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Trinity girls basketball team’s offense returns in win over Hettinger-Scranton

Desperate for offense for the better part of a week, Dickinson Trinity's girls basketball team got that out of the way early Tuesday evening. The Titans built an 11-0 lead to open the game against Hettinger-Scranton, holding the Night Hawks score...

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Dickinson Trinity senior guard Kennedy Keator attempts a shot over Hettinger-Scranton junior forward Taylor Hestekin Tuesday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press Photo by Parker Cotton)

Desperate for offense for the better part of a week, Dickinson Trinity’s girls basketball team got that out of the way early Tuesday evening.

The Titans built an 11-0 lead to open the game against Hettinger-Scranton, holding the Night Hawks scoreless for the first four minutes, 39 seconds, and then let the defense take over in a 64-31 Region 7 victory at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

“The games leading up to today were a little rough on the offensive end,” senior guard Madi Jahner said, “but we decided we needed to take our good defense and turn it into offense. If you can get a stop but can’t score for a quarter, it doesn’t make much sense.”

Jahner scored 11 points, aided by a trio of 3-pointers, and added two assists and three steals.

Trinity (10-3, 5-0 Region 7) forced the Night Hawks into 21 turnovers, which the Titans turned into 32 points going the other way.

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Hettinger-Scranton (4-8, 1-3) shot just 25.6 percent from the field, despite a handful of shot attempts in the lane that just didn’t happen to fall through.

“We were knocked back on our heels a little bit,” Night Hawks head coach Kelly Pierce said. “I thought defensively we played pretty well in the first quarter. Offensively, we just didn’t attack. We weren’t strong with the ball. ... We didn’t set up screens very well. Trinity’s a good team, and I think our girls went in thinking (Trinity’s) a good team instead of thinking, ‘These are the things we can do to be successful.’”

The Titans led 14-3 after the first quarter and 42-18 at halftime.

Trinity had gone 1-2 in its previous three games, averaging just 26 points in the two non-region losses. Titans head coach Carter Fong said his team executed well in putting those low-scoring games in the past.

“We came out strong, and they were ready to go,” he said. “We ran the floor and got some easy ones in transition. We created some problems for them in our traps and in our half-court man-to-man. … That offense was clicking, finally, and it’s a lot more fun to play basketball that way.”

Trinity senior posts Alanna Sickler and Brianna Soehren scored 13 and 12 points, respectively. Sickler also collected a game-high 13 rebounds.

Night Hawks sophomore guard Molly Holt scored 13 points to lead her team, and freshman Abbie Kludt scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Trinity junior guard Abby Jones tallied eight points, and senior guard Kennedy Keator -  playing for the first time since suffering a right ACL injury Dec. 14 against New Town - notched seven points, two rebounds and two assists in about 12 minutes of playing time.

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“I’m truly happy for her and that she gets a second chance at her season,” Fong said. “We were able to manage her minutes, and we saw some good things. We didn’t expect perfection, but she scored from the inside, from the outside, she was running the floor very well. In some ways she is ahead of schedule with her recovery.

“All the other ligaments in her knee are intact, and her knee is structurally sound. She can wear a brace and can compete for the remainder of the year.”

Keator’s presence on the floor was welcomed in a basketball sense, but more than that, her teammates were simply thankful that she had the opportunity to play again at all.

“I’m so glad she gets to play her senior year,” Jahner said. “Last year, I had a knee injury, and I know the feeling, and it’s awful. You’d never wish that on anybody. It’s great to have her back on the court and in school all the time.”

HS  3  15  8  5

DT  14  28  15  7

HS: Molly Holt 13, Abbie Kludt 8, Alyssa Andress 3, Taylor Hestekin 2, Calli Miller 2, Tayler Burwick 2, Nicole Landsem 1.

DT: Alanna Sickler 13, Brianna Soehren 12, Madi Jahner 11, Abby Jones 8, Kennedy Keator 7, Jordie McNeilly 6, Sarah Kerkman 4, Lauren Stafford 2, Megan Krebs 1.

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3-pointers: HS 1 (Holt 1), DT 8 (Jahner 3, Jones 2, McNeilly 2, Keator 1). Free throws: HS 8-12, DT 8-11. Total fouls: HS 13, DT 15. Rebounds: HS 26 (Kludt 7), DT 37 (Sickler 13). Assists: HS 1 (Holt 1), DT 8 (Jahner 2, Keator 2, McNeilly 2). Steals: HS 6 (Lizzy Thompson 2), DT 14 14 (Jahner 3, Sickler 3, Soehren 3). Blocks: HS 0, DT 1 (Soehren 1). Turnovers: HS 21, DT 12.

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