WESTVILLE — The rematch of last week’s Vermilion County Tournament championship game on Friday at Westville High School was a much closer game than last week, but with the same result.
Bismarck-Henning started the game with an active 2-3 defense that caused early turnovers from Westville and held off a late charge to get the 47-41 win in Vermilion Valley Conference action.
Along with an active defense the Blue Devils had a good touch from the floor, shooting 67 percent in the first quarter. As strong as a start for Bismarck-Henning had, Westville had the opposite a slow start and by the end of one quarter the Tigers had more turnovers than shots.
“Bismarck-Henning’s length and athleticism caused us problems early but as the game went on we continued to play hard and had better movement and got better looks,” Westville coach Jeff Millis said.
The Tigers finally got things rolling after a seven-minute scoring drought between the first and second quarters. The Tigers on offense had much better movement and crispers passes in the second quarter to cut into the lead.
The Blue Devils got in foul trouble during the second quarter and Bismarck-Henning went to the bench to preserve starters with the lead. The Tigers close the gap to 23-17 with good shooting going into the locker room.
“I thought we played well at the beginning of the game and our zone was active, but as the half went on we stopped being active and allowed them to score easy buckets,” Bismarck-Henning coach Jon Clapp said.
The second half was the tale of two quarters with Bismarck-Henning controlling the third quarter with strong defense and an advantageous offense.
“I thought we did a good job of getting good shots on the inside, we try to use our advantage to the best of our ability,” Bis-Henn’s Chase Connelly said.
The Blue Devils flexed their muscles and used a strong inside presence to push the lead to nine after three quarters 36-27.
The Tigers would not quit and played hard and aggressively to get back in the game. They went to the three ball and that kept them in the hunt for the upset but Bismarck-Henning kept putting it inside to hold off the Tigers and get the hard fought win.
“We played hard and I thought we got the win with our inside presence tonight. When you have a size advantage you need to use it and we did enough for the win,” Clapp said.
Bismarck-Henning moves to 19-1 overall and is 6-0 in the VVC, while Westville falls to 10-10 overall and is 2-3 in conference.
In Junior Varsity action, Bismarck-Henning defeated Westville 35-32.