Ingram paces Blue Devils in tourney tuneup
BISMARCK – On the eve of the annual Vermilion County Tournament, defending champion Bismarck-Henning was out to make a statement against one of the two teams to defeat the Blue Devils this season.
Using an impressive performance at both ends of the court against Vermilion Valley Conference power Chrisman, the Blue Devils notched a confidence-building 76-65 victory at Wilcox Gymnasium and in the process sent a message to the rest of the county tournament field.
"I hope it does (make a statement)," Blue Devils' point guard David Ingram said. "That's what coach told us: we need to make a statement going into the county tournament. We're going to go in to show them that we're not there to mess around; we're there to get the job done."
Ingram's penetration against the Cardinals' man-to-man defense was a decisive factor in the outcome. The senior had little difficulty getting to the basket where he either shot (21 points) or dished off to his teammates (seven assists) with frequent success.
"They had people helping on Murad (Abbed) which allowed me to go to the basket and then once they tightened on me that's when everybody else on the team was able to get some easy shots."
Chrisman, ranked sixth in the latest Class 1A poll, led 16-12 after one quarter behind nine points from sharp-shooting senior Jordan Kindred. That changed in the second quarter when senior guard Justin Fredericks stepped up his defense on the area's leading scorer. Kindred managed just four shots and zero points in the second and third quarters combined as the Blue Devils ran to a 48-40 lead.
"Fredericks all year has played against the best player on the other team," Ingram said. "He came out and stepped up big against Jordan tonight and that allowed us to get our lead and get our confidence up."
Kindred netted 20 hard-earned fourth-quarter points as the Cardinals (15-2, 5-1) tried in vain to catch the Blue Devils but it was too little, too late.
"I guarded him (Kindred) a little last year but this game I was on him the whole time," Fredericks said. "I was really nervous actually because he's a really good player, but I tried my hardest."
The Cardinals, who were 6 of 21 from three-point range and 26 of 58 overall from the floor, closed to within 48-43 on a Kindred trey in to begin the fourth quarter but the Blue Devils (14-2, 5-1) answered with five quick points to boost the lead back to 10. Trailing 59-50 with under three minutes to play, the Cardinals elected to make the Blue Devils earn the win at the line < 1/3>ý" which they did – converting 17 of 23 tries and 20 of 28 for the game.
"(Fredericks is a very good defensive player," Kindred said. "We played horrible defense < 1/3>ý" that's pretty much what got us beat."
Abbed made 9 of 11 fourth quarter free throws and finished with a team-high 23 points. Gabe Bergman added 16 for the Blue Devils, who hope to have injured 6-foot-10 center Trey McCorkle (torn ligaments in ankle) back in the lineup in the next two weeks.
For the Cardinals, Logan Ross tossed in 17 points and Matt Morris pitched in with 10.
Hoopeston Area 56, G-RF 27
Clayton Snyder had 18 points to power the visiting Cornjerkers.
Brock Baker (12) and Jordan Flint (10) also hit double figures for Hoopeston.
Georgetown-Ridge Farm was led by Ben Gardner's nine points.
Salt Fork 102, Milford 60
Jon Knoll (21), Jake Manning (20) and Bryn Eakle (20) led a rout for the visiting Storm.
Eakle hit five threes, all in the first half, for Salt Fork.
Ryan Kunce scored 20 for the Bearcats.
Oakwood 64, A-P 50
Justin Jones had 19 points and 11 rebounds and was one of four Comets to hit double figures. Also hitting the mark were Brady Leeman(11), Mitch Cronk (10) and Alex Cundiff (10).
Tyler Farmer had 12 points and Zack Franzen added 11 for host Armstrong-Potomac.
Westville 65, Schlarman 46
Chris Hathaway scored a game-high 19 points, and Dustin Billings and Kyle Strebing each added 13 to power the visiting Tigers.
Nick Pellegrini had 10 points and six assists for the Hilltoppers.