PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Salt Fork teams up to beat St. Thomas More

Feb. 25—ARMSTRONG — The Salt Fork boys basketball team definitely made it a team effort on Friday.

With strong defense and balanced scoring, the Storm was able to beat St. Thomas More 56-42 in an IHSA Class 1A regional championship at Armstrong-Potomac High School.

"From the beginning of the game to the end of the game, we were well-prepared and was in-control for the majority of the game," Salt Fork coach Andrew Johnson said. "We played really good defense and we rebounded well."

The Storm held the Sabers to single digits in the first three quarters as they built a 38-19 lead and were on their way to the title.

On offense, while top players Blake Norton and Garrett Taylor had the majority of the points, Johnson was pleased about how other players were able to contribute.

"I will say that there was a lot of contributions from players like Ty Smoot and Blake Hettmansberger that was the difference-maker because that made us balanced on offense," Johnson said. "We did not have that same contributions Wednesday night and we suffered because of it. Those guys got challenged and rose to the occasion and it was important to have a balanced attack tonight. It showed that we could be a total basketball team."

Hettmansberger had six points, while Smoot and Hayden Chew each had five points and Jameson Remole and Evan Webb each had two.

Taylor led all scorers with 22 points, while Norton had 14 points before fouling out.

"Blake Norton did a good job in the first half scoring and was real assertive around the rim," Johnson said. "He got himself in foul trouble, but it allowed for Garrett to settle in and Garrett took over."

The Storm move on to sectional play on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Heyworth against Bloomington Cornerstone Academy. Cornerstone beat St. Anne 62-41 in a regional championship at Watseka.

"They are a very good team and they are well-coached and they have really good skillsets," Johnson said. "They play intelligent basketball and we have to be ready because there is nothing but good teams left, so we have to find a way to win on Wednesday."