BISMARCK — The third time was the charm for the Salt Fork Storm, unfortunately that third attempt came after the buzzer.
Bismarck-Henning claimed its first Christmas tournament title since 2006 with a 36-35 victory over Salt Fork in the championship game of the BSN Classic at Bismarck-Henning High School on Saturday.
The Storm’s Cole Taylor and Max Stutsman had shots for the victory in the final seconds, but each one rolled off the rim and Stutsman’s second tip, which went through the basket, came after the buzzer had sounded — even though it was extremely hard to hear because of the excitement of both fan bases.
“You can’t ask for better looks,’’ said Salt Fork coach Andrew Johnson. “We got the look that we wanted. Sometimes, that mental clock can come back to haunt you and we might have rushed things a little bit.
“But , I don’t feel bad about the kids that took the shots. And, I don’t feel bad about the way we executed it. The ball just didn’t fall and that happens.’’
The Storm (9-4) got their final shots at the victory thanks in large part to five miscues by the Blue Devils in the final 1 minute, 16 seconds.
“We tried to give it away,’’ said a relieved Bismarck-Henning coach Jon Clapp. “Those final five second was like an eternity.’’
Clapp said he had flashbacks to last year’s Vermilion County Tournament when Bismarck-Henning lost to Westville on a last-second basket.
“It was the same-type of situation, where the ball was fumbled around and they put it in,’’ he said. “This time around, the ball stayed out of the basket.’’
Bismarck-Henning’s five offensive missteps in the final minute including three turnovers, while senior Andy Bott and sophomore Dylan Allen, both missed the front ends of one-and-ones during that stretch as well.