ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

DSC_7083.JPG
Trinity sophomore forward Cade Fitterer (42) works in the post in the first half against Heart River on Monday, March 7th at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press
We are part of The Trust Project.

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.

DSC_7190.JPG
Trinity senior guard Aiden Haich (30) looks for an open teammate in the first half against Heart River on Monday, March 7th at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.

DSC_7249.JPG
Heart River junior Austin Buckman (4) dribbles up the court in the second half against Trinity on Monday, March 7th at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

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.”

DSC_7073.JPG
Heart River senior Tarence Dillinger (44) looks to pass out of the post in the first half against Trinity on Monday, March 7th at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.”

DSC_7148.JPG
Trinity senior forward Trever Jassek (34) works against Heart River senior Braden Obrigewitch (11) in the first half on Monday, March 7th at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

BOX SCORE:

Q1Q2Q3Q4F
Heart River644721
Trinity101317444

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

Race Archibald is a Green Bay, Wisconsin native and graduate of Eastern Illinois University. From a young age he loved watching, competing and talking about sports — a passion that lead him to participate in nearly every sport available growing up. Swimming would be his bread and butter, and Archibald continued his athletic career at the Division I level where he earned a degree in journalism. Today he leads a team focused on providing the very best coverage of southwest North Dakota sports.
What to read next
Five of the best DHS baseball and softball athletes were named to the All-State team, including Troy Berg, Isaac Daley, Taya Hopfauf, Reese Hauck and Jenna Decker.
“There used to be this saying, I don't know if it gets used much anymore, but they would call superb players a 'gamer' and that is what Meg is,” said head coach Kendra Schillo.