CALEDONIA — Four different players achieved double figures in scoring, and the Bismarck girls basketball team reached the Valley Tournament finals on Thursday night by rolling past defending-champion Lesterville 85-49.
The top-seeded Lady Indians were never threatened after looking inside to sophomore Brettnie Henson for the game’s first three field goals, and ended the foul-plagued opening period leading 20-8.
Senior standout Brooke Taylor posted a healthy double-double with 31 points and 18 rebounds, and stands just 25 points away from a personal milestone of 2,000 in her varsity career.
Senior Torrie Helms netted 13 points and Megan Counts provided 12 off the Bismarck (2-0) bench, including a transition bank shot as the first-quarter buzzer sounded. Henson added 11 points and Harley Cadwell scored nine.
Taylor scored on a cross-over drive before following a missed free throw with another athletic basket in the second quarter, and Helms extended the margin to 33-12 with a 3-pointer from the left wing.
Lesterville (1-1) fielded a roster of six available players for the contest, most of whom eventually landed in dangerous foul trouble, but closed the first half with a nice burst of energy.
Ashlyn Woods and Taylor Cook made consecutive putbacks to reduce the halftime difference to 40-25, and shared top scoring honors for the Lady Bearcats with 17 points each.
Cook also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, and converted a steal into a fast-break layup to make it 44-32 after teammate RayVen Nichols knocked down a deep triple.
But the Lady Indians answered quickly with a 10-0 run over the next two minutes, and ended the third quarter ahead 60-41 following two mid-range jumpers from Helms.
Balee Lorenz chipped in six assists and five assists for Bismarck, which will meet conference-rival West County for the tournament title on Saturday.
Lesterville went 8-for-22 overall from the line, and received nine rebounds from Rochelle Thomas.
Lesterville 8 17 16 8 – 49
Bismarck 20 20 20 25 – 85
Lesterville – Woods 17, Cook 17, Nichols 7, Dowler 6, Watts 2. 3-point FG – Woods 2, Cook, Dowler, Nichols.
Bismarck – Taylor 31, Helms 13, Counts 12, Henson 11, Cadwell 9, Lorenz 6, Politte 2, Koenig 1. 3-point FG – Helms.