BISMARCK — The Bismarck-Henning boys basketball have been very gracious hosts during their Christmas tournament for the past five years.
For the first time since the 2007, the Blue Devils have won their pool after being the North Vermillion Falcons 50-32 on Friday, and with the victory, Bismarck-Henning advances into tonight’s championship game of the BSN Classic, which had been the Hayden’s Classic before last season.
“For the past three years, I don’t think we’ve made it past pool play,’’ said Bismarck-Henning senior Andy Bott. “Last year, we lost the final game (to Clifton Central) and in my freshman year, I think we went undefeated but lost the tiebreaker on free-throw percentage.
“We were determined that we were going to get into the championship game this year.’’
Bismarck-Henning (12-0) showed its determination in the first eight minutes against North Vermillion (6-3).
Bott scored six of his 14 points in the quarter as the Blue Devils built a 14-2 lead with 70 percent shooting (7-of-10), while the Falcons made just one of their first 13 shots against the zone defense of Bismarck-Henning.
“We came out in the first quarter and set the tone,’’ said Bott, who also had eight rebounds and three assists in the contest. “We made sure that we came ready to play tonight.’’
According to Bismarck-Henning coach Jon Clapp that was a point of emphasis after Bismarck-Henning’s 53-33 win over Watseka in the afternoon session and Oakwood’s 60-44 win over North Vermillion.
“I told the guys that just because we beat Oakwood (on Thursday) and they beat North Vermillion this morning, that doesn’t matter when we take the court tonight,’’ Clapp said. “For some reason, we have never performed up to our potential in this tournament.
“I know we’ve been beaten by Fisher and Clifton Central the past couple of years and we just need to take care of business this year.’’