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Bismarck Basketball

Bismarck junior Austin Droege drives for a layup attempt in third quarter action of a Valley Tournament semifinal game on Wednesday.

Matt King, Daily Journal

CALEDONIA – Bourbon quickly pushed the tempo at every opportunity for fast-break offense during a semifinal matchup with top-seeded Bismarck at the Valley Tournament on Thursday night.

Senior guard Dillon Blue compiled 42 points, 11 rebounds and six steals in an enormous performance as the fifth-seeded Warhawks rolled to a 101-69 victory.

Five players scored in double figures for Bourbon (2-0), which brought high energy until the final buzzer, even after Bismarck (1-3) had pulled its two main weapons with three minutes left.

Blue netted 18 points in the fourth quarter alone, and the Warhawks trapped their opposition into a bevy of errant passes while forcing 30 turnovers in their second win over a higher seed.

Bismarck was highlighted by a career-high 31 points and seven rebounds from senior Hunter Drake, who drained eight shots from 3-point range.

He connected three straight times in a span of 90 seconds to keep the Indians within 75-56, but Bourbon proved unstoppable down the stretch.

Blue found several ways to produce points in the fourth quarter. He sprinkled in two uncontested layups with a combination of mid-range jumpers and 3-pointers.

But he had ample help as Aaron Farris provided 18 points and Jered Nolie added 14 more. Kyle Ware netted 12 points and Nick Reeves collected 10, both exclusively before halftime.

The lead changed hands five times in the early minutes, and Bismarck moved in front on a putback by Austin Droege, who tallied 22 points and 12 rebounds in a solid effort.

Bourbon seized control with an 11-2 run that Blue sparked with a driving layup to snap a 14-14 tie, and committed only one turnover in the first quarter while coaxing nine by the Indians.

Ware was heavily involved in deflecting passes at the head of the pressure, and pushed the Warhawks’ advantage to 38-20 near the midway mark of the second quarter.

Drake fired back with two long-range shots to bring Bismarck closer at 43-30, but Reeves finished a tough 3-point play along the baseline before Blue drilled a 21-footer.

Bourbon extended a 51-34 halftime lead, as Blue scored nine straight points for a 64-42 spread.

Logan Dunn had six points for the Indians, who will face Viburnum for third place on Thursday.

Matt King is the sports editor for the Daily Journal. Contact him at mking@dailyjournalonine.com

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