The fact that Trenton senior guard Trenten Hove was 0-for-5 from behind the arc in the first half didn't deter him from more attempts.
That proved beneficial for the Tigers as Hove hit five 3-pointers in the second half and Trenton capped off its season with a 43-42 victory over LaMoure-Litchville-Marion in the Class B state tournament third-place game on Saturday at the Minot State University Dome.
Hove hit his first 3-pointer late in the third quarter to give the Tigers a 29-26 advantage before knocking down four more in the fourth quarter. His fifth and final trey with 13.1 seconds left in regulation was the difference-maker.
Trenton senior Trenten Hove soars for a layup in front of LaMoure-Litchville-Marion guard Jared Meiklejohn during the third-place game at the Class B state tournament Saturday at the Minot State University Dome.
"We started getting more open looks," Hove said. "We got faster. I couldn't hit anything in the first half. Nobody could. We just kept shooting and when you keep shooting, it will eventually fall and that's what happened to us."
The game was nip-and-tuck throughout with 12 lead changes. Hove's back-to-back 3s in the early stages of the fourth quarter capped off an 8-0 run for Trenton, giving the Tigers a 37-31 lead - the largest for either team.
"Hove got energized and knocked them down," Trenton coach Bob Turcotte said. "He found enough strength in his legs. We're fatigued. That's why the shots weren't going for either team outside."
Hove finished with a game-high 21 points.
The Loboes responded by scoring 11 of the next 14 points to take a 42-40 lead with less than a minute remaining.
"I thought we performed very well for the most part," L-L-M coach Darren Thielges said. "We were a possession short last night, a possession short tonight and we won by a possession. So it came down to about three possessions."
Both teams got off to slow starts, which led to a low-scoring, poor-shooting first half. Neither squad scored a single point until Trenton senior forward Michael Rademacher knocked down a free throw with four minutes, 53 seconds left in the first quarter.
The first field goal of the game from L-L-M sophomore guard Anthony Olson came with 4:21 remaining in the opening frame. It took the Tigers more than six minutes to record their first basket of the game as senior forward Lane Huck was finally able to end Trenton's scoring futility.
"It wasn't jitters, we're tired," Turcotte said. "We've been playing hard in a lot of minutes on this floor as has LaMoure. These kids have put on this game for these people as fatigued as they are, playing after the effort they've given. Pretty special game for both teams. There's no losers in this game."
Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the opening 16 minutes, but Trenton held the slight edge in the poor-shooting category. The Tigers went 6-of-27 from the field and missed all 11 of their 3s in the opening half.
Hove believes Trenton - the smallest school in the tournament in terms of enrollment - showed that it was among the eight best teams in the state.
"I think we proved to ourselves that we belong here this year," Hove said. "We got two wins for our fans and it feels great."