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Trinity roster filled with youth eager to impress in 2021-22

The Titans girls’ basketball team is filled with underclassmen as they look to replace All-State guard Abbey Kubas’ production.

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Trinity senior Kali Kubas working against the defense in practice. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

A strong finish to the 2020-2021 season for the Trinity girl’s basketball team had them thinking state for the first time since 2016. They earned the No. 3 seed in the Region 7 tournament with a good chance to at least reach the championship game.

But their quest for a sixth trip to the state tournament was interrupted by the upset-minded Heart River Cougars, who entered the tournament as the No. 7 seed and went all the way to championship game, defeating the Titans 40-38 in the semifinal round.

It was a bitter end to the season - and to the career of senior Abbey Kubas - who established herself as one of the best to do it for Trinity girl’s basketball.

The future North Dakota State guard enjoyed a successful career for Trinity, earning second team all-state honors between her sophomore and senior years, recording over 1,000 career points and rebounds.

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Trinity head coach Trevor Ernst giving instructions to his players. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

Unfortunately, Kubas’ time at Trinity didn’t result in a state tournament appearance. But the next wave of Titans may feel better about their chances of winning the region tournament with the graduation of Hettinger-Scranton’s Samantha Oase.

Like Kubas, Oase was a three-time all-state selection, and was crowned North Dakota’s Miss Basketball for 20-21. She led the Night Hawks to three-straight region championships and state tournament appearances from 2019-2021, presenting a tough challenge for the Titans.

But with her gone, it opens the door in the region for a new team to reach the state tournament. Beulah may be the team some pencil in as the favorite in the region, but don’t count Trinity out just yet.

“We have a lot of talented girls that just don’t have varsity experience,” Trinity head coach Trevor Ernst said. “Our goal is to work for the end of the year. Keep improving every day and by the end of year make some noise in the region. There’s a lot of good teams.”

The challenge for the Titans will not only be replacing Kubas, but three other seniors who provided experience and production. This year’s roster has ten freshmen and sophomores, with some expected growing pains along the way.

“We’re playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores,” Ernst said. “As we go through the year we have to clean things up and start playing like varsity players. We have a lot of girls and a lot of talent so if we get that work in and play together by the end of the year we’ll make some noise.”

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Trinity senior Hope Fath. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

Seniors Kali Kubas and Hope Fath are a pair Ernst noted that can help usher in the new wave of Trinity girls basketball players as they look to find their footing in the early stages of the season.

Kali Kubas was an All-Region selection a year ago, averaging 10 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while registering 64 assists.

“She’s showing great leadership so far,” Ernst said. “Offensively she will have to take a lead role for us. She was more of a secondary option in the past but she will transition into that leader.”

The Titans have been in action since the beginning of December, but won’t have their first home game until Jan. 3 against Hettinger-Scranton. Until then, it will be all about developing their younger players in order to challenge for a region title.

“It will be very difficult,” Ernst said. “We lost a lot of scoring and experience not only with Abbey but four seniors who started. To replace them as a group will be difficult and it has been so far.”

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