ST. JOSEPH — The Bismarck-Henning Blue Devils overcame a sluggish start and eventually took control, upending fellow Vermillion Valley Conference rival Westville 42-33 in a semifinal round game of the Class 2A Regional on Tuesday evening at St. Joseph- Ogden High School.
The Blue Devils, who held the Tigers scoreless in the first quarter, jumped out at the end of that stanza 6-0, and it was nearly halfway into the second quarter before Westville scored their first points of the night.
“After you’ve played a team for the third time in a season, you begin to know what their tendencies are,” Bismarck-Henning head coach Jon Clapp said “(Westville coach Jeff) Millis does a good job of preparing them for the game and they take away from the things that you do well.”
Unlike the first game of the evening, an 82-39 romp by St. Joseph-Ogden over Oakwood, this game was had much more lower scoring, with the Blue Devils clinging to a slim 13-9 lead at the break.
Bismarck-Henning extended that lead to nine at 25-16 at the end of the third quarter, and went up by double figures early in the fourth quarter, before Westville made a small comeback, but could get no closer than four points down the stretch.
Andy Bott led the Blue Devils with 12 points, including a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. Bismarck-Henning’s big man Wilde Garrowski added nine points, while Chase Connelly added seven points. Freshman Colton Story hit a couple of free throws as well down the stretch to advance the Blue Devils on to the championship game.
“Chase had some big rebounds for us down the stretch, and he just has a knack for finding the ball,” Clapp said. “Colton came in and hit those big free throws in a pressure situation and as a freshman, he just went up there and knocked them down.”