CLARION – The West Fork boys basketball team has a different feel to it this year.
Unlike most seasons in the recent past, the Warhawks are not the tallest team around, but much like the last few seasons, come tournament time, West Fork finds a way to move on.
On Friday, the Warhawks took on a tall and talented Bishop Garrigan squad, but a fourth-quarter run by the Warhawks turned into a 72-68 West Fork win, a district championship and a spot in Monday’s Class 1A substate final.
West Fork won three district games by a total of nine points.
“Defense won this game for us,” veteran West Fork coach Frank Schnoes said. “We did a good job sagging.”
While the defense made the difference down the stretch for West Fork, three-point shooting was the offensive spark for the Warhawks.
West Fork netted 13 three-point attempts on 21 attempts.
Zach Martinek, the leading scorer on the season for the Warhawks, was 5-of-6 on threes and finished with 25 points to lead all scorers.
Ian Latham hit a pair of threes and finished with 14 while Mitchell Halloran and Nathan Meinders added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Cade Winkel led four Golden Bears in double figures with 22 points.
Angelo Winkel had 14 points, John Joyce 13 and TJ Schnurr 12 for Bishop Garrigan.
West Fork (19-5) advances to face Don Bosco (21-3) in substate play on Monday at Clear Lake with the winner claiming a spot in the state tournament.