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Trinity and Cougars go down to the wire

Trinity and Heart River have tight battle on Thursday.

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Caylee Wilke draws a foul on Amaya Willer after going up for a contested lay up. (Matthew Curry/The Dickinson Press)

The Trinity gym was excited for what was sure to be a good game of basketball as the Titans taking on Heart River. With Trinity coming into the game on a three game win streak, its best win streak of the season, and the Cougars on a three game losing streak, its longest of the season, both were hoping for success.

On paper, the game looked to be one that could ultimately come down to a battle of free throws. Luckily, the game did not disappoint with both teams having a chance of winning the region matchup based on the closing minutes.

In the end, Trinity took advantage of attacking the rim and making key defensive stops to pull out the 49-44 win over Heart River.

“I really just can’t say enough about the effort of these girls,” Trinity Head Coach Trevor Ernst said. “Just another hard fought region 7 game … the girls just kept digging and digging and they came out ahead, it was a great game.”

The victory came with the help of the entire team, and the cheering of the hometown fans, but cousins Abbey Kubas and Kali Kubas played a solid role in helping extend the Titans’ win streak to four. Abbey totaled 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Kali scored 15 points of her own and made some key plays in the home stretch to bring the victory home for the Titans.

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“I really can’t say enough about them,” Ernst said. “They’re really good leaders for us and they always play hard 100% no matter what and it always shows. Everyone on the team really follows their lead.”

For the Cougars, Caylee Wilke carried her team to the best of her abilities, finishing the game with 14 points. Senior forward Jersey Filkowski followed suit with 12 points.

Despite the loss, Heart River Head Coach Ronnie Stewart believes the team is on the right track, and is looking forward to hopefully getting a rematch with the Titans in the Class B Region 7 tournament in March.

“It gives us a look at a positive future, hopefully we get to play them again,” Stewart said. “We’re learning a lot about ourselves and we’ve had some tough losses, but this one especially told the girls not to hang their head because I really believe we’re going to get another chance in this facility. We’re really happy with the girl’s effort.”

Heart River may have not taken home the victory, but the effort was present throughout the entire competition. The team did its best to limit the Titans’ chances of scoring easy buckets and heavily crashed the boards.

"We showed a little bit more on offense, we had girls that didn't stand around as much," Stewart said. "We had girls that were taking with the basketball, and in turn was able to get us good looks on the offensive side of the ball."

Despite trialing at halftime, Heart River was able to bounce back and take the lead in the fourth quarter.

Following a timeout, the Titans began to make things very difficult for Heart River in the closing moments with both Kali Kubas and Abbey Kubas producing key defensive stops and making clutch offensive plays to help re-take the lead.

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In desperation, Heart River attempted to pass the ball around the 3-point line in hopes of getting the ball inside and keeping the score close, but was unable to get a bucket and was forced to foul to stop the clock.

By the time the final buzzer sounded, Trinity held a 49-44 win.

With the victory, Trinity now holds an 8-5 record and will play again on Saturday on the road against Stanley High.

As for Heart River, the Cougars now hold a 4-7 record and will look to end its losing streak on the road against New England on Jan. 25.

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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