Bureau Valley chasing its goal at Wethersfield

KEWANEE - Everyone in the Bureau Valley community wants to know if the Storm have a good shot at winning the Wally Keller Invite this week at Wethersfield.

Everyone except for coach Jason Marquis, who’s taking it one day at time.

“(BV board member Matt) Wiggim stopped me at church Sunday and said, ‘You going to win this thing?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, but I hope we win Monday night’” BV coach Jason Marquis said. “I’ve not thought about the tournament. I’ve thought about Monday night (against Annawan). Last night, i started thinking about Tuesday night. After we celebrate, eat a little McDonald’s, I’m going to start thinking about winning Wednesday night.

“Win the day. Especially in a COVID world. Shoot, the whole thing could go down Thursday on Turkey Day. Saturday feels a long ways away when you’ve got a game tomorrow. I’m worried about Wethersfield tomorrow. Coach J (Craig Johnson) has a good scout on them ... Honestly, I don’t even know who we play the rest of the week.”

The Storm took a second step in making that tournament goal a reality by defeating Elmwood 52-50 at Goose Island Tuesday night to move to 2-0 with three games remaining.

“That’s the goal,” BV senior guard Carter Salisbury said. “We knew tonight was going to be a good game. We watched them last night. They were good. We noticed that. We took notes on it and came in knowing this was a big game if we wanted to win this thing.”

The Storm had an anxious moment as Elmwood sharpshooter Andrew Marcinic got a good look at a potential game-winning 3-pointer. He made five treys in the game, finishing with a team-high 22 points, but couldn’t get the last shot to drop.

“I almost couldn’t feel my legs when he went up. He had a good look. At that point, you’re afraid it’s going to go in,” Salisbury said.

Salisbury led the Storm with 26 points, 13 in the fourth quarter to help the Storm hold on for victory. Adam Johnson added nine points.

“Third quarter, I couldn’t get it to fall and I was a little bit frustrated. But we had another quarter and my teammates stepped up big in that third quarter,” Salisbury said.

Salisbury had six points in the first quarter as the Storm took a 13-4 lead and added seven more in the second to lead the Storm to a 26-19 halftime lead.

“That kid’s worked incredibly hard. I’m extremely proud of him. He’s at the peak of competitiveness. Happy for him,” Marquis said.

Both Salisbury and Marquis said it was truly a team effort with everyone, including the bench players, who did not step on the court, for their contributions.

“The biggest thing is our bench and bringing the energy. Playing the whole game, that gets tiring. Every time you come back to the bench, they’re cheering you on. And that means a lot,” Salisbury said.

“I told the kids I’ve had a lot of active kids engaged on the bench, but man that group the last two nights has just been amazing. We’ve played what 8-9 kids tonight, so that leaves 5-6 on the bench and they were engaged. They were active. They were communicating.

“There may have been nine kids on the floor, but that’s the definition of a team win.”

Storm front: Marquis rewarded the team with a quick trip to “Micky Ds” after the game, an announcement which received a big roar in the locker room. The Storm will get to back work in the late game Wednesday against the host Flying Geese at 8 p.m. BV will then meet Stark County on Friday and Putnam County on Saturday, both with 3:30 p.m. starts.