B-H girls rebound from cold start

DANVILLE — There were plenty of misses on Bismarck-Henning's girls' basketball team Saturday morning.

Fifteen, in fact.

When the top-seeded team in the 32nd girls' Vermilion County tournament made a field goal against eighth-seeded Westville, 12 minutes had elapsed.

"There's really no excuse for the way we played," B-H coach Mike Stephens said. "The girls are very disappointed and the coaching staff is very disappointed."

The Blue Devils avoided what would have been a bigger disappointment — a loss — by recovering from a 4-1 deficit after one quarter to secure a 38-19 quarterfinal triumph at Palmer Arena.

"Coach (Mike) Chandler had Westville very well-prepared," Stephens said.

B-H (15-5) extended its defensive pressure to full court and forced 14 third-quarter turnovers and 33 overall.

"I never want to go full court," Stephens said, "but we played so poorly, it forced us to go full court."

Lori Haas and Bailey Bryant scored nine points apiece to lead Bismarck-Henning. Emily Weinard was the top rebounder with seven.

Ashley Hoffman had eight points and Danielle Gabehart seven for the Tigers, who received seven rebounds from Mikayla Rolinitis.

After starting 0 for 15, B-H wound up 15 for 60 from the field. Westville was 8 for 26.

Milford 65, Oakwood 26. The third-seeded Bearcats hit 5 of 7 first-quarter three-pointers and built a 27-2 lead after one quarter. Dina Woodworth had three treys and Kylie Scherf two in the opening quarter.

From there, the rest of the half belonged to Ashlen Portwood inside. She scored the first 10 Milford points of the second quarter as the lead ballooned to 35-4. Milford is 10-10.

Makenzie Baker had all eight of Oakwood's first-half points and finished with a team-high 16.

Portwood hit 16 of her game-high 23 points in the first half and became the school's top career scorer (girls or boys) with a three-pointer at 4:58 of the third quarter.

"Some games I do keep track (of points), but this game, I wasn't," said Portwood, who was aware of the benchmark when coach Rod Burgett called a timeout after her record shot. "This is a great achievement. As a freshman, I didn't know I'd be this far."

During the timeout, the first person to greet and hug Portwood was Misty Scherf Courtney, a 1981 graduate who had amassed 1,347 career points. Portwood, who grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, now has 1,350 points.

Burgett credited the early perimeter prowess for getting Portwood untracked.

"It's a compliment to what the girls did outside," he said. "That opened up the inside."

Scherf, who had a game-high seven assists, and Woodworth each ended with three three-pointers. Scherf had 11 points and Samantha Wilken added 10.

Salt Fork 34, Georgetown-Ridge Farm 30. Freshman Kayla Learnard made two steals — and two free throws — in the final 10 seconds to enable the Storm to hold on in a game they never trailed.

G-RF's Brittany Hay scored consecutive baskets in the final minute to pull the Buffaloes into a 30-30 tie. Salt Fork's Hunter Marsh — her team's top scorer with eight points — broke it on a drive to the basket with 34 seconds left.

Learnard did the rest.

"She is an extremely headsy player," Salt Fork coach Jeff Carleton said. "She sees things ahead of when everyone else does."

Taylor Vice had seven points for the Storm, who were seeded behind the Buffaloes even though they had won the only previous meeting. Learnard had a team-high eight rebounds.

Hay and Callan Hall led the Buffaloes (11-8) with nine points apiece. Hall had nine rebounds and Hay handled eight.

Armstrong-Potomac 53, Hoopeston Area 17. The Trojans scored the first 10 points — four by Erika Sieberns — and never relinquished control. Brooke Markwalder led all players with 17 points and nine rebounds. Sieberns had 12 points and seven boards.

"Our post game has really come along, so we don't have to rely on jump-shootng as much as last year," A-P coach Nick Hipsher said. "Erika and Sarah (Reardon) inside mean it's not just Brooke anymore."

Reardon had eight points and four rebounds for the second-seeded Trojans (15-5).

"Defensively, we played pretty well," Hipsher said. "The effort, diving on the floor and going after loose balls is what impressed me most."

Brooke Kinney led the Cornjerkers with seven points. Teammate Kaaryn Wyss had six rebounds.

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