Trinity Titans boys basketball's bench secures victory
Gregg Grinsteinner is confident in his team from top to bottom.So much, in fact, the Dickinson Trinity head coach didn't feel he needed the top.The Titans boys basketball team, with the top six contributors in street clothes on the bench, fought ...
Gregg Grinsteinner is confident in his team from top to bottom.
So much, in fact, the Dickinson Trinity head coach didn’t feel he needed the top.
The Titans boys basketball team, with the top six contributors in street clothes on the bench, fought back from an early deficit, scored 55 points in the second half and defeated Mandaree 87-74 Thursday in a Region 7 game at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“I’m proud of our kids,” Grinsteinner said. “They really battled. It was a wild game. It was a tough first half. We turned the ball over an awful lot. In the second half, I think we settled down and started executing. To score 55 points, I don’t care what level you’re playing at, in a half, that’s pretty good.”
Sophomore forward Easton Walby fueled the Titans with 27 points - he shot 6 of 12 from the floor and 3 of 5 from the 3-point line - as well as nine rebounds, four assists and a steal. Sophomore forward Noah Sickler added 20 points.
The Warriors were led by senior Chance Lone Bear, who tallied 23 points.
Trinity shot 42.8 percent (28 of 67) from the field and 31.1 percent (5 of 16) from the 3-point line, while Mandaree shot 40.3 percent (29 of 72) and 28.6 percent (4 of 14) from 3-point range.
“We came out nervous because we’ve been talking and practicing with how well they can shoot the ball and they’re varsity and we’re JV,” Sickler said. “We didn’t have much experience against them. Then in the second half, we started listening to the coaches, settled down, moved the ball around and everything started to fall into place.”
Grinsteinner, who started and played Titans who hadn’t gotten much varsity minutes throughout the season, said his team started out scared, which is why it trailed to start out the game.
Mandaree jumped out to a 17-14 lead by the second quarter - and the lead might have been more considering the Warriors missed several close jump shots.
“They have a varsity jersey for a reason,” Grinsteinner said. “They earned it, and I think they proved tonight that they can play, it’s just a matter of letting the game come to them.”
The Titans fought back to their first lead of the second quarter after sophomore guard Alec Sickler tipped a pass, dove and crawled to keep the ball in bounds, then passed to junior guard Kendall Jones from the floor. Jones immediately kicked it into junior forward Alex Scherr to tie it.
However, the Warriors still found a 36-32 lead at halftime.
“I think we were just really nervous,” Walby said. “We were just trying to calm down. Toward the third quarter, I think we started to get comfortable and started finding the extra pass and open man. We just had wide open shots.”
But the Titans (12-4, 6-1 Region 7) finally found their stride late in the third quarter. Alec made another key play for Trinity, which trailed for most of the third frame, when he stripped a Warriors guard as he crossed the half-court line and bolted for a transition layup to take the lead. After a Jones 3-pointer, the Titans had a 58-53 lead and were on a 5-0 run to start the fourth quarter.
“It wasn’t everybody for themselves,” Noah said. “We played as a team, slowed down, moved the ball around and got the shots we wanted.”
And to start that fourth frame, Walby cashed one his of 3-pointers and propelled his team to an eight-point lead and Trinity never looked back.
“You have to find the extra pass, then you’re wide open,” Walby said. “We found an open floor after all the ball movement.”
Trinity, with its full roster, will take on Mott-Regent at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center in another Region 7 contest.
“For the kids that didn’t dress, I think they got a good look at what happens when you play hard all the time and with some emotion,” Grinsteinner said. “Then you make the simple plays. … I think they learned a lot as well because we can trust the guys that are coming in. They can play and proved it tonight.”
M 17 19 17 21
DT 14 18 26 29
M: Ashton Grady 9, Richard Fox 2, Chance Lone Bear 23, Travin Fox 2, Austin Lone Bear 6, Dakota Reimer 2, Paul White Owl 2, Jesse Chase 16, Cornell Poitra 10, Matt Ackerman 10, Manny Lucio 2.
DT: Kendall Jones 5, Alec Sickler 4, Michael Knopik 6, Michael Schneider 4, Colton Jones 11, Noah Sickler 20, Jacob Kubas 2, Easton Walby 27, Alex Scherr 8.
3-pointers: M 4 (Grady 1, T. Fox 1, Chase 2), DT 5 (K. Jones 1, C. Jones, Walby 3). Free throws: M 12-23, DT 26-33. Total fouls: M 24, DT 17. Rebounds: M 41 (two tied with 7), DT 45 (Walby 9). Assists: M 7 (Lone Bear 3), DT 9 (Walby 4). Steals: M 11 (three tied with 3), DT 12 (K. Jones 4). Blocks: M 5 (Lone Bear 3), DT 0. Turnovers: M 18, DT 22.