DANVILLE — The Westville Tigers earned the right to defend it's Vermilion County Title with a 40-39 victory over the Salt Fork Storm in the championship game of Pool B on Thursday night at the David S. Palmer Arena.
Taking a page out of a football game plan, Westville used a ball-control offense to frustrate Salt Fork and the Tigers converted on 21 of its 38 possessions in the game.
"I thought for the most part we had good execution — the first half especially,'' said Westville coach Jeff Millis, whose team shot 58.6 percent (17-of-29) form the field. "That game was won just as much in the first half as it was anywhere else.
"We wanted to have positive possessions and we wanted to get good shots.''
The Tigers (10-7) built a 22-15 lead at halftime thanks in large part to scoring on 11 of 18 possessions in the first half, that included a pair of possessions where Westville took advantage of offensive rebounds to score points.
"It was kind of like in football, when you have a team that is able to run the ball and hold onto the ball, they were able to make the most out of every possession they had,'' Salt Fork coach Andrew Johnson said. "We just didn't create enough turnovers, and their offensive efficiency was very, very good.''
In the first half, Westville was guilty of just three turnovers. The Storm rallied in the second half thanks in part to forcing the Tigers in 11 miscues, including seven in the fourth quarter.
"I was a little disappointed with our execution against the pressure,'' Millis said. "But, that was as much my fault as the kids. We weren't in some of the right sets that we needed to be in against their press.
"Fortunately, we made just enough free throws to do what we needed to do.''