” Grinsteinner said. “They’re 15, 16, 17 years old, you don’t know how they’re going to react. I thought our kids were a little too amped up for this game. Once we started to relax a little bit, our defense kept us in the game, right after halftime our offense started to flow.”
They quickly extended their lead 31-12 in the third quarter and ended it with a 40-14 lead, capped off by a 3-pointer from senior guard Aiden Haich.
Going this far in the tournament has become automatic for the No. 2 seeded Titans in recent memory. The last time Trinity failed to reach the semifinals of the Region 7 tournament was in 2008.
For the third time in the last four years, they’ll meet up with #3 Hazen in the semifinals Tuesday night, looking to make their eighth straight championship game.
“The stakes get higher, but it’s about making the simple plays,” Grinsteinner said about managing their nerves. “We had a lot of uncharacteristic turnovers…throw a bounce pass to the post guy. It’s simple. Go up inside strong. Go off two feet. Take a good shot, don’t change your shot, do what’s gotten you here.”
TRINITY: Jake Shobe 18, Cade Fitterer 10, Trenten Bertelsen 6, Aiden Haich 5, Jace Kovash 3, Drew Kovash 2
HEART RIVER: Tarence Dillinger 8, Austin Buckman 5, Beaudon Krueger 4, Cayden Kling, Jordan Koppinger 2