Titans take home championship in thrilling 1-point finale win

Tournament hosts triumphant in 51st Annual Roughrider tourney, narrowly defeat Bowman County

Team photo. Trinity Titans defeat Bowman County in the Roughrider Tournament finals by a one-point margin on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — On New Year's Eve, the Dickinson Trinity Titans got their revenge and emerged as champions of the 51st Annual Roughrider Basketball Tournament, defeating the Bowman County Bulldogs in a nail-biting final game with a score of 50-49. The Titans, the host team, lost in last year’s finals against the Bulldogs, but the 2022 finale would prove to be a highly competitive matchup that kept spectators on the edge of their seats until the very end.

The Titans and Bulldogs battled from start to finish, with both teams fighting tooth and nail to hoist the trophy. The lead see-sawed back and forth throughout the game, with neither team able to pull ahead by more than four points. In the final minute of the game, the Titans managed to surpass the Bulldogs' three-point lead, thanks in part to Cade Fitterer's impressive spin move past his defender to establish an open shot inside the paint.

As the final seconds ticked away in the finale, Trinity knew they had to give it their all against the formidable Bowman County Bulldogs, who entered the tourney ranked eighth in the state by the NDAPSSA Class B media polls.

“Bowman County forced us to really compete our tails off,” Greg Grinsteinner, Titans’ head coach, said. “They were making plays like crazy and a lot of it was simple basketball plays and it's kind of funny that it came down to simple basketball plays like making free-throws and making a play at the end.”

Aiden Thompson (14) moving the ball mid court under pressure.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

The Bulldogs may have had the upper hand in rebounds, pulling down 32 boards to the Titans' 26, and they may have shot over 50% from the field, but the Titans' defense and free-throw shooting proved to be the decisive factors in the game. The Titans were relentless on defense, harassing the Bulldogs and denying them scoring opportunities. They also capitalized on the Bulldogs' mistakes, racking up 10 steals and scoring 22 points off turnovers.


The Titans' victory was a true team effort, with multiple players stepping up to make valuable contributions. Jake Shobe led the way with 22 points and six rebounds, while Jace Kovash and Ty Dassinger also made key contributions. Shobe and Kovash both hit timely three-pointers, while Dassinger was perfect from the free throw line, converting all four of his attempts.

Trinity Titans' Jake Shobe (24) going for a layup.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

“I like our bench. I like how our kids have come in and given us good minutes,” Grinsteinner said of his team’s performance. “We have had a lot of growth in this team, a lot of growth ahead of us. Just a matter of keeping things in perspective.”

The Bowman County Bulldogs are a formidable team that excels at precise passing to create scoring opportunities. Their ability to find open lanes to the basket and set up shooters for open looks makes them tough to defend..

The Duffield brothers powered the Bulldogs' offense, with Bishop Duffield leading the way with 24 points. He was automatic from long range and also converted a number of shots from inside the paint. Bohden Duffield almost recorded a double-double, finishing with 11 points and eight rebounds, six of which were on the defensive end.

Bishop Duffield with a jumper inside the paint.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Despite shooting an impressive 53.5% from the field overall, the Bulldogs struggled from beyond the arc and the free throw line, hitting just 16.7% and 20% respectively. Both teams had a pair of double-digit scorers.

“I think they make each other better, they step onto the court and they are going to challenge each other and you know that they have good ball skills, they have good offensive skills and a good IQ for the game and you can see in both sets of twins,” Grinsteinner said of the Shobe and Duffield brothers. “But it can't just come down to those guys, you have to have the role players coming in and making different plays and I thought both teams had different guys making plays on both ends at different times. That is why the score was the way it was in this one.”

Trinity not only won the entire tournament, but also clinched the KDIX Free Throw Trophy — finishing with the strongest free-throw average in the tourney, going 72%.

Trinity Titans defeat Bowman County in the Roughrider Tournament finals by a one-point margin on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

For the Dickinson Trinity Titans, Jake Shobe led the way with 22 points, while Jace Kovash and Cade Fitterer added 10 and 8 points, respectively. Ty Dassinger chipped in 4 points, and Thomas Jacobs and Anthony Spradley both scored 3 points.


The Bowman County Bulldogs were led by Bishop Duffield's game-high 24 points, with Bohden Duffield contributing 11 points and Kirkland Meschke adding 6 points. Roman Fossum scored 4 points, and Aiden Thompson and Nathan Dix both scored 2 points.

The All-Tournament Team included Trey Swanson from Beach; Bishop Duffield and Bohden Duffield from Bowman County; Cade Fitterer, Jace Kovash and Jake Shobe from Dickinson Trinity; Austin Buckman and Cade Wyant from Heart River; Maddox Pierce from Hettinger-Scranton; Own Schleppenbach and Redsky Starr from Killdeer; and Tallen Binstock from New England.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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