Bedford North Lawrence Girls Basketball

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Stars to stage golf scramble

BNL second-year coach Jeff Allen and the Stars will start defending the HHC title when they visit Seymour on Tuesday night. Photo courtesy of QT Photography

BNL coach Jeff Allen

Bedford North Lawrence’s girls basketball team will host a fundraiser golf scramble on May 7 at Otis Park.

The entry fee is $50 per player. Hole sponsorships are available for $100.

The four-person scramble (with men playing blue tees, women playing red tees, and men 55 or older playing white tees) will feature a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The event will include appearances by current and former BNL players and coaches.

The event is limited to 27 teams. For more information, contact Otis Park golf professional Aaron Harrell at 812-279-9092 or visit Otis Park to register.

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BASKETBALL: BNL’s Allen, Day named HM All-State

BNL freshman Jorie Allen leads the Stars in scoring and rebounding as BNL prepares to face No.10 North Central on Friday night. Photo courtesy of QT Photography

BNL freshman Jorie Allen

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Bedford North Lawrence freshman Jorie Allen and senior Braxton Day were named High Honorable Mention for the Associated Press girls and boys All-State basketball teams.

Allen averaged 16.1 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Stars, who finished 19-8 and won the Class 4-A girls sectional.

Day averaged 24.4 points and 6.9 rebounds as the BNL boys finished 14-11, and he concluded his career with 1,233 points, fourth on the school’s all-time list.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Allen named IBCA All-State

Jorie Allen, BNL's leading scorer, and the Stars will be challenged by East Central's size when the teams clash on Saturday. Photo courtesy of QT Photography

Jorie Allen

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Bedford North Lawrence freshman Jorie Allen was named to the Underclass All-State Team (for 3-A and 4-A schools) by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

Allen averaged 16.1 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Stars, who finished 19-8 and won the Class 4-A sectional.

The IBCA named a Senior Supreme 15, senior All-State Teams for large and small schools, and underclass Supreme 15, and underclass All-State Teams for large and small schools.

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COLUMN: BNL needs to stay calm and shoot for success

Kennedy Bunch and the Stars dropped to No.13 in the IBCA poll following the loss at Mooresville.

Kennedy Bunch will be the lone returning senior starter for the Stars next season.

Offensive numbers point

to problem as Stars seek

a return to the elite level

Watching the Class 4-A girls regional final shootout between No.1 Columbus North and Evansville Central, one fact was painfully obvious. The Bull Dogs and Bears were playing a style Bedford North Lawrence was unfamiliar with and unequipped to duplicate.

That, if BNL coach Jeff Allen is correct about the talent level he envisions over the next three years, is about to change.

Just hours after Central rallied to conquer the Stars 47-43 in the regional semifinal, the Bears battled the Bull Dogs to the final minute before falling 86-82. Now it’s doubtful the Stars, one of the best defensive teams in the state, would have surrendered 86 to North. Only one foe (Princeton with likely Miss Basketball Jackie Young) cracked 60 all season. But BNL’s offensive shortcomings would have made it difficult to contend with, and conquer, the defending state champion.

The Stars finished 19-8 and won a sectional championship while averaging only 49.1 points per game, and that stat dropped to a dangerous 39.3 in the four tournament games. That’s a testament to amazing defensive toughness and discipline, but it also points out why BNL struggled against the tougher teams on its brutal schedule. When points were difficult to score, the margin for error became razor thin. That was proven in the regional. One late mistake, just one, started a chain reaction that led to the loss.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: From shaky to sectional champions

BNLs Erin Bradley launches a contested shot over Cener Groves Lauren Rau. The Stars rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half but fell short. Photo courtesy of Rob Baker

Erin Bradley, who was named to the All-HHC team, is one of five seniors BNL must replace.
Photo courtesy of Rob Baker

After a rough start, BNL

progressed to win another

sectional championship

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

When the season started, when Bedford North Lawrence opened 0-2 for the first time in 12 years, when the Stars lost to a Hoosier Hills Conference opponent for the first time in 30 games, the question was how far these falling Stars would drop.

The sectional trophy, which now resides in a permanent home beside so many others, answered that: the Stars slipped from the state elite to the next level below, good enough to contend with the best, not quite powerful enough to be counted among them.

BNL final statistics

The Stars finished 19-8, and all but one of the losses came against opponents that were either ranked at the time or later won a sectional championship. They were so close so many times, and that ultimately was the final verdict when BNL bowed to Evansville Central in the Class 4-A regional semifinal. So close, and yet so agonizingly far.

BNL was good (dang! good, to quote a local color commentator), but not great. And if the last three years were the standard, that was unfair. These Stars made tremendous strides from that shaky start and won 10 of 11 games before finally faltering late in the regional farewell.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: BNL’s Allen, Bradley named All-HHC

Jorie Allen, BNL's leading scorer, and the Stars will be challenged by East Central's size when the teams clash on Saturday. Photo courtesy of QT Photography

Jorie Allen, BNL’s leading scorer, was named to the All-HHC First Team.
Photo courtesy of QT Photography

Bedford North Lawrence freshman Jorie Allen and senior Erin Bradley were named to the Hoosier Hills Conference’s First Team by the league coaches.

Erin

Erin Bradley

Allen led the Stars in scoring (16.1) and rebounding (7.6) as BNL finished 19-7 and won the Class 4-A sectional title. Bradley, know for her defensive work, averaged 4.7 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Joining the BNL duo on the 10-player First Team were Seymour’s Kayla Griffin and Mikayla Fee, who powered the Owls (18-5) to the HHC regular-season title. Griffin led Seymour in scoring (11.9) and rebounding (7.7), while Fee totaled 7.7 points and 5.4 rebounds.

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GIRLS REGIONAL: The heartache of the ending

BNL's Jorie Allen powers to the basket against Evansville Central. Allen scored 19 points, but BNL's season ended with a 47-43 loss in the 4- regional semifinal.

BNL’s Jorie Allen powers to the basket against Evansville Central. Allen scored 19 points, but BNL’s season ended with a 47-43 loss in the 4-A regional semifinal.

Evansville Central rallies

to conquer BNL 47-43

in 4-A regional semifinal

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

COLUMBUS – For want of one possession, a semifinal was lost.

In the postseason, with everything magnified, with each decision and bounce so crucial, one mistake can be critical. One moment of carelessness can cause chaos. Bedford North Lawrence suffered that forlorn fate on Saturday afternoon.

Protecting a five-point lead with less than two minutes left, the Stars were in prime position. They were poised to advance to the Class 4-A regional championship game, with No.1 Columbus North waiting. Hang on, execute – like so many times before – and salt it away.

Evansville Central's Errin Hodges looks for a way out of a trap. Hodges score 12 points, including a 3-point play for the lead in the final minute.

Evansville Central’s Errin Hodges looks for a way out of a trap. Hodges score 12 points, including a 3-point play for the lead in the final minute.

Not this time. Momentum reversed course in the blink of an eye, and BNL suffered a cruel loss. Evansville Central, which didn’t lead until the final 52 seconds, rallied from the brink to deck the Stars 47-43, earning revenge for a regular-season loss as the Bears (24-2) earned the ticket to the title game.

BNL (19-8) had that ticket in hand, or maybe it was counterfeit. The Stars owned a 39-34 late lead and had the basketball in hand. Just a few passes, a few free throws and they were home free. They never made it. Central’s Zion Sanders stepped in front of an errant pass and took off for the other end, starting a chain of events that BNL wishes it could replay.

But it cannot.

Sanders scurried to the basket with BNL’s Kennedy Bunch in chase mode. Bunch couldn’t catch her but was determined not to allow a score. She fouled from behind as Sanders swooped in, and Bunch’s foul was ruled intentional. Two shots – which Sanders coolly converted – and the ball back. Double jeopardy.

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GIRLS REGIONAL: Watch 4-A regional live on CoachesAid

Coaches Aid logo 2Saturday’s Class 4-A girls basketball regional at Columbus North will be broadcast live by CoachesAid.com.

The broadcast, free of charge, will be available on the Internet site at www.Coachesaid.com/home.aspx

No.1 Columbus North (24-1) will face Center Grove (12-12) in the first game at 10 a.m. Bedford North Lawrence (19-7) will meet Evansville Central (23-2) in the second game at approximately noon. The final is scheduled for 8 p.m.

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GIRLS REGIONAL: Columbus North defending its cown

Maliah Howard-Bass leads Columbus North in scoring as the Bull Dogs defend their Class 4-A state championship. Photo courtesy of Columbus North

Maliah Howard-Bass leads Columbus North in scoring as the Bull Dogs defend their Class 4-A state championship.
Photo courtesy of Columbus North

State champions to face

Center Grove in first

game of 4-A regional

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The true sign of a program’s strength is continuity, and Columbus North has epitomized that this season. How many teams could win a Class 4-A state championship, lose Miss Basketball, and come back just as strong? The Bull Dogs certainly have.

Time turned the page, yet the story remains the same. Columbus North, 24-1 and ranked No.1, is defending its crown, and it’s going to be extremely difficult to pry it away.

The Bull Dogs will continue their quest for back-to-back titles on Saturday when they face Center Grove (12-12) in the opening game of the regional on their home floor. Bedford North Lawrence (19-7) will meet Evansville Central (23-2) in the second game, and those winners will collide in the final at 8 p.m.

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GIRLS REGIONAL: Stars, Bears have points to prove

Kennedy Bunch

Kennedy Bunch scored 19 points during the regular-season win over Evansville Central. The teams will collide again in the Class 4-A regional semifinal on Saturday.

Despite regular-season victory,

computer views BNL as slight

underdog in regional rematch

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The computer, unbiased and cold, is unconvinced. Perhaps Jeff Sagarin’s mystical machine calculates Bedford North Lawrence’s regular-season victory as an anomaly, a statistical fluke, an error. Perhaps there’s a microchip loose, or data was entered incorrectly.

There has to be a scientific reason Evansville Central is rated – granted, the margin is razor thin – over BNL in the power ratings. Did not the Stars declaw the Bears during the regular season? Yes that was a month ago, and Central has not lost since. The rematch will settle the score.

BNL (19-7) will face Central (23-2) in the second game of the Class 4-A regional at Columbus North on Saturday afternoon. Top-ranked Columbus North, 24-1 and the defending state champion, will meet Center Grove (12-12) in the first game at 10 a.m. The final between the survivors is set for 8 p.m.

Review the recording. On Jan. 9 at BNL Fieldhouse, the Stars made a rug out of the Bears, skinning them 51-37. Central, one of the top-scoring teams in the state (then and now), was held to its lowest point total of the season. That result empowered BNL with the edge of proven superiority, and it gave Central the motivation for revenge.

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