Senior guards shoot BNL
to opening road victory
over Bloomington North
By Murphy Wheeler
BLOOMINGTON – Hopefully, Bloomington North passed its fire safety inspection this year because the Bedford North Lawrence Stars had two players on fire.
The Cougars could feel the heat radiating off the Stars’ hot-shooting senior duo of Braxton Day and Eli McPike. Behind Day’s 38 points and McPike’s 21 – both career highs- the Stars started the season with a 71-54 victory on Saturday night.
The Cougars started in control, but the momentum started to turn when McPike caught fire. Behind McPike’s 12 second-quarter points (all 3-pointers), the Stars went into the locker room at halftime with a 33-21 edge.
“McPike’s hot start to the game was big for them,” said North coach Andy Hodson, “We started making sure he didn’t get easy looks and that started bringing some of our guys farther out on the court than we wanted.”
After making some defensive adjustments at halftime, North brought the clamps down on BNL in the third quarter, cutting the BNL lead to 44-35. In the final period, the Stars broke the lead open behind Day’s 18 fourth-quarter points.
“I think when they started to focus on Eli more after his big first half, that really allowed Braxton to attack more and it really opened up our offense,” said BNL coach Jamie Hudson. “I’m excited because I feel like we have a really good one-two scoring punch in Braxton and Eli.”
While many focused on the tremendous scoring, Hudson looked more to his team’s defense as the key to their success.
“I think we played a really solid defensive game,” said Hudson. “We played with intensity and got after all the loose balls, and I just think that was the biggest key. I thought we just did a really nice job of translating everything we do in practice over to the game tonight.”
BNL recorded its first win at North since 2008. The Cougars (0-1) had won six straight season openers.
The Stars (1-0) will return home to face nemesis Bloomington South (1-1) on Friday. The Panthers fell to No.2 New Albany 72-68 on Saturday night.