DANVILLE — Sometimes being bigger is just better.
That was the case in the championship game of the 2014 Vermilion County Tournament at the David S. Palmer Arena.
Bismarck-Henning, featuring a 6-foot-8 Wilde Garowski and a 6-foot-5 Andy Bott, put the defensive clamps on the Westville Tigers as the Blue Devils won their fifth County Title with a 40-26 victory on Saturday night.
“I thought our defensive execution was one of the best efforts that we’ve given all year,’’ Bismarck-Henning coach Jon Clapp said. “We had a lot of communication and our rotations in the defensive scheme were excellent. It seemed like we had hands up against their shooters.’’
But, what allowed Bismarck-Henning’s 2-3 zone to be so effective as Westville made just 3-of-25 shots (9 percent) in the first three quarters.
“Our overall length,’’ Clapp said. “When you can parade out a 6-8 guy, a 6-5 guy and a 6-2 guy along the backside of the zone, and then your guards can be out front putting the pressure on — that length is a factor.’’
And not only did the three guys on the backside, Garowski, Bott and Chase Connelly, control the baseline, but that trio also took control of the rebounds as they combined for 25 with Garowski pulling down a game-high 11 for the Blue Devils (17-1 overall).
“Our goal was not to let them get any inside shots against,’’ Connelly said. “When we took away the inside game from them, it forced them to shoot from the perimeter. They really didn’t any 3-pointers until the fourth quarter.’’
The Tigers (10-8) did rally in the final eight minutes, making three 3-pointers and forcing the Blue Devils seven turnovers, but it was too little, too late for Westville.
“Their length cause problems,’’ Westville coach Jeff Millis said. “They made it very difficult to score inside. When you can’t score inside, it then allows their defensive perimeter to extend. They are long team and they made us shoot the ball a step farther out than we would like or a little quicker than we wanted. We didn’t take any bad shots, they just didn’t go in.’’