PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Salt Fork repeats as County Champions

Jan. 21—DANVILLE — With new inspiration at a new venue, the Salt Fork girls basketball team were able to achieve some milestones on Friday.

The Storm won their second straight Vermilion County Tournament Championship with a 45-27 win over Armstrong-Potomac and sophomore Alexa Jamison reached the 1,000-point mark during the game.

"I think it is tougher to repeat because we don't have the newness of the first time, but luckily we are at DACC, who put on an awesome show and I think that inspired us a lot," Salt Fork coach Brian Russell said. "I am super proud of all the girls and they did an amazing job."

Jamison hit her milestone in the third quarter and had 27 points in the game, but the milestone was far from her mind.

"I wasn't really thinking about it, but I was thinking if it would happen, it would happen," Jamison said. "We were trying to get the win."

"It's been a crazy week. She's put in the work and her teammates have helped her get there," Russell said. "She has put in the work and has not tried to go outside of herself. She played a great game and stayed in the system and I am glad it happened here."

After a slow 26-16 win over Georgetown-Ridge Farm in Wednesday's action, the Storm did not repeat that as they went up for a 18-6 first quarter lead.

"We struggled shooting a little bit the other night, so I was super proud of them for getting buckets early tonight and that set the tone for us," Russell said.

"I thought we played well these last few games, but tonight Jamison got hot early," Armstrong-Potomac coach Nick Hipsher said. "They hit a lot of good shots and defense is where we have hung our hats on to get here, so they played real well."

Along with the offense, Russell said that the defense carried over from Wednesday's game as well.

"We talk about defense all the time. Our goal was to set the tone defensively and hopefully our shots will go in," Russell said. "When both of those things happen, that's when good things happen for us."

Macie Russell and Kendall Cooley each had six points for Salt Fork, with Jamison and Russell being named to the All-Tournament team.

"At the beginning of the season, this was one of our goals and we knew that we would have a target on our backs," Jamison said. "Armstrong is a good team and we knew that we would have to play a good game and all of us needed to show up."

Cami Saltsgaver had seven points to lead the Trojans, while Kyla Bullington and Gigi Mulvaney each had six. Bullington was named to the All-Tournament Team and had 59 points for the tournament to make the girls' all-time scoring list.

Hipsher said that in the end, it was the pressure that did in the Trojans in their attempts to finish the tournament as champions.

"They are a really good defensive team and they put pressure on us and we didn't handle it good," Hipsher said. "I thought we would handle it a little bit better tonight, but give them credit because they played really well."

In the third-place game, Georgetown-Ridge Farm was able to pull out a 43-42 win over Oakwood when Sydney Spesard hit two free-throws with 5.8 seconds left.

Geo-RF coach Brad Russell said Spesard not only hit the winning shots, but had to guard Oakwood's Addie Wright for most of the game.

Sydney steps up and hit those shots and that's not easy to make with 5.8 seconds left," Russell said. "Against Salt Fork, Bryleigh Collom had to guard Alexa Jamison and did a magical job and today Sydney had to hang with Addie Wright. Savannah (Cunningham) came in to help a bit and we did a good enough job to win."

For the Buffaloes, who lost 26-16 to the Storm on Wednesday, the win was a welcome consolation and it brought a little revenge after Geo-RF lost to Oakwood last week.

"I am not sure the kids realized that because they played their hearts out on Wednesday and we did it again tonight," Russell said. "I was pleased to go head to head with Salt Fork and come in tonight and keep our heads about us.

"We played a 1-2-2 at Oakwood and we had to slow Addie down, she is a heck of a player and we needed to limit her and at times, we did good and at times we lost her."

Kendall Roberts had 16 points to lead the Buffaloes, while Sydney Spesard had nine and Addi Spesard had eight. Addi Spesard and Collom were named to the All-Tournament team.

Wright had 23 points to lead the Comets while Cherokee Hanner had eight. Both Wright and Hanner were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The night started with the fifth-place game as Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin was able to beat Westville 38-25. Beth McMahon, who was an all-tournament selection, had 12 points for the Blue Devils, while Aubrey Peters and Draycee Nelson each had six points.

Lani and Lydia Gondzur each had seven points for the Tigers, while Aubrie Jenkins added six points.