Bedford North Lawrence Boys Basketball

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BOYS: BNL buckling up for Chitty-bang-bang battle at East

Columbus East coach Brent Chitty

Brent Chitty’s

Olympians will

test BNL interior

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Columbus East’s basketball personality can be summed up in one delicious pun: It’s Chitty-bang-bang.

The Olympians (2-0) are a direct reflection of fiery veteran coach Brent Chitty, now in his third year at East after coaching for 13 seasons at Evansville Central. They are tough, aggressive, and they relentlessly pound the ball into the paint.

Bedford North Lawrence better buckle up for a bruising battle when the Stars (3-1) open their Hoosier Hills Conference run with a road trip to East on Friday night. BNL’s interior, small around slim 6-foot-7 senior center Jackson Ryan, will be probed, tested and punished.

“One thing they do, probably better than any team I’ve watched so far this year, is they’re like an old-school team in that they pound the rock inside,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “It doesn’t matter who posts up, they get it in there and use their strength and their height. They finish strong.

“That’s what they do and they do it really well. I bet 80 percent of their shots are inside the paint. They’ll be really hard to defend. It’s something we’ve been working on, how we’re going to defend the post.”

Just ask New Albany. The Bulldogs surrendered 99 points (in double overtime) and lost at East in the HHC opener on Nov. 30. New Albany coach Jim Shannon called it “the worst defensive performance” he had ever seen.

Columbus East’s Bryce Lienhoop defends against BNL during last year’s game.

East’s power players will include 6-6 junior center Bryce Lienhoop (who had 21 points against New Albany and tortured BNL last year with 14 points and 13 rebounds), 6-2 forward Ridge Harris (18 against the Bulldogs) and 6-3 senior Zach Martindale (16 against New Albany).

This is a team East has been grooming since Chitty’s arrival. The roster is littered with seven seniors, featuring guard Nate Rich, who scored 20 second-half points during last year’s 65-57 overtime win over the Stars.

“They’re a phenomenal basketball team,” Hudson said. “They play hard, they’re aggressive, and they play with a lot of emotion – just like their coach does on the sideline. That’s a Coach Chitty trademark. They are very much a reflection of him.”

East, which clipped Heritage Christian 64-62 on Tuesday night, has won only one HHC title in 2003. For the Stars to challenge for the league title, they will have to hold serve for four games at home and escape from hostile territory with a win. Doing that at East would be a huge step. Continue reading

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BOYS: BNL’s Ryan is the one, and it’s a lonely number

BNL’s Jackson Ryan stands out as the lone senior – and the tallest Star – on the 2012-13 basketball roster. He’s averaging 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Ryan the lone

senior on the

BNL roster

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

One, according to the lyrics of Three Dog Night, is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.

Bedford North Lawrence’s Jackson Ryan knows the feeling. He’s the lone senior – and the only player of noticeable height – on the basketball roster. He stands by himself, the sole survivor, the solitary fighter after three years of subtractions and attrition.

Where did they all go? Ryan started with a freshman class of 15, was among the cast of six sophomores on the junior varsity, then one of three juniors on last year’s varsity. Now he is the one. It will be a short senior ceremony during that final home game on Feb. 22.

Coaches ask seniors to be team leaders, shouldered with responsibility. Guess who that is? Ryan, ready or not, whether he wanted it or not, was the man. By process of simple elimination, the only man.

“It’s tough,” Ryan said. “Things go wrong, and it’s on me – which it should be. It’s kind of challenging, but I like it. You look forward to being a senior your whole life, for this one year.

“I feel like I’m a leader, I feel like that’s one of my strengths as a basketball player. That’s one of the main things I can contribute to the team.”

He has been groomed for this very purpose. He’s a coach’s son, a second-generation BNL son. He has watched, listened, absorbed, studied every basketball aspect. He knows, having been exposed to the game since birth, what needs to be done.

“The kids really respect him,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “He leads by example. He’s not going to yell, but he expects people to be here when they need to and he tells them what do to. They all listen to him. That’s what good leaders do.

Continue reading

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BOYS: BNL breezes to 64-28 win over Salem

BNL junior guard Morgan Cummings had 12 points and 8 rebounds during the 64-28 win over Salem.

Focus the key

as Stars storm past

offensive-challenged

Salem to go 3-1

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The challenge for Bedford North Lawrence was not the opponent.

Nothing can be taken for granted, but victory over Salem – offensively challenged and lacking any advantage to do damage – was almost a foregone conclusion Saturday night. Only a serious BNL letdown, a possibility following an emotion-charged loss to rival Bloomington South the previous night, could keep the Lions in the hunt of a tremendous upset at BNL Fieldhouse.

That did not happen. Focus was the issue, and the Stars made sure theirs was sharp with an 18-3 start that set the stage for a 64-28 triumph.

Junior guard Morgan Cummings led the way with 12 points and 8 rebounds, and senior center  Jackson Ryan added 10 points and 7 boards. The Stars (3-1) dominated every phase, punctuated by a second-quarter shutout of the toothless Lions (0-3).

“I thought we played pretty well,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “We exerted a lot of energy last night. To come out and play well tonight, I was proud of them. I’m proud of their effort. We did a lot of good things. We won and we were expected to win.”

BNL coach Jamie Hudson

There were no anxious moments, no drama, no angst. Nor should there have been.

“We’ve played in plenty of these games before,” Cummings said. “We just tried to get up early and let them know they weren’t going to be in the game.”

BNL hit its first six shots while roaring away. Matt Garrison had 7 first-quarter points and Cummings swished a 3-pointer from the key to highlight the burst to a 15-point lead.

“That’s our goal every game,” Hudson said of the breakout. “It was more of not having a letdown (from Friday). That was very emotional, and in the past we’ve let this game be a blah. So tonight the key was focus and taking care of business. We did a great job of doing that.”

The Stars seemed to burn out offensively in the second quarter, hitting only 1 of 12 shots, but that did not dampen the defensive work. Salem didn’t score in the second period and had only three 3-pointers to show for 16 minutes in the first half.

It’s going to be a long year for the Lions, and they know it.

“We lack a lot of firepower,” said Salem coach Hank Weedin, whose club has yet to score over 30 points this year. “We’re young and inexperienced. This group has struggled. We’re raw. We’re just trying to be positive.

“We’re not a great offensive team. I know it’s sad to say, but we lit it up tonight.”

BNL got its offensive groove back in the second half. Treys by Ryan, Cummings and Trey Turner boosted the lead to 46-18 after three quarters, and Isaac Fender came off the bench to score six points in the fourth. The Stars were guilty of only five turnovers and won the rebounding battle 35-15.

“We’re sitting 3-1 right now, and a lot of teams in the state of Indiana would love to be 3-1,” Hudson said. “I’m happy with them. We just need to keep building and getting better every day.”

Salem, even while taking home a stinging defeat, found good things to talk about. Jordan Baker, a freshman, scored 6 points while Caleb Couch (a sophomore) and Zane Jackson had 5 points each. The turnovers (18) did not get out of hand.

“Most people in the stands will think we got smoked, but I saw improvement in us,” Weedin said. “We might not win a game this season, but we’re hoping with each game to get a little better. We could have competed better, but any time you come up and make some strides against Bedford, that’s what we’re trying to build on.”

BNL will take a huge step up in competition in its next outing when it travels to Columbus East for its Hoosier Hills Conference opener. While the lashing of the Lions might not prepare them for that test, it did help solidify the team identity.

“We’re not athletic and big, but we’re smart,” Cummings said. “If we play fundamentally, we can be a tough team to beat.”

Garrison finished with 9 points and Blaze Byrer had 8 for the Stars.

 

 

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HHC Notebook: Broughton takes leave of absence at Jennings

Panthers win

first game with

interim coach

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Jennings County’s boys basketball program was rocked by the news of new coach Mike Broughton’s leave of absence for health reasons, but the Panthers bounced back from that with a 64-53 road win at Madison Saturday night.

Brad Hunt, a 6-foot-9 senior, scored 22 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Jennings owned a 43-29 rebounding advantage (including 19 offensive rebounds), with sophomore Caleb Eder collecting 13.

Ryan Thurston had 16 points for Madison (1-1, 0-1 in the HHC), which lost sophomore guard Nick Macon – who scored 20 in Madison’s opening win over Southwestern – with a foot injury.

Broughton, who won a state championship as the coach of Jeffersonville in 1993, coached the first two games this year. He went 210-40 with the Red Devils from 1990-2000. Joey Hartwell, an assistant under Broughton, is serving as the interim head coach.

“I’ve got to take care of some medical issues so I can watch my grandkids grow up,” said Broughton, who was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

New Albany – The Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1 in the HHC) suffered a  99-92, double-overtime loss at Columbus East. The 99 points were the most allowed by New Albany during the Jim Shannon coaching era and the first time an opponent has scored over 90 since a 90-80 loss to Scottsburg in 1994-95.

“It was the worst defensive performance that I’ve ever seen,” said Shannon, whose team gave up 27 layups.

Leondre McBirth scored a career-high 28 points, Jermaine Parrish (who hit two free throws to force overtime) had 23 points and 7 assists, and Garrett Arnold scored 17 points.

Columbus East – On the flip side, the Olympians won their season and league opener as five players scored in double figures. Bryce Lienhoop had 21 points, Ridge Harris had 18 points, Zach Martindale added 16 and Kyle Taylor had 15 for the Olympians.

It was East’s first 90-plus offensive performance since a 94-70 win over Jeffersonville in 2002-03.

Seymour – The Owls suffered a brutal 91-29 loss to country rival Brownstown. Seymour hit only 9 of 47 shots. Chaz Schneider scored 28 points for the Braves.

“You’re not going to beat anybody when you shoot the way we did,” Seymour coach Scott Miller said.

GIRLS

Jeffersonville – Class 3-A No.9 Madison jumped out to a 13-0 lead and fought off the Red Devils 63-56. Haley Vogen had 15 points for the Red Devils, who dropped to 2-3 with their third straight loss (all of them against conference foes).

The game was marred by 51 fouls. Madison outscored Jeff at the line 32-13.

Olivia Crozier scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Cubs (6-0 and 2-0 atop the HHC). Cadie Povaleri added 12 points and Macy Hecox totaled 11. Madison is off to its best start since going 8-0 to open the 1996-97 season.

 

 

 

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BOYS: Hendricks powers South past BNL 59-44

Junior scores

14 in fourth as

Panthers prevail

Box score

BLOOMINGTON – Bloomington South junior forward Keaton Hendricks refused to allow Bedford North Lawrence to end its frustrating losing streak to his team at his expense. Not on his home floor, not on his watch.

Hendricks scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Panthers pulled away late for a 59-44 victory over the Stars (2-1). South (1-1) conquered BNL for the ninth consecutive time and the 14thtime in the last 16 meetings.

Keaton Hendricks

BNL has not won at South since the 1996-97 season. Hendricks made sure that continued. He scored eight points as South broke away from a 34-31 lead after three quarters, and sophomore guard Johnny Jager added a dagger 3-pointer that gave South its first double-digit advantage.

The Stars, who missed 10 fourth-quarter free throws, could not recover.

“Hendricks did what a good big guy would do – go post up and take it to us,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “He used his height advantage (at 6-foot-5) to do what was best, go inside. He just took advantage of that.”

South’s superior size wore down BNL and caused the Stars grief on the offensive end. BNL converted only 11 of 39 shots (28.2 percent) and also missed 15 free throws. Sophomore leading scorer Blaze Byrer, who averaged 19 points per game in the first two wins, was held to 1-of-10 shooting and 4 points.

That’s not the recipe for a road win.

“It was a closer game than the score indicated,” Hudson said. “We shot the ball very poorly. That took away any chance of winning. South got a little physical and we missed some open shots. The biggest thing was offensive rebounding. They’re big, and I think their depth really got us tonight.”

The BNL backcourt did the best work. Morgan Cummings scored 12 points while Trey Turner added 10. Jackson Ryan had 7 points and 7 rebounds. BNL had only 9 turnovers.

Morgan Cummings

“Trey and Morgan played really well,” Hudson said. “We hustled. We were right there, but a few things didn’t go our way.”

Johnathon Winters had 11 points while Isaiah Gooch grabbed 9 rebounds for the Panthers, who had only six turnovers.

“It was a phenomenal learning experience,” Hudson said. “I told our guys it would not make or break our season. We want to be playing well in March, that’s why you play these games.”

BNL will have little time to bounce back. The Stars will entertain Salem (0-2) tonight.

“The great thing is we get to play again,” Hudson said. “We will worry about getting better and learning from that. We will see how well we respond. I think this group has a different mindset and will come out and play well.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOYS: South dominating the rivalry with Stars

Bloomington South coach J.R. Holmes has guided the Panthers to eight straight wins over BNL.

Panthers have

won 8 straight

in the series

 

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

For a team sport rivalry to flourish, to maintain its meaning and excitement, the competition should be level, intense and the outcomes divided.

That has not been the case lately between Bedford North Lawrence and Bloomington South.

The BNL-South battles date back to founding of the program, and many are historic, story-worthy tales that have been relived and retold countless times. Each has ripped out the other’s heart and loved doing it. From a BNL perspective, there is no other team on the schedule the Stars enjoy conquering more than South.

Label it a neighborhood, familiarity-breeds-contempt thing.

But it’s also been completely one-sided for eight straight years. During this near-decade of domination, only the last two meetings have been decided by single digits. Five were by 20-plus points.

“As long as I’ve been here, no team – freshman, JV or varsity – I’ve been on has ever beat them,” BNL senior (and perhaps Big Jinx) center Jackson Ryan said.

That’s not a rivalry. That’s punishment.

BNL (2-0) will seek to end that sad streak Friday night when it travels north to meet South (0-1).  And there’s no way to overstate what a victory would mean.

“It would mean a bunch,” junior guard Trey Turner said. “It’s been a while. They’re been a team we’ve struggled with, and it would be really big to beat them.”

“They’re a great program,” Ryan said. “It would be huge for our program.”

Granted, the Panthers had tremendous teams during that span, including two Class 4-A state champions. But this South team, which lost an opener for the first time since the 1995-96 season, is not of that caliber. At least , with a freshmen and sophomore starting in the backcourt, not yet.

“We won’t be bad when it’s all over with, when our guards get some experience,” veteran South coach J.R. Holmes said. “I’m happy with the way we didn’t give up (in the 61-57 loss at New Albany last week). We did a lot of good things. I’m pretty pleased from the standpoint we played a freshman, a sophomore and five juniors. It was a learning lesson.”

In other words, if BNL is going to get them, and win at South for the first time since 1996-97, get them now.

South still has talent, with sophomore guard Johnny Jager, junior 6-5 swingman Keaton Hendricks and senior forward Johnathon Winters (all returning from last year’s sectional title team) all scoring in double figures in the opener. Jager had 17 points in last year’s 55-51 win over BNL.

“It’s another test for us,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “They have more experience than we do and have a huge advantage in height (with another 6-6 starter and three 6-5 players coming off the bench). That’s something that worries me because we’re so small. We have to own the boards because they’re good rebounders and they’re big.”

BNL’s strength so far has been offensive balance and defensive toughness. Sophomore forward Blaze Byrer leads the Stars in scoring at 19.0 while juniors Morgan Cummings (9.5), Turner (8.5) and Matt Garrison (8.0) have all made significant contributions. BNL has allowed only 47 points per game as opponents have shot only 19 percent from 3-point range.

“The kids have bought into how we will have to defend this year,” Hudson said. “They’ve done a good job. If we can keep the turnovers down like we did against North (with only 10), if we can stay in the ballgame, we have a great chance of winning every game. This is the type of group that can do that.”

BNL suffered a blow on Tuesday when reserve junior guard Dillon Hensley went down with a high ankle sprain and will miss the next two weeks while wearing a protective boot. But the Stars will add junior Jesse Millikan into the mix after he completed the required number of practices to compete.

BNL will also host Salem (0-2) on Saturday night. It’s the first of three consecutive double-dip weekends on the schedule. BNL will also play three straight doubleheader weekends in January.

 

BNL at BLOOMINGTON SOUTH

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 2-0; Bloomington South 0-1

Series: South has won eight straight meetings and 13 of the last 15.

Last meeting: The Panthers prevailed 55-51. Nik Bailey had 15 points for the Stars, who owned a 46-44  lead with 3:32 left. Johnny Jager had 17 points for South.

Game notes: South opened with a 61-57 loss at New Albany, losing an opener for the first time since the 1995-96 season. BNL is going for a sweep of the three Monroe County teams for the first time since 1995-96.

BNL starting lineup

F – Blaze Byrer 6-3 So.

F – Matt Garrison 6-1 Jr.

C – Jackson Ryan 6-7 Sr.

G – Trey Turner 5-9 Jr.

G – Morgan Cummings 6-1 Jr.

Bloomington South starting lineup

F – Isaiah Gooch 6-6 Jr.

F – Johnathon Winters 6-2 Sr.

G – Keaton Hendricks 6-5 Jr.

G– Tucker Blackwell 6-1 Fr.

G – Johnny Jager 5-11 So.

 

SALEM at BNL

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 2-0; Salem 0-2

Series: BNL has won 36 of 38 games against Salem.

Last meeting: The Stars won 63-56 last year as Nick Bailey scored 18 points and Evan Deckard added 13. Ian Bowling had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Zach Bowling scored 16 points for the Lions.

Game notes: The Lions are averaging only 25 points per game. Salem’s only wins in the series came in back-to-back seasons, the last being an 80-59 victory in 2008-09.

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COLUMN: Stars crackling with confidence after 2-0 start

Jackson Ryan

“Those enjoying winning streaks thus win twofold. They win not only the game but also the right to greater self-determination. They become masters of their own fate. That feeling of efficacy, of being in charge of circumstances, is the essence of confidence. Winning once or twice is encouraging, but winning continuously is empowering.”

–       Rosabeth Moss Kanter

 

The vibe inside BNL Fieldhouse is palpable. Something is in the air.

Practice has yet to start, but there is an energy, a buzz, a crackle of excitement. Bedford North Lawrence, with one of the youngest teams in its basketball history, is 2-0 for the first time in seven years, and the needle on the meter is moving further to the right, nearing the red zone.

The Stars, as if political talking points had been passed out in the locker room, point to a common theme, a single description of their attitude.

Confidence.  Winning has bred it.

“We’re very excited, very confident,” lone senior Jackson Ryan said.

BNL coach Jamie Hudson

“I think our kids have that confidence,” coach Jamie Hudson said.

“It’s just knowing that we can win, not listening to other people,” sophomore scoring leader Blaze Byrer said. “We can do it.”

The definition of confidence reads “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-reliance; assurance.” It is not to be confused with cockiness, which is defined as “an offensive boldness and assertiveness; aggressive self-assurance.”

Cockiness creates a false sense of security and is doomed for a crash of reality. Confidence creates a cornerstone for sustained success. There is nothing offensive about the Stars.

This BNL team, with its youth and inexperience, with its lack of size and speed, was a preseason mystery, not expected to make waves in Southern Indiana. Two wins is not yet a trend, but some ripples have appeared in the water. And one factor is behind it.

Confidence. The Stars didn’t listen to the outside negative thinkers (more commonly called ‘haters’ in today’s world). Abraham Lincoln said “You have confidence in yourself, which is valuable, if not an indispensable quality.” BNL can attest to that.

“I don’t think it surprises any of us, as a team, but it has surprised people outside of the program,” junior guard Trey Turner said of the start. “It’s exciting for us and it’s given us a lot of confidence to go out and play.”

Each step so far has been tougher than the first. The Stars opened with a win over Edgewood, then conquered Bloomington North. Now the challenge is a road trip to Bloomington South, which has treated BNL like a whipping post, winning eight straight in the series and 13 of the last 15.

BNL hasn’t swept the Monroe County teams since the 1995-96 season.

Mission impossible? Not for a team with confidence. “As is our confidence,” essayist William Hazlitt wrote, “so is our capacity.”

“I think it would be another huge confidence boost for us,” Hudson said. “Beating North was a big win for us, and it was a great momentum builder going into this weekend.

“It all is mental with Bloomington South. We just have to get over the hump one time, and it would solve a lot of problems. Mentally, over the last few years, we haven’t been able to do that.”

Don’t tell the Stars it can’t be done. There is no cockiness, no bragging about a victory not yet achieved. But neither is there fear.

“Edgewood seemed like a starter, we worked our way to North, and now South will be a little tougher,” Byrer said. “It would feel good to break the streak.”

 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

–       Marie Curie, Nobel Prize winner

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BOYS: Stars claw past Cougars 65-53

Byrer, Turner

Trey Turner

power BNL

past North

Box score

Bedford North Lawrence’s offensive stars lived up to their given names Saturday night.

Blaze was hot and Trey knocked down treys as the Stars surprised Bloomington North 65-53 at BNL Fieldhouse and started a season 2-0 for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.

Sophomore forward Blaze Byrer scored a career-high 21 points and junior guard Trey Turner hit three 3-pointers and totaled 15. BNL opened with an 18-6 spurt and held off North’s second-half charge.

“It’s a great win,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “They’re a very good ballclub. It’s a great momentum builder. I told the kids if we played our basketball, we would win.”

Byrer was the catalyst to the hot start with nine first-quarter points.

Morgan Cummings

After the Cougars clawed within 39-38 to start the fourth quarter, Morgan Cummings hit two 3-pointers and Byrer added another as BNL battled back to a comfortable working margin.

“We settled down, knocked down some shots and made another run,” Hudson said. “Blaze played exceptionally well again and Trey knocked down some really good shots. It’s just a great team effort.”

North’s backcourt firepower, which was key to North’s opening 75-59 win over Terre Haute South and last year’s 66-63 win over BNL, was neutralized. Grant Sims scored 14 points and Saikou Jallow added 11, but Tyler Truesdel was limited to two points after scoring 22 in last year’s clash with the Stars.

“We had a really good game plan defensively and the kids executed very well,” Hudson said. “Morgan did a great job defensively. They followed the scouting report.”

Blaze Byrer

Cummings, who finished with 9 points, was quick to credit BNL’s team defense. North hit only 7 of 23 first-half shots.

“I had a lot of help,” Cummings said. “If I got beat I had guys behind me. So I just tried to keep them in front of me.”

Hudson also pointed to BNL’s turnovers (10) as a factor. The Stars had 17 in the opening win over Edgewood.

“We played confident and played together,” Cummings said. “Everyone did their job and we hit the open guy. This is really big for us. We were about the only ones who thought we would win. So it’s a big confidence booster. Hopefully we can build on it.”

Matt Garrison also had 9 points for BNL. Burt Bloom had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Cougars.

BNL will go for a Monroe County sweep when it visits Bloomington South (0-1 after falling at New Albany 61-57) on Friday. The Stars haven’t beaten all three northern neighbors in the same year since the 1995-96 season.

“I’d go to battle with these kids any day of the week,” Hudson said. “They’re a great group to coach. They listen, they’re unselfish and all they care about is winning for BNL. Those type of kids don’t come around very often. I think this could be a special group.”

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BOYS: BNL ‘on guard’ for North’s power trio

BNL coach Jamie Hudson

Backcourt the key

as BNL prepares

to face Cougars

 

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The first four minutes of last year’s Bloomington North blitz of Bedford North Lawrence were a high school basketball version of “shock and awe.”

North sniper Tyler Truesdel buried his first four 3-pointers. Three BNL turnovers were converted into breakaway layups. The bombs and blasts nearly blew the Stars off the court. BNL recovered from the false start, scrambling within 56-55 with 4:35 left, but the rally finally fizzled as the Cougars won 66-63.

So the first objective for BNL (1-0) on Saturday night, when the Cougars (1-0) visit BNL Fieldhouse to renew the rivalry, is to survive the expected onslaught launched by North’s experienced and talented backcourt.

North’s Tyler Truesdel

Doing that, and limiting the production of Truesdel and junior backcourt teammates of Grant Sims and Saikou Jallow, would lead to the ultimate objective – winning.

North’s guards will be the focus. Sims scored 22 points, Truesdel totaled 15 and Jallow added 10 as the Cougars pummeled Terre Haute South 75-59 in their opener Wednesday night. Truesdel had 22 points and the other two were double-digit scorers during last year’s win over BNL.

North coach Andy Hodson is on record saying “I like my guards.”And when a coach says that about a trio that has started since their freshman year, he knows he has something special. BNL coach Jamie Hudson holds them in high regard.

“They’re extremely quick,” Hudson said. “Truesdel can absolutely fire the rock. But we’ll be ready. Our kids have known them and played against them. It’s going to be a battle.”

North will also have a size advantage at every position.

“They’ll make it physical, which everyone will try to do to us, but we will adjust to that,” Hudson said. “Our lack of size will be a problem. But I love our basketball IQ.”

The Stars debuted with a solid 54-41 win at Edgewood on Tuesday. Sophomore lefty Blaze Byrer scored 17 points and junior guard Morgan Cummings added 10. BNL went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter to erase a turnover-marred start.

“I thought we moved the ball very well,” Hudson said. “We did a pretty good job defensively. I’d really like to see us work on our turnovers (17). We have to keep them around 10 to be very competitive with our schedule.”

The home opener with North represents a significant leap in schedule toughness as a follow-up to the conquest of the Mustangs. A win would mark BNL’s first 2-0 start since the 2005-06 season and be a red-letter win for a young team with only one senior (Jackson Ryan, who had nine rebounds against Edgewood) on the roster.

“As we get more games under their belts, getting that experience, we’ll get a lot better,” Hudson said. “I think we’ll be a lot better after Christmas.”

 

BLOOMINGTON NORTH at BNL

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 1-0; Bloomington North 1-0

Series: North has won 11 of the last 15 meetings.

Last meeting: The Cougars prevailed 66-63 as Tyler Truesdel hit 5 3-pointers and scored 22 points. Nik Bailey had 15 and Jackson Ryan came off the bench to score 13 for the Stars. North bolted to a 22-3 lead and then held off BNL’s late charge.

Game notes: North opened with a 75-59 win over Terre Haute South. The Stars haven’t started 2-0 since the 2005-06 season.

BNL starting lineup

F – Blaze Byrer 6-3 So.

F – Matt Garrison 6-1 Jr.

C – Jackson Ryan 6-7 Sr.

G – Trey Turner 5-9 Jr.

G – Morgan Cummings 6-1 Jr.

Bloomington North starting lineup

F – Tyler Truesdel 6-2 Jr.

F – Adam Sowder 6-2 Jr.

C – Burt Bloom 6-7 Sr.

G– Saikou Jallow 6-3 Jr.

G – Grant Sims 6-3 Jr.

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BOYS: BNL goes out in Blaze of glory to win opener

Blaze Byrer

Byrer scores 17

as BNL wins

at Edgewood

 

Box score

ELLETTSVILLE – Bedford North Lawrence, to quote Jon Bon Jovi, went out in a Blaze of glory for its boys basketball season opener Tuesday night.

Sophomore forward Blaze Byrer scored a game-high 17 points as the Stars made a successful debut with a 54-41victory at Edgewood. BNL overcame a shaky start with a 16-0 run in the second quarter to conquer the Mustangs for the third consecutive year.

“I’m glad the kids found a way to win a ballgame on the road,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “That was a huge thing. It was all about settling down and grabbing a little poise. Once we got the lead, we played a lot better.”

The Stars (1-0) were guilty of eight first-quarter turnovers, then stopped that oil leak to pull away.

“We definitely had some first-game jitters in the first quarter,” senior center Jackson Ryan said. “But once we slowed the game down and started playing how we wanted to, it smoothed out.”

BNL’s breakaway ended with a 27-8 lead at the half.

“We did a much better job of handling the basketball and that’s when we took the lead up,” Hudson said. “That was a big difference. We pushed the ball in transition, got some good shots out of our offense.”

Byrer was the offensive star and did his most damage at the free-throw line (where he was 7 of 8), but he had plenty of balanced support as junior guard Morgan Cummings scored 10 while Matt Garrison and Isaac Fender had 7 points each. Ryan grabbed 9 rebounds.

“That’s a heck of a start for a sophomore,” Hudson said.  “I’m very pleased with Blaze. He’s come a long way. The sky is the limit for him. When we get him going on both ends, he’s going to be a very nice player for BNL. It was a good team effort.”

Mike Bowman had 17 points, Trevor Selburg added 13 and Tommy Black totaled 10 for the Mustangs (0-1).

BNL finished with 17 turnovers but made up for the mistakes with 50 percent shooting (20 of 40) and a 29-25 rebounding advantage.

“We’re a young team that’s learning roles, and people had to step up into spots,” Ryan said. “So it’s big to get that first win and get some confidence.”

The Stars will entertain Bloomington North in their home opener on Saturday night.