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Roughrider tournament semifinals: Bowman County and Trinity advance to championship game

Trinity and Bowman County have met in the Roughrider tournament championship in each of the last three years.

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Bowman County sophomore Bohden Duffield goes up for a layup in the first half against Beach in the semifinals of the Roughrider tournament at Trinity High School on Thursday, Dec. 16. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

The semifinals of the boys Roughrider basketball tournament took place Thursday night at Trinity High School with a pair of highly competitive games throughout. Bowman County went up against Beach, followed by Trinity taking on Heart River.

Bowman County 57, Beach 51

Bowman County knew they were at a size disadvantage before the ball was tipped. Six-foot-four junior Trey Swanson was going to do his damage down low, it was about how the Bulldogs would offset his play.

One good way would be to lean on their sophomore guard Bohden Duffield, who had another stellar offensive night, putting up 28 to power Bowman County to victory.

“To have a group of guys play in a tournament semifinal against Beach who is a top four team in our region and get a win, that’s a big step forward for our young team,” Walker said.

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Beach junior Trey Swanson reacts after he hits a 3-pointer in the first half against Bowman County in the semifinals of the Roughrider tournament at Trinity High School on Thursday, Dec. 16. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press

The scoreline favored the Buccaneers throughout the game, holding onto the lead for more than two quarters. Bowman County’s first lead came in the third quarter after Duffield hit a 3-pointer to take a 36-35 lead. Beach junior forward Shem Baker responded with a three of his own at the buzzer to end the third quarter to put the Buccaneers up 39-38.

It was a back-and-forth final quarter with Duffield and Beach senior guard Tevin Dietz trading baskets down the stretch.

Tied at 47 with just under two minutes to play, Duffield hit a layup for a two-point lead. On the ensuing possession, with pressure in his face, Dietz turned the ball away in the backcourt, falling into the hands of Bowman County guard Aidan Thompson, who was in position to launch a 3-pointer.

He knocked down the shot and gave the Bulldogs a five-point lead with a minute to play. That proved to be the dagger as a pair of free throws by Duffield and an additional basket by guard Nate Dix officially sank the Buccaneers.

“The play we got from our kids off the bench was the key to the game,” Bowman County head coach Nick Walker said. “We were down a couple of starters, had one go down with an ankle injury in the third quarter. We’re playing guys that played C-squad and JV last year and they’re getting baptized in varsity and survived.”

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Bowman County sophomore Roman Fossum drives to the basket in the first half against Beach in the semifinals of the Roughrider tournament at Trinity High School on Thursday, Dec. 16. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

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Despite Swanson posting a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, Bowman County did just enough to slow him down. Dietz had 17 points. The Bulldogs shot 50 percent in the second half, compared to 36 percent for Beach.

Duffield made ten field goals, three coming from beyond the arc. Thompson finished with 11 points and four rebounds. With the win, Bowman County advanced to the championship game, looking to win the tournament for the first time since 2007.

LEADING SCORERS

Bowman County - Bohden Duffield 28, Aidan Thompson 11, Roman Fossum 6, Sam Andrews 4, Nate Dix, Grant Kees, Carson Massey 2.

Beach - Tevin Dietz 17, Trey Swanson 16, Jonas Oech 8, Shem Baker 5, Dane Farstveet 2, Ray Steiner 1,

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Beach senior Tevin Dietz (11) puts up a floater in the second half against Bowman County in the semifinals of the Roughrider tournament at Trinity High School on Thursday, Dec. 16. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

Trinity 46, Heart River 26

The scoreline wasn’t necessarily indicative of the way the game played out. Early on it was a defensive battle, with only 13 combined points after the first quarter.

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Heart River held a 9-4 lead after the first quarter and 19-18 lead at half. Trinity’s offense struggled to string together possessions, shooting 28 percent in the first half. They were actually more accurate from three-point range (3/10, 30 percent) than they were overall.

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Trinity senior Aiden Haich surveys the court for an open teammate in the second half against Heart River in the semifinals of the Roughrider tournament at Trinity High School on Thursday, Dec. 16. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

“The first two and a half quarters I think we were not playing together,” Trinity head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. “I thought Heart River played with more energy and did more positive little things that we didn’t.”

But while their offense struggled, their defense tightened up in the second half, holding the Cougars to seven points on 14 percent shooting from the floor. The offense finally arrived in the fourth quarter, erupting for 20 points as they booked their ticket in the Roughrider tournament final for the tenth-straight time.

“We talk about how our defense ignites our offense,” Grinsteinner said. “That started to happen. We started guarding better towards the end of the third quarter and fourth quarter and we saw more flow on the offensive end.”

Heart River senior forward Braden Obrigewitch did most of his damage in the first half, getting into the lane with quick feet. His 12 points in the game led the Cougars.

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Heart River senior Braden Obrigewitch (11) is guarded by Trinity sophomore Jace Kovash (35) during the first half in the semifinals of the Roughrider tournament at Trinity High School on Thursday, Dec. 16. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

But like his teammates, he too went cold from the field in the second half and committed some costly turnovers that led to easy baskets for the Titans.

Sophomore guard Jake Shobe didn’t have much trouble getting his offensive game going, knocking down 10-of-17 shots for 21 points. Senior guard Ty Praus was the other Titans’ player in double figures with 11. No one else had more than five points.

“It needs to be (more balanced),” Grinsteinner said. “He’s (Shobe) a great offensive player, there’s no question. We have other good offensive players that we have to be able to (get involved). The balance we were looking for, we have to have better inside-outside balance. We’re not seeing that right now.”

The largest discrepancy on the statsheet was in rebounding, where Trinity won the battle 41-20, 19 coming on the offensive glass. Senior Aiden Haich pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.

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Trinity sophomore Jake Shobe (24) fights through traffic for a basket in the second half against Heart River in the semifinals of the Roughrider tournament at Trinity High School on Thursday, Dec. 16. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

It should be an enticing matchup in the championship game with two stellar sophomore guards, Trinity’s Jake Shobe and Bowman County’s Bohden Duffield, squaring off on Saturday.

LEADING SCORERS

Trinity - Jake Shobe 21, Ty Praus 11, Aiden Haich 5, Cade Fitterer 4, Drew Kovash 2.

Heart River - Braden Obrigewitch 12, Tarence Dillinger 7, Austin Buckman 5, Cayden Kling 2.

ROUGHRIDER TOURNAMENT SATURDAY SCHEDULE (MST)

Seventh place game - Hettinger-Scranton vs Richardton-Taylor, 12:00 p.m.

Fifth place game - Killdeer vs New England, 1:30 p.m.

Third place game - Heart River vs Beach, 3:00 p.m.

Championship game - Trinity vs Bowman County, 4:30 p.m.

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