“I told the team after the game that I didn’t think I could give them an ‘A’ in composure, but I thought in the gutsy department, we were pretty tough down the stretch,’’ Stephens said.
The Blue Devils (15-8) made 8-of-12 free throws in the final 2 minutes, 27 seconds to secure the seven-point victory as the Storm (13-9) got as close as five (32-27) when Jenny Kimbro made 1-of-2 free throws with 2:44 left.
Salt Fork missed numerous point-blank shots in the contest and the Storm were a disappointing 9-of-19 at the foul line against the Blue Devils.
“We missed some shots,’’ Salt Fork coach Jeff Carleton said. “We left a lot of points on a floor, and against a good team like Bismarck, you can’t do that and win.
“We missed enough free throws to win this game.’’
The Storm, which made 6-of-12 shots in the first half, wound up shooting 31.4 percent (11-of-35) in the game. And one of the potential factors in their poor shooting was the fact that the Salt Fork girls didn’t have a practice on Tuesday.
“School policy dictates that we don’t practice when we don’t have school,’’ said Carleton, noting that neither Jamaica nor Catlin High School was in session on Tuesday, but Bismarck-Henning did have classes and practice. “So, our girls haven’t done anything since our game here on Monday night.
“But, to our girls credit, they fought and they had a chance to win the game at the end.’’
One of the biggest turning points came at the end of the first half when Winkler buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer giving Bismarck-Henning a 17-13 halftime lead.
“We were trying to get the ball to Addie (Voyles) and when we couldn’t get it to her, I knew I had to step up and take my shot,’’ Winkler said. “It gave us a little extra momentum going into the locker room.’’