MANLIUS — The Bureau Valley Storm took care of business at home Friday night, using a 24-point second quarter to cruise to a 69-45 win over Riverdale, keeping them undefeated in the Three Rivers North division.
Tommy Johnston had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Parker Neuhalfen chipped in 17 points and Ryan Young added 10 points off the bench to lead the Storm to their fifth straight victory.
“It’s nice to come out and get a win tonight on our home floor,” Storm coach Jason Marquis said. “The kids played hard. I thought our effort was pretty good throughout. Our defense was pretty good. Our rebounding was OK. We have a ways to go to get better and reach our goals but we took a step tonight.”
Riverdale (5-11, 1-4) was dealt a tough blow on Tuesday night at Morrison when they lost two starters – 6-5 center Cole Solomon and sophomore point guard Josh Lohman – to what coach Jason Hendrix believes could be season ending injuries. The duo accounted for over half of the team’s offensive production.
Hendrix felt missing those two key players started to show in the second quarter where his team couldn’t keep up with the Storm (14-7, 5-0). After Neuhalfen hit a three to start the second, igniting an 11-2 run and breaking an 11 all tie, BV never trailed the rest of the way.
“We’ve only been really playing seven guys and two of those guys are down,” noted Hendrix. “It was an intense, physical game, which is great for us because we need that, but it also wears our guys down faster. I think you saw that in the second quarter when they went on their little run. Some of our guys got a little gassed.”
In all, the Storm outscored the Rams 24-13 in the second, hitting 7 of 15 shots from the field and getting to the free-throw line often with 13 attempts in the period.
BV then extended their lead in the third by limiting the Rams to just two field goals and forcing eight turnovers. The Storm took their biggest lead of the night on a steal and layup from Alex Johnson with 12 seconds left in the period.
Jake Gellerstedt was a bright spot for the Rams, scoring nine of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter, but the deficit was too much to overcome at that point.
The win for the Storm sets up a showdown at Sterling Newman on Tuesday night. The Comets are also undefeated in the Three Rivers north and are the 4th-ranked team in Class 2A.
Marquis says the Storm will need to be prepared to play.
“We are going to go up their and go in their pink locker room and have the same approach as we do before every game,” Marquis said. “It doesn’t matter who you play you just have to come out and execute your stuff. It’s no mystery they are a good team."
Notes: Bureau Valley fell in the sophomore game 44-23. Drew Fordham scored a game-high 13 points in a losing effort for the Storm…Two games that were postposted due to the weather have been rescheduled. The Storm will travel to Ridgewood Alwood on Feb. 15 and make up their conference game with Fulton at home on Feb. 21.