DANVILLE — Bismarck-Henning came into Monday’s game against Hoopeston Area with a decisive height advantage.
The Cornjerkers lost their tallest player and leader, Shelby Holzinger, to a sprained knee in last week’s Vermilion Valley Conference game against Chrisman.
The Blue Devils took advantage of their post play, beating the Cornjerkers 37-12 in the second game of Monday’s action in the Vermilion County Tournament at the David S. Palmer Arena.
Maddie Winkler set up the Blue Devils with some fine assists to the post players and Stephanie Bott (seven points and six rebounds) and Jessica Hall (five points and eight rebounds) were recipients of those nice passes.
“Our goal in this game was to use our height advantage and get our post players the ball and that’s what I tried to do,’’ said Winkler.
With the height advantage intact and a stingy defense, the Blue Devils (14-8) made it a long night the Cornjerkers (6-14).
“We are trying to figure out how to play without our best player,’’ said Hoopeston Area coach Clint Mathewson, whose team has lost three straight after winning its first two games of the new year. “We are playing hard but we are at a disadvantage height-wise right now.”
Hoopeston Area tried to pack in the defense to try to negate the height advantage, that is when Bismarck-Henning guard Addie Voyles (10 points 5 rebounds) hit some open looks from the outside to help open up the inside again.
The second quarter defense was stingy for the Blue Devils as they held the Cornjerkers to 1 point in the quarter and five points in the half and they led at half 19-5.
“I thought our defense did a good job tonight and we used our height advantage to ensure the victory,” said Bismarck-Henning Coach Mike Stephens.
With a very cold shooting night and a good defensive effort from Bismarck-Henning, Hoopeston Area could only manage 12 points for the night.
“I’m very proud of the girls and they did a good job tonight and we got some nice play from our bench which is a good sign,” said Stephens
Both teams are back in action on Wednesday night.
Hoopeston Area will play Oakwood in a 5 p.m. game. Both teams are winless in the Vermilion County Tournament and the winner will advance to Friday’s fifth-place game at 5 p.m., while the loser will be eliminated.
Bismarck-Henning will play Salt Fork in a the 8 p.m. game, which will also serve as the championship game of Pool B. The winner will advances to Friday’s championship game at 8 p.m. while the loser will play in the third-place game at 6:30 on Friday.
The Blue Devils are trying to win their 10th Vermilion County Title and their sixth championship in the past seven years