The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 8, 2014

Storm use small burst to get win over Comets

BY JIMMY HARRIS sports@dancomnews.com
The Commercial-News

---- — CATLIN — During a five-minute span to end the second quarter and begin the third quarters, the Salt Fork boys basketball team played exceptional defense and got good looks at the offensive end, going on a 12-2 run to take a 26-16 lead and would go on to beat Oakwood 50-35 on Friday.

“I think we played a good defensive game tonight and helped each other out all night,” Salt Fork’s Max Stutsman said.

Oakwood had a tough time getting a flow to the game and seemed out of sync all night offensively.

“I thought we played hard and never gave up but didn’t convert the baskets like we should of. Shooting 15-42 is not going to get the job done against a good team like Salt Fork,” Oakwood coach Doug Robinson said.

As the Comets continued to struggle offensively, the Storm had good spacing and pushed the lead to 35-22 at the end of the third quarter.

“I thought we had good spacing tonight and that led to some open looks and we knocked them down,” Salt Fork coach Andrew Johnson said.

As the game began, Oakwood and Salt Fork exchanged leads in a seesaw battle during the 1st 13 minutes of the game. The Comets led 13-10 ten minutes into the game after the Storm took a 10-9 lead at the end the first quarter.

Salt Fork shot the ball well after the first quarter, going 16-for-28 for 57 percent from the field in the last three quarters of the game.

“I thought we also did a nice job getting the ball inside and when they double teamed us we passed back out for an open look,” Stutsman said.

Salt Fork continued to pressure the ball and not let Oakwood get any easy buckets to hold the Comets to 36 percent shooting for the game. The difference in the game was the ability of the Storm to convert baskets better than the Comets did.

“I thought we put together a good game tonight and that’s what you want late in the season,” Johnson said.

Salt Fork had three players in double figures led by Max Stutsman who had a double double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Ross Learnard (13 points, seven rebounds, three steals) and Taylor Cole (13 points). Oakwood only placed one player in double figures in Skyler Slade (12 points).

Salt Fork improves to 17-6 overall and (6-1) in conference play while Oakwood falls to 7-16 overall and (1-6) in conference play.

In the Junior Varsity game, Salt Fork beat Oakwood 56-43.