Blue Devils win Vermilion County girls' tournament.
DANVILLE — Five games into the girls’ basketball season, Bismarck-Henning coach Mike Stephens wasn’t thinking of his team as a group of champions.
“We were 1-4,” Stephens said.
Stephens didn’t give up on his players, and they didn’t lose faith in themselves.
“Deep inside, I knew we could prove everybody wrong,” senior Addie Voyles said.
On Friday, the Blue Devils prevented Armstrong-Potomac from winning back-to-back Vermilion County championships with a come-from-behind 41-36 triumph against the Trojans at Palmer Arena.
The title was the 10th overall for B-H and the eighth in the past 13 years.
“I never questioned us,” said junior Brooke Walsh, who hit 5 of 5 second-quarter shots to help B-H recover from an 11-4 first-quarter deficit. “It was determination.”
Voyles hit three three-pointers, two of which came in the second-quarter surge.
“This is empowering,” Voyles said. “I feel joy. I feel like a champion.”
A Courtney Hambleton basket gave A-P (14-5) its last lead, 28-27, midway through the third quarter. Voyles’ final three-pointer sent B-H (16-8) into the lead for good with 2 minutes, 11 seconds left in the period.
A-P’s Morgan Zindars scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the first half.
“Zindars was on fire, and (Maddie) Winkler struggled on her early,” Stephens said. “We challenged Maddie at halftime, and she did an excellent job the second half.”
In the second half, Zindars was scoreless until the final 90 seconds.
“They do a good job defensively, and you get limited opportunities against them,” A-P coach Nick Hipsher said. “You need to take advantage of those opportunities, and we didn’t always do that.”
Lindsey Andrews scored 10 points for B-H and drilled 3 of 4 free throws in the last 41 seconds to keep the Blue Devils in front.
“One of our keys was to contain Zindars and (Rachel) Miles, and Lindsey stifled Miles,” Stephens said.
Miles scored her only point on a free throw in the final minute.
Walsh was B-H’s top rebounder with seven. She was joined on the 10-player all-tournament team by Andrews and Voyles. Johanna Bruens was the Trojans’ rebound leader with seven.
Jenny Kimbro hit 7 of 9 second-half shots and scored a team-high 20 points as Salt Fork topped Georgetown-Ridge Farm for the third time this season, 54-47. Kimbro also had a team-high nine rebounds.
“We’ve had some not-so-good shooting in this tournament, but Jenny has hit some huge shots,” Salt Fork coach Jeff Carleton said. “She’s a phenomenal athlete and can go off like that any day.”
The Storm (14-9) expanded a one-point halftime lead to a 10-point margin (45-35) before the Buffaloes (6-12) went on a 15-0 run. Tournament scoring leader Brittany Hay hit seven of her game-high 23 points during the spree.
“She’s a kid who can shoot the NBA three-pointer and hit ’em,” Carleton said.
Hay had a game-high four treys.
Salt Fork kept its composure and retook the lead for good, 47-45, on two free throws by Emilie McFadden with 4:29 left in the fourth quarter. McFadden finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
“We’ve had instances where we’ve not been able to come back,” Carleton said, “but they’ve gotten to the point where they’ve settled down and keep themselves pretty level.”
Delaney Durst scored 15 points and Sadie Edwards had 14 as Oakwood avenged an earlier loss to Westville with a 44-33 triumph.
The Comets — who doubled their win total in the tournament — held the Tigers without a field goal in the middle two quarters.
The difference, Comets coach Jeff Ford said, was rebounding.
“In the last game we couldn’t keep them off the boards, and they got a lot of second-chance points,” he said.
With Oakwood’s Amelia Burke grabbing 10 rebounds and Durst nine, Westville managed just one putback basket.
“Delaney has been playing good and came up big again,” Ford said. “She’s a finesse player and is adjusting to the game. She’s figuring out where she can get her shots.”
Durst hit two of Oakwood’s three-pointers. Lexy Terry had five steals. Edwards had four assists and also hit 6 of 8 free throw attempts. Ford said his primary ball handler “handled the ball well under pressure and did a good job distributing it.
“This is how I expected them to play.”
Morgan Gallion led Westville (5-19) with 12 points. She hit two fourth-quarter three-pointers. Mikayla Rolinitis had a team-high eight rebounds.