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Walby, Scherr shaking off nerves, helping Titans early in season

The Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team, sitting at 4-0, knows something about itself now that it didn't know at 0-0. After a season-opening win against Shiloh Christian, the No. 2-ranked Titans swept through the Roughrider Tournament with win...

Dickinson Trinity junior Easton Walby sets up to attempt a shot against Mott-Regent in the Roughrider Tournament championship game on Dec. 16 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson Trinity junior Easton Walby sets up to attempt a shot against Mott-Regent in the Roughrider Tournament championship game on Dec. 16 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson Trinity boys basketball team, sitting at 4-0, knows something about itself now that it didn't know at 0-0.

After a season-opening win against Shiloh Christian, the No. 2-ranked Titans swept through the Roughrider Tournament with wins by an average margin of 26.6 points. To get to this point, early in the season as it may be, Trinity learned how to play different styles of ball and play them equally well.

"We had to play big against Shiloh and Killdeer, and then against Mott-Regent and Bowman County we had to go to a smaller lineup," head coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. "We found out we can play those types of basketball. Our kids are starting to define roles a bit better."

Aiding in the Titans' endeavors of playing against long and lanky teams (like Killdeer) or against quicker and arguably more athletic teams (like Mott-Regent) is Trinity's depth and reduced learning curve.

Two standouts from the Roughrider Tournament were senior Alex Scherr and junior Easton Walby, who have both been thrust into having new responsibilities this season.

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"It's nerve-racking, that's for sure. I'm not use to all the fans," Scherr said, "and how fast it is compared to the JV I was playing last year. It's a lot different, but once I get going, I just kind of zone everything out."

Scherr, at 6-foot-2, displays nice footwork and a soft touch underneath the rim. He averaged 7.6 points in the three Roughrider games, emerging as a possible post presence Trinity can rely on.

"The last two games really boosted my confidence," he said. "I played really good and it made me want to work harder to get better."

Walby, at 6-foot-3, is leaner than his size would suggest, and he's found a home on the perimeter, where he's shown increased comfort in shooting the ball. He averaged nine points per game in the Roughrider games.

"I didn't start last year, I came off the bench, and I didn't really handle the ball as much last year," Walby said. "I knew I had to play a bigger role this year for the team. ... I was a little nervous at first about it, but the game just came to me. I didn't try to force up a lot of shots."

The faster that Scherr and Walby, to name two, rid themselves of those nerves, the better off Trinity will be as it prepares to conclude a daunting out-of-region schedule.

After the holiday, Trinity faces No. 1-ranked Four Winds-Minnewaukan on Dec. 28 in the Minot State Dome, followed by a game against Berthold the next day in the same venue. On Jan. 3, the Titans open Region 7 play at home against Beulah and then face Our Redeemer's and Oak Grove on back-to-back days in Bismarck on Jan. 6-7.

Coming into the season, opposing teams likely knew they would have to contend with Trinity senior forward Shawn Stoltz, senior guard Lucas Jones and junior guard/forward Noah Sickler. Now, the Titans are seemingly more dangerous.

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"People know about Lucas, Shawn and Noah. Those guys have been scorers for us. Easton's a guy that can stretch the defense," Grinsteinner said. "So we've been talking about, we had four spots that were taken care of, leaving our post spot, and that's where Alex started to play. He's got really good feet around the basket and he shoots the ball extremely well from 15 feet. It makes it tough for other teams to step out and defend because that allows Shawn to post up, Noah to post up. We're starting to get to the point where you have to guard all five spots on our team."

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