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Fourth quarter eruption powers Trinity past Hazen

The Titans outscored the Bison 23-11 in the final quarter to earn themselves a big regional victory.

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Trinity sophomore guard Luke Shobe (10) and senior guard Aiden Haich (30) react after Haich hits a shot to give the Titans a 53-48 lead with under a minute to play in the second half against Hazen on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

DICKINSON — At the end of the third quarter, the score was 39-36 in favor of Hazen. At this point in the contest, neither team had maintained more than a three-point advantage. The Titans and Bison went shot for shot for most of the game.

But someone had to emerge a winner. The separation came in the closing minutes of the game.

Trinity sophomore forward Jace Kovash knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Titans a 51-48 lead with 1:54 remaining. After Hazen missed their shot on the other end, Trinity senior guard Aiden Haich was fouled going up for a layup, which fell through the net, making it 53-48.

He missed the free throw, but the Titans were there to collect the offensive rebound. It ended up in sophomore guard Jake Shobe’s hands and he was fouled.

The Bison would not put up any more points as the Titans won 59-50 Thursday night at Trinity High School, capping off a 23-point fourth quarter.

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Trinity sophomore guard Jake Shobe (24) surveys the court before driving to the paint in the second half against Hazen on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

“We just executed, that was the difference,” Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. “We talked about making the simple play. In the first half we tried to make the perfect play rather than the simple play. We got into the second half, on both ends of the floor, and we did a good job of communicating."

Shobe had ten of his 24 points in the final quarter, going 6-for-7 from the free-throw line. He was consistently finding his way into the paint, or grabbing offensive rebounds and getting fouled, to lead Trinity’s offensive charge in the late stages. They outscored the Bison 23-11 in the fourth quarter.

Both offenses, with Trinity’s sharing of the ball and Hazen’s perimeter scoring, were humming all night. The Bison had multiple players with the ability to create their own shot, which led to plenty of drive and kick opportunities for shooters from distance.

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Trinity senior forward Drew Kovash (22) drives into the paint in the first half against Hazen on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

They had six three-pointers, three coming from senior guard Mason Wick. Only four players for the Bison scored, led by sophomore guard Tyson Wick with 20.

“We knew coming in they’re a team that likes to shoot the three-point shot and we said we have to do something to take away one of their strengths,” Grinsteinner said. “They have to be able to beat us on the bounce. If they make a 15-footer, so be it. We can give up 19 or 9. A couple times Mason Wick stepped into shots from 24 or 25 feet and buried them.”

Where the Titans found success was in their ball movement and the distribution of scoring. Shobe got his looks, but six other players were able to get on the board, and in critical times. Haich had eight points, all coming in the second half.

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Trinity senior forward Trenten Bertelsen (45) signals for the ball in the post in the first half against Hazen on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

“We told our kids it's all about mental toughness,” Grinsteinner said. “This time of the year, physically everybody can do it, it’s the mental part of the game that separates teams and I thought our kids showed a lot of mental toughness, especially in that fourth quarter.”

That mental toughness was needed in a close game against the top team in Region 7. Hazen (9-2) could’ve clinched the top seed in the postseason tournament with a win. Instead, they possibly fell out of the running for the top spot with both Trinity (8-1) and Beulah (8-1) ahead of them in the loss column.

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Trinity sophomore forward Jace Kovash (35) tries to keep the ball in play in the second half against Hazen on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

But the Titans won’t get caught looking ahead.

“We got this one, now we have a much bigger game on Saturday with Heart River,” Grinsteinner said. “If we want to have an opportunity to be number two and maybe even a chance at number one if Beulah slips up you have to run the table. We know the next game is the biggest one. It doesn’t matter what color jersey, what the name of the team is, the next game is the next biggest one and we approach it that way.”

After their game against Heart River on Saturday, Feb. 19, they’ll finish out their season at Killdeer on Feb. 25.

BOX SCORE

Q1Q2Q3Q4F
Hazen1012171150
Trinity1015112359

TRINITY: Jake Shobe 24, Aiden Haich 8, Trever Jassek 6, Trenten Bertelsen, Jace Kovash, Luke Shobe 5, Drew Kovash 4, Ty Praus 2
HAZEN: Tyson Wick 20, Talan Batke 14, Mason Wick 13, Tah’tae Sage 3

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Trinity sophomore guard Jake Shobe (24) looks to pass out of the post in the first half against Hazen on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Trinity High School.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

Race Archibald is a former sports reporter with The Dickinson Press.
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