Bedford North Lawrence Girls Basketball

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Column: Grieve not for the fallen Stars

Dominique McBryde and the Stars  Photo courtesy of Varsity Views

Dominique McBryde and the Stars finished the 2014-15 season 26-1, and BNL went 104-5 during the last four years.
Photo courtesy of Varsity Views

Dominique McBryde heard the last bell ring to end the school day, and her first thought – like every weekday since Oct. 27 – was “basketball practice.”

“But I’m not,” she said, failing to hide hints of depression. “It’s definitely hard to believe.”

Lost and confused, dazed and deflated, Bedford North Lawrence’s beloved girls basketball team is still working through the emotions of the end, a conclusion the Stars viewed as premature, of one of the great runs in state history. After two Class 4-A state championships, after 104 wins over four years, after going undefeated atop the state polls all season, BNL’s quest for an unprecedented third consecutive title was not its destiny.

The pain still lingers, especially after watching Columbus North conquer wounded Lawrence North (with All-State candidate Lamina Cooper sidelined with a knee injury) in the semistate at Richmond on Saturday afternoon. The Bull Dogs are worthy finalists, with almost-certain Miss Basketball Ali Patberg leading the charge. The Stars can’t help thinking  “That should be us.”

It’s not. Columbus North won the one-and-done confrontation, deservedly so when considering BNL had home-court advantage and a second-half lead. The Stars have no excuses and aren’t making any. They just picked the worst time to play poorly, in part because of North’s determination to end their reign.

That doesn’t make the grieving process less painful.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: BNL trio named All-HHC

Alexa Bailey

Alexa Bailey

photo(696)

Jenna Allen

Dominique McBryde

Dominique McBryde

Bedford North Lawrence seniors Dominique McBryde, Jenna Allen and Alexa Bailey were named to the Hoosier Hills Conference First Team.

McBryde averaged 20.0 points and 6.4 rebounds, Allen totaled 16.0 points and 10.9 rebounds, and Bailey contributed 6.6 points and 4.8 assists as the Stars finished 26-1 and won the conference title for the fourth consecutive season.

McBryde closed her career as the school’s career scoring leader with 1,672 points. BNL has won a record 18 league titles and will carry a 29-game HHC winning streak into the 2015-16 campaign.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Stars unprepared for farewell

Dominique McBryde averaged 20.0 points per game and finished as the school's career scoring leader. Photo courtesy of Varsity Views

Dominique McBryde averaged 20.0 points per game and finished as the school’s career scoring leader.
Photo courtesy of Varsity Views

BNL now faces the challenge

of restructuring the team with

the loss of its three major stars

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Sleep was wishful thinking. Thoughts, instant replays, disturbing images kept flying through the brain, and dozing off would have meant nightmares, just as bad as the one Bedford North Lawrence suffered through when everyone was wide awake on Tuesday night.

The stunned Stars could not stop the flashbacks, could not erase the past, and would not get the chance to complete their quest for a third consecutive Class 4-A state championship. Top-ranked BNL was stopped, stone cold, by No.2 Columbus North 48-40 in the regional final at BNL Fieldhouse. The emotional pain, the heartbreak, the tears had only just started – especially for the seniors who were the centerpieces of success.

Final BNL statistics

As Ali Patberg and her Bull Dogs celebrated their vengeful, deserving victory, as disbelief slapped the Stars in the face, reality and finality crushed the spirits of the strong.

Jenna Allen averaged 16.0 points and 10.8 rebounds as a senior. Photo courtesy of Varsity Views

Jenna Allen averaged 16.0 points and 10.8 rebounds as a senior.
Photo courtesy of Varsity Views

Dominique McBryde sank to the floor, biting her jersey. Jenna Allen stood on the court, in the middle of the Columbus North bedlam, staring through tears at the banners in the northeast corner of the Fieldhouse until her father put his arm around her and guided her to seclusion. Alexa Bailey had the blank look of the condemned.

BNL was not used to losing. The Stars had not expected it. They weren’t prepared to say goodbye.

“Nobody wants to be done this early,” Bailey said. “We didn’t really expect to be done this early. That being the last game of my high school career is still kind of hard to take in. It’s not really sunk in yet. It’s been rough.

“I think I got about two or three hours of sleep. I was trying to go to bed and not think about it, and that’s all I could do, replay it in my head and think about what I could have done, what we didn’t do, what we could have done collectively. That’s still there.”

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GIRLS REGIONAL: Bull Dogs Bring Down Curtain

Columbus North's Ali Patberg drives past BNL's Alexa Bailey during Tuesday night's regional final at BNL. Patberg scored 21 points as the No.2 Bull Dogs stopped the No.1 Stars 48-40.

Columbus North’s Ali Patberg drives past BNL’s Alexa Bailey during Tuesday night’s regional final at BNL. Patberg scored 21 points as the No.2 Bull Dogs stopped the No.1 Stars 48-40.

 

No.2 Columbus North ends BNL’s two-year reign

with 48-40 triumph in regional championship

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Photos courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

BNLs Kennedy Bunch and Dominique McBryde attempt to double-team Ali Patberg. Columbus North ended BNLs 18-game tournament winning streak.

BNL’s Kennedy Bunch and Dominique McBryde attempt to double-team Ali Patberg. Columbus North ended BNL’s 18-game tournament winning streak.

The tear-stained ending, soaked in disbelief and shock, was not what Bedford North Lawrence had scripted. The era of excellence was supposed to conclude with another state championship. The top-ranked Stars, the two-time defending champions, believed history was their destiny.

Columbus North star Ali Patberg assumed something else. She had another finish in mind. She believed in her team. And she showed them the way to glory on Tuesday night.

The Class 4-A No.2 Bull Dogs blasted into BNL Fieldhouse and stunned No.1 BNL 48-40 in the regional championship. Patberg, the Miss Basketball frontrunner, scored 21 points, leading Columbus North (26-1) to the title while ending the Stars’ two-year run as the queens of the state.

Video: Columbus North wins regional

North advanced to the one-game semistate against No.3 Lawrence North (27-1) on Saturday at Richmond. BNL (26-1) bowed out heartbroken and humbled, conquered on its home floor as an 18-game tournament winning streak crumbled. The dream of an unprecedented title died hard.

Jenna Allen hugs her father and coach Jeff as the reality of the finality hit during the closing seconds.

Jenna Allen hugs her father and coach Jeff as the reality of the finality hit during the closing seconds.

Patberg, a Notre Dame recruit who spent the entire offseason hoping for a chance at revenge following BNL victories over the Bull Dogs the last two postseasons, was the catalyst, the orchestrator. She dictated the pace, directed traffic, found open teammates, and loved every minute of the monumental triumph. Even during the opening minutes, she flashed that knowing smile, one that said she could see the end. And it was, from her viewpoint, beautiful.

“I’m soaked, tired. But we did it,” Patberg said after gleefully accepting the regional plaque and dissolving into a blue sea of teammates and classmates at midcourt. “I put my sweat, my tears in it. My teammates put their tears in it. It feels amazing. I’m on Cloud 9. I’m just so proud of my team.”

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GIRLS REGIONAL: Watch BNL vs. Columbus North

Coaches Aid logo 2Tonight’s Bedford North Lawrence game with No.2 Columbus North will be broadcast live by CoachesAid.com.

The broadcast, free of charge, will be available on the Internet site at this link: CoachesAid.com

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GIRLS REGIONAL: Championship Confrontation

CLASS 4-A REGIONAL

BNLs Jenna Allen and the Stars are chasing a third straight regional title. Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

BNLs Jenna Allen and the Stars are chasing a third straight regional title.
Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

Columbus North senior Ali Patberg is a McDonalds All-American. Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

Columbus North senior Ali Patberg is a McDonald’s All-American.
Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.1 BNL, No.2 Columbus North to collide in final

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

According to scientific theory, when matter and antimatter collide, pure energy is released. Destruction is inevitable. Basketball’s version of that cataclysm, that explosion, that uncontrollable eruption, will rock BNL Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

Dominique McBryde and the top-ranked Stars will seek to win the outright HHC title when they host Seymour on Thursday night.

Dominique McBryde and the top-ranked Stars have won 18 straight tournament games.

No.1 Bedford North Lawrence is the irresistible force, undefeated and on a historic quest. The two-time defending Class 4-A state champion, should the Stars complete an unprecedented three-peat, could be immortalized as the best ever. No.2 Columbus North is the immovable object, driven by revenge, determination, and arguably the state’s best player.

Video: BNL-Columbus North preview

The showdown will cause the state to pause and watch. Blast goggles might be required.

The Stars (26-0) and Bull Dogs (25-1) will battle for the regional championship for the fourth consecutive year. The previous three were all memorable. Why should this one be any different? Columbus North has made no secret about its desire to avenge last year’s loss, and BNL has confidently told the world it intends to win it all again. So much rests on the result of this rematch.

“Our kids have played and practiced all year for it,” Columbus North assistant coach Ron Patberg said. “We can’t back away from that fact. It’s a big challenge. I think we’re up for it.”

The dome on this volcano started to take shape in 2012, when North conquered BNL twice – both times on Damon Bailey Court – and won the regional title en route to a state runner-up finish. That spurred BNL to greatness the next season, when the Stars earned their vengeance with a 71-45 victory (which ranks among their best-ever performances) in the first 1-vs-2 encounter.

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GIRLS REGIONAL: No match in rematch

BNLs Dominique McBryde looks for room to work in the post. McBryde scored 24 points as the top-ranked Stars rolled to a 60-44 win over Center Grove in the regional semifinal.

BNLs Dominique McBryde looks for room to work in the post. McBryde scored 24 points as the top-ranked Stars rolled to a 60-44 win over Center Grove in the regional semifinal. Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

No.1 Stars advance to regional

final with dominating win

over Center Grove 60-44

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The postseason shock-and-awe of Bedford North Lawrence basketball short-circuited another victim on Monday night.

The drag-race roar from the starting line, the electric atmosphere of a pulsating BNL Fieldhouse, the weight of a Class 4-A regional semifinal – all those factors combined to sizzle Center Grove, which got caught with fingers in the wall socket. Sparks flew. The Trojans got zapped.

Video: BNL conquers Center Grove

Jenna Allen scored 23 points

Jenna Allen scored 23 points as BNL improved to 26-0 with its second win over Center Grove this season. Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

The No.1 Stars (26-0) plugged into their power-line interior stars and scorched Center Grove 60-44 in the second game, setting up a classic confrontation with No.2 Columbus North in the championship on Tuesday night. The Bull Dogs clipped Evansville Central 76-66 in the first semifinal.

Dominique McBryde scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Jenna Allen added 23 points. Their energy, their connections, their current to the basket, was an alternating force. The Trojans (20-7) couldn’t find the off switch.

“Allen and McBryde killed us,” Center Grove coach Shawn Sanders said. “They’re just too big and too good.”

During the regular-season meeting in December, the Trojans dictated pace, directed flow and clogged the middle of the grid. The Stars, without Alexa Bailey, won that one 44-33. The rematch was no match at all, not after the Stars slammed to a 16-4 lead, not after McBryde charged her batteries and highlighted a power surge to a 31-11 lead late in the second quarter.

Center Grove flicked the switch briefly, scoring 11 straight points (with halftime smack in the middle of that run) and crackled back within single digits. But not for long. When BNL opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 burst to a 53-32 lead, the lights were out. Center Grove was left stumbling in the dark.

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Girls regional at BNL postponed to Monday

2015_IHSAAGirlsBBallThe IHSAA Class 4-A girls regional games at Bedford North Lawrence have been postponed to Monday.

Game 1 between Evansville Central (22-3) and Columbus North (24-1) will now start at 6 p.m., and Game 2 between Center Grove (20-6) and BNL (25-0) will begin at 8.

BNL-Center Grove preview

Evansville Central-Columbus North preview

The championship game has been postponed to Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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GIRLS REGIONAL: Games pushed back on Saturday

2015_IHSAAGirlsBBallStarting times for the IHSAA girls basketball regional at Bedford North Lawrence have been pushed back on Saturday.

Game 1 between Evansville Central (22-3) and Columbus North (24-1) will now start at 5 p.m., and Game 2 between Center Grove (20-6) and BNL (25-0) will begin at 7.

The championship game has been postponed to Monday at 7 p.m.

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GIRLS REGIONAL: Stars bracing for Trojan War

CLASS 4-A REGIONAL

Center Grove point guard Lauren Rau ranks among the state leaders in assists. Photo courtesy of Daily Journal

Center Grove guard Lauren Rau
Photo courtesy of Daily Journal

Dominique McBryde scored a career-high 31 points as No.1 BNL crushed Castle 67-26 on Saturday morning. Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

BNL senior Dominique McBryde
Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

Center Grove ready for rematch with No.1 Stars

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The expected attack upon Bedford North Lawrence’s throne is unfolding. The two-time defending Class 4-A state champions are under siege, with invading forces encircling BNL Fieldhouse. Another Trojan War has been declared, only this is not an epic poem based on mythology.

Jenna Allen and the top-ranked Stars will return to action on Saturday at Madison. Photo courtesy of Varsity Views

Jenna Allen had 12 points and 15 rebounds in the first game against the Trojans.
Photo courtesy of Varsity Views

This is real-life, high-stakes, high-drama basketball, with history being written as the pages are turn on each chapter of the 40th annual IHSAA state tournament.

BNL statistics

Center Grove statistics

The top-ranked Stars, hoping for a storybook conclusion to their quest for an unprecedented third straight state title, will face Center Grove (20-6) in the second game of the regional at BNL on Saturday afternoon. The opener at 10:30 a.m. will feature Evansville Central (22-3) and No.2 Columbus North (24-1), with the two winners to collide on the hardcourt battlefield at 8 p.m.

BNL (25-0) already holds a regular-season victory over Center Grove, and many are already fantasizing about an Armageddon collision between No.1 and No.2 in the final. That approach would be a drastic mistake by either perceived favorite, much like inviting the Trojan horse into the midst without an inspection. BNL’s focus is centered on Center Grove.

“If you take your eye off that, you’ll pay a price,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “We’re not going to do that. We’ve worked too hard this season to worry about playing Saturday night until Saturday morning is over with.”

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