Titans turn tide

For 22 minutes, Beach seemed destined to reach their first region championship game in nearly two decades. The next 10 minutes could go down in Dickinson Trinity's history books as one of the greatest comebacks in school history.

Avery Jirges
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson Trinity senior Avery Jirges, right, puts up a shot over Beach sophomore Brittney Dietz during Tuesday night's Region 7 girls basketball tournament semifinal game at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. The Titans scored 25 unanswered points late in the second half to beat the Buccaneers 60-47.

For 22 minutes, Beach seemed destined to reach their first region championship game in nearly two decades. The next 10 minutes could go down in Dickinson Trinity's history books as one of the greatest comebacks in school history.

Trailing by 12 points with 1:51 to play in the third quarter, Titans sophomore Mackenzie Glasser made an innocent layup that ignited a storm that eventually shipwrecked the District 13 champion Buccaneers.

Over the next 8 minutes, 9 seconds, the Titans scored 25 unanswered points to shock Beach 60-47 in the semifinals of the Region 7 tournament Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

"We wanted it really bad," said Trinity senior Shannon Ernst, who led the Titans' balanced effort with 12 points and made a big 3-pointer to cut Beach's lead early during the run. "We came out with more heart."

Trinity (18-5) scored 11 straight points to end the third quarter, capped by a ridiculous layup from senior Sheyenne Plummer that bounced up off the rim and rolled in after time expired and cut the Buccaneers' lead to 45-44.


Beach was ahead 45-33 when the Titans started their comeback.

"They made some great defensive plays and we got to standing around," Beach coach Bob Waldal said.

The Buccaneers scored just two points in the final 10:30 while being continuously flustered by the Titans' defense. Beach shot just 6 of 20 from the field in the second half.

Trinity junior Katie Kovash came off the bench and had a monster game, scoring the Titans' first six points of the fourth quarter to give the team a 50-45 lead with 6:45 to play. She finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.

Trinity scored eight more points over the next five minutes to build a 58-45 lead. Beach's final points of the game, and only of the fourth quarter, came when senior Teal Waldal hit a baseline jumper with 1:32 remaining.

Bob Waldal said the Buccaneers (19-3), who led 20-11 at the end of the first quarter and by as much as 14 in the second quarter, were bothered by foul trouble -- starter and sparkplug Jill Rising, who had 12 points, fouled out with 5:36 left in the fourth -- and a key injury.

Starter Emily Hardy, a defensive stopper who is also a factor in the team's transition offense, injured her right knee toward the end of the first quarter and returned for a bit in the second quarter before sitting out the rest of the game.

"What hurt us was losing Emily. She's a game-changer," Waldal said of the junior.


Losing those two led to too many fatigued players when the Buccaneers still had a chance to mount a comeback, Waldal added.

Brittney Dietz led Beach with a game-high 17 points. She scored 13 in the first half.

Trinity finally found its shooting touch during the run. After going 10 of 29 (35 percent) in the first half, Trinity shot 14 of 28 (50 percent) and hit all eight of their free throws in the second half.

Seniors Marinna Marsh and Sheyenne Plummer, who played the entire game, each scored 10 points for the Titans, who face No. 1-ranked Hazen (22-0) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Region 7 championship game.

"It was a complete team effort from every one of our kids," said Trinity coach Alysia Hugret, who is fighting a cold and coached the game with a gravelly voice. "The way we came together and believed in each other. I think that really showed our perseverance."

Ernst said getting past Hazen, which beat the Titans both in the regular season and in the District 14 championship game, is a challenge the team wants to tackle.

"It's going to be a battle, but if we come out strong, we can do anything," Ernst said.

Beach 20 34 45 47


Trinity 11 22 44 60

B: Brittney Dietz 17, Jill Rising 12, Emily Hardy 7, Kayla Dolyniuk 4, Abby Weinreis 3, Caitlin Maus 2, Teal Waldal 2.

DT: Shannon Ernst 12, Katie Kovash 11, Sheyenne Plummer 10, Marinna Marsh 10, Breanna Messer 7, Avery Jirges 6, Mackenzie Glasser 2, Emily Gordon 2.

3-pointers: Dietz 2, Hardy, Ernst 2. Free throws: B 8-11, DT 10-12. Total fouls: B 15, DT 13. Fouled out: Weinreis, Rising. Rebounds: B 33 (Dolyniuk 7), DT 36 (Plummer 5, Kovash 5). Assists: B 7 (Rising 4), DT 12 (Gordon 3, Plummer 3, Marsh 3). Steals: B 6 (Dietz 3), DT 14 (Kovash 4). Turnovers: B 22, DT 15.

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