ERIE — The Bureau Valley Storm kicked up the intensity level late in the game against the Stockton Blackhawks during their opening game in the 12th Annual Warkins Cardinal Classic at Erie Thursday morning, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
Stockton junior guard Sam Venhuizen drained a jump shot from the baseline with seven seconds left in the game snatching a 57-56 victory from the Storm during White Pool play.
A balanced Bureau Valley offense was led by junior guard Parker Neuhalfen, who scored a game-high 19 points, followed by junior guard Tommy Johnston and senior forward David Miller both of whom added 12 points. Stockton’s top scorers were senior guard Trey Timpe with 18 points and sophomore forward Jace Springer with 17.
The Storm would finish the day 1-1 with a 71-56 win over Orion.
In the early game, Stockton led by nine points on three different occasions during the first half of play as they steadily added to their lead throughout the half. The Blackhawks went into halftime with one of those nine-point leads as Stockton junior guard Will Heidenreich knocked down two free throws to make the score 26-17.
“The kids played hard the second half. We’ve experienced it early in the year, but I’m not sure that we’ve learned it yet but we have got to play four quarters to beat good high school teams and we didn’t have four quarters we only had two,” Bureau Valley coach Jason Marquis said. “Whether it’s good or bad we don’t get a chance to practice to make it right but we do get another opportunity to get ourselves a win this afternoon.”
Bureau Valley came out determined to improve its play in the second half as it quickly erased the nine-point deficit. Johnston’s layup at the 4:25 mark of the third made the score 32-31 Stockton.
The early third quarter surge was led by Miller who scored seven of the first eight Storm points including knocking down a big 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Miller, who did not play before this year, scored all 12 of his points in the second half.
“He’s a senior (Miller), he doesn’t realize it but he’s a good leader. He’s kind of come out of nowhere and put a lot of good time in and done some real good things but we need to continue to get better, it can’t be one guy we need all of our guys to win basketball games,” said Marquis. “The big number is four quarters, we gave them a nine-point cushion to start the half and you can win the second half but it doesn’t matter if you lost the first by that much.”
Both offenses seemed to be rolling as they traded buckets and small leads for the remainder of the game.
Neuhalfen took the ball the entire length of the floor, driving pass Stockton defenders on his way to an easy layup with 20 seconds left making the score 56-55 Storm.
Stockton’s Venhuizen answered as he got away from his defender and flashed out to the baseline where he knocked down the wide open baseline shot for the victory.
BV 71, Orion 56: The Storm finished up their first day with big second half to topple Orion. BV used a 27-15 third quarter to build a 50-39 lead and cruised to victory. Johnston and Josh Mead each scored 14 points and Neuhalfen added 13.
* The Storm improved to 2-1 at Erie with a 46-33 win over Mercer County on Friday.
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