Bowman County tips Trinity, 68-64 on the road

Feb. 19—SOUTHWEST NORTH DAKOTA — The boys prep basketball postseason is coming at coaches, players and fans like a speeding train, but that light at the end of the tunnel also can be attributed to sunlight and not necessarily a headlight. With just a few regular-season games remaining for most classes, Division B-Region 3/District 5 saw a pair of games late last week with old Region 7 rivals Bowman County tripping up Trinity on the road, 68-64, and South Heart bouncing Beach from the postseason with a resounding 74-60 win one of the DB/R3-D5 play-in games, while Grant Co./Mott-Regent ripped Richardton-Taylor, 52-37, in the other D5 play-in contest.

Trinity was undone at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center by a calamitous third quarter that saw the Bulldogs outscore the home-team, 23-8, and while THS roared back in the final frame, it just wasn't enough in the non-divisional showdown. Bowman County busted loose for an 18-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter and then the Titans closed the gap to 25-20 at the half, as senior guard Jake Shobe scored 9 points in the first two periods and freshman Emerson Simnioniw dropped in a 3-pointer.

"We knew it was going to be a battle: Both teams are too good, defensively and offensively to not make runs like that," THS head basketball coach Gregg Grinsteinner said. "The only problem is we got ourselves down too much and gave up too many easy ones; give them credit because they went out and they took advantage of the mistakes we made and we had to turn it around."

The 'Dawgs bit-back with a pair of 3s from senior guard Nate Dix and 8 points from classmate Bohden Duffield in the first half and came out of the locker rooms after the break and went off for that big third period. Duffield added a trey and scored 12 in the third frame alone, while Kyler Paulson notched a 3-pointer and 5 points.

With their backs to the wall and a 20-point, 48-28 deficit, Trinity came out gunning and saw 6 points from junior guard Camden Kubas and 4 more from Jace Kovash, but Jake Shobe went bananas and connected on a pair of treys and scored 10 from the field while adding 10-of-12 from the free-throw line on his way to a game-high 33 points. The Titans outscored BCHS, 36-20 in the final eight minutes, but the visitors converted 12-of-16 from the charity-stripe in the last period and 14-of-19 in the game to keep the hosts on their heels.

Meanwhile, Bowman County saw a team-high 28 from Bohden Duffield and 18 more from his twin-brother, Bishop, while Roman Fossum came close to double-digits with 9.

"Basketball is a game of runs and we went on two really big runs," Bulldogs head coach Ronnie Stewart said. "I don't think it was a comfort-level — because you're never going to be comfortable with a great Grinsteinner defense and there's not a better-coached defensive team that I've ever known — and boy that game was really emotional with a loud crowd."

He added, "I want to give a big shout-out to Bohden Duffield — he obviously had a great game — because he eclipsed the 1,500-point mark for his career, and he's ever-so-close to our all-time scoring record and that's quite an accomplishment and we're proud of him."

The Saturday play-in showdown between South Heart and Beach saw the Eagles soar over the Buccaneers with a 74-60 home-win and now SHHS gets the privilege of playing #1-ranked Glen Ullin-Hebron (18-1 overall, 8-0 in D5) to open the district tourney in Bowman County on Friday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. MST. While Beach had three athletes in double-digits and one-more come close, South Heart's freshman sensation Garrett Bargmann came in with 19 points and senior leader Landon Roller registered a game-high 24 to pace the home-team.

The Eagles (4-15, 2-7) held a narrow, 17-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter and lost a point off that lead as the teams headed into the halftime break at 34-33 to South Heart. Sophomore standout Collin Schneider dropped a pair of 3s through the hoop and freshman Connor Honeyman did the same in the first half, while Roller paced the Eagles with 9.

The Bucs responded with a pair of treys from senior Adam Trask — who scored 8 in the first 16 minutes — and 8 more from sophomore Colt Ambo, while junior Justus Baker added 6.

But the third quarter fell apart for the visitors, who were outscored 24-9 and South Heart never looked back, evening the Buccaneers scoring at 17-17 to outlast BHS in the end.

Honeyman came close to double-figures for SHHS with 9, along with Gabriel Davis, while Beach's Baker and Ambo wound up with 15 apiece and Bennett Braden poured in 10 with Lucas Brown coming close to double-digits at 9 points.

Bowman County (17-1) overall, finished off their regular season as the #2 seed to #1 Glen Ullin-Hebron and now will face #7 GC/M-R in the quarterfinals of the DB/R3-D5 Tournament on Friday, Feb. 23. Meanwhile, Trinity will be squaring off against Watford City on Feb. 27.

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