BISMARCK – The presence of a 6-foot, 10-inch high school center with skills is obvious. The absence of such an athlete might be even more so.
For the past two weeks, the Bismarck-Henning basketball team has been trying to adjust without senior center Trey McCorkle, who tore ligaments in his ankle in a game against Seeger (Ind.). With the Blue Devils' big man expected to miss four to six weeks, coach Mike Reynolds' team has been forced to adjust on the fly.
Friday night, the Blue Devils faced their toughest post-McCorkle test yet, squaring off against Fisher in the fourth round of the Hayden's Athletic Classic at Wilcox Gymnasium.
Behind nearly flawless ball handling – the Blue Devils committed one turnover – and solid all-around guard play, the hosts proved they are not to be taken lightly, with or without their injured star, by holding off a late Fisher run for a 48-46 victory.
B-H (11-1) advanced to the title game against Salt Fork (7:30 p.m. today).
"I wouldn't say that we're getting more comfortable (without Mc-Corkle) because we would rather have him back," said Blue Devils guard Murad Abbed, who finished with a team-high 20 points.
Mitch Elkins scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter to help Fisher (11-4) cut a 10-point lead to one with 25 seconds to play.
Abbed had a game-high 27 points, including five three-pointers, to lead B-H in its 68-34 victory against Schlarman.
Elkins scored a game-high 28 points to lead Fisher past Oakwood 65-37. Justin Jones led the Comets with 13 points.
Georgetown-Ridge Farm's Trenton Reed scored 14 points, leading the Buffaloes to a 49-46 double-overtime win against Heritage. Levi Coddington led the Hawks with 13 points.
Bryn Eakle scored a game-high 26 points for Salt Fork in its 71-64 win against Urbana University High.
Mike Renner (19), Frankie McFarland (15), Isaac Radnitzer (14) and Chumar Williams (10) were in double digits for the Illineks.
Blake Delong tallied 11 points for Atwood-Hammond in its 51-28 win against Shiloh. The Raiders were led by Cameron Kibler, who had eight points.
University High defeated A-H 59-42, thanks to 26 points from Renner.
Jones (18) and Adam Barr (13) each were in double figures for Oakwood in a 59-47 loss to Grant Park.
Ben Gardner (16 points) helpedG-RF defeat Shiloh 60-40. Dylan Ross led the Raiders with 13 points.
Jon Knoll scored 25 points to lead Salt Fork to a 58-47 win against Heritage.
Brian Payton scored six points for Schlarman in a 55-28 loss to Grant Park.