Bedford North Lawrence Girls Basketball

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Stars ready to run with Mitchell

BNL coach Jeff Allen and the Stars (2-0) will look to continue their domination of the county rivalry when they visit Mitchell on Saturday night.

BNL coach Jeff Allen and the Stars (2-0) will look to continue their domination of the county rivalry when they visit Mitchell on Saturday night.

4-A No.12 BNL seeks

to extend domination

of the county rivalry

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Mitchell can run, but can it hide from its dominant county rival?

The faster-paced Bluejackets, with an all-sophomore starting lineup, ran Lanesville into the ground during their season opener, leaving a vapor trail while scoring easy points in transition. Now they’ll find out if they have another gear when they shift competition levels.

BNL statistics

Bedford North Lawrence, 2-0 and ranked No.12 in Class 4-A, will look to extend its seven-year streak over its neighbor when the Stars visit Mitchell (1-0 with a home game against conference foe Perry Central on Friday) on Saturday night for the County vs. Cancer fundraiser.

Since Mitchell’s lone win in the series, a 65-47 triumph during the 2008-09 campaign, the Stars have totally controlled the rivalry, winning by an average of 41.9 points. Last year was typical as BNL forced 24 turnovers and cruised to a 74-24 win while Mitchell struggled with a young backcourt. The Jackets couldn’t get across halfcourt for the first 2:45, took three timeouts in the first 5:21, and didn’t score until the 1:23 mark of the first quarter.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Early projection favors Stars

McKenzie Messmore

BNL’s McKenzie Messmore encounters Seymour’s Sarah Benefiel in the lane. Messmore scored 16 points as the Stars stopped the Owls 57-46 on Tuesday night.

BNL battles past defending

HHC champ Seymour 57-46,

Allen keys 4th-quarter surge

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

With her team in danger, when a difficult circumstance demanded a gallant response, when the game-deciding votes were cast, Jorie Allen rose to the challenge. Was there ever a doubt about that?

Bedford North Lawrence trailed after the early returns, but this was a race that was not decided until all the quarters were tabulated. In the frantic fourth, with the outcome on the line, Allen powered the Class 4-A No.12 Stars to a huge victory over Seymour, the defending Hoosier Hills Conference champion.

Allen scored 22 points, including 8 during BNL’s 11-1 run to start the final period, as the Stars conquered the Owls 57-46 and made the first move toward reclaiming the crown it lost. Now it’s way too soon to project a winner, but the significance of this win, and the way BNL did it, cannot be understated.

Jorie Allen muscles her way to the rim against Seymour's Kayla Griffin. Allen scored 22 points.

Jorie Allen muscles her way to the rim against Seymour’s Kayla Griffin. Allen scored 22 points.

The Owls (1-1, 0-1 in the HHC) owned a 37-34 lead going to the last frame, and BNL was looking a little lost at that point. Allen guided the Stars to safety, opening the decisive surge with a scoop drive to a three-play play, a powerful baseline drive for another basket, and a spinning move into the lane for another and-one to push the Stars in front 45-38 with 5:20 left. Seymour never recovered.

“I thought Jorie took over,” Seymour coach Jason Longmeier said. “We did a great job on her for three quarters. Going into the fourth quarter, they made the decision to ride her to the end.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Stars have a point to prove

BNL senior Kennedy Bunch and the Stars will face Seymour in a key HHC showdown on Tuesday night.

BNL senior Kennedy Bunch and the Stars will face Seymour in a key HHC showdown on Tuesday night.

BNL preparing for early

battle with defending

HHC champion Seymour

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Last year’s Hoosier Hills Conference title was decided quite quickly: the opening quarter of the opening clash between challenger Seymour and defending champion Bedford North Lawrence. The Owls clawed their way to a 14-3 lead, survived a furious rally and ended BNL’s monopoly of the conference crown.

Now it’s time for the rematch, and it’s a clash BNL views as a chance for redemption and the first step in recovering its property.

BNL sophomore Jenna Allen had 19 points in the opener, and she will play a big role against the Owls.

BNL sophomore Jenna Allen had 19 points in the opener, and she will play a big role against the Owls.

Seymour will begin its championship defense when it visits BNL Fieldhouse for a fascinating, crucial, big-time battle on Tuesday night. Both teams opened the regular season with impressive victories, both lost key personnel from a year ago yet could be stronger by season’s end. It’s one of those measuring-stick games coaches use to chart growth and progress, although they would prefer it happen deeper in the campaign.

Ready or not, here it comes.

“It’ll be a challenge for us to go on the road, find out where they’re at and where we’re at,” Seymour coach Jason Longmeier said. “We’re playing them so early, and I think both teams will be quite a bit different now than what they are at the end of the year.

“We’re not putting a lot of pressure on the kids for this game. In the grand scheme of things, it’s just one more game, but it’s also important that we defend the championship.”

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The HHC Sports Weekly: week 12

Check out Week 12 of The HHC Sports Weekly!

 

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Splish, splash, Stars dunk Pioneers

Jorie Allen

BNL sophomore Jorie Allen works free inside. Allen scored 19 points and had 14 rebounds as the Stars bounced Mooresville 58-41 in the season opener.

Allen scores 19 and Stars

drill 8 3-pointers during

58-41 win over Mooresville

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Before anointing this team with a catchy nickname – let’s say Splash Sisters comes to mind when all those treys are being launched without remorse or a second thought – Bedford North Lawrence will have to hit a higher percentage than the opening-night number.

Once nerves settle and strokes get smoother, perhaps those long-range bombs will blast opponents out of the gymnasium. The Stars definitely hit enough to dunk Mooresville in the 2016-17 debut on Friday night.

Sophomore center Jorie Allen, old reliable in the paint, scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while battling leg cramps, and her surrounding cast drilled 8 treys (and a few were well timed in the second half) as Class 4-A No.14 BNL bopped the Pioneers 58-41 and made good on the promise to rapid-fire shots.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Mirror, mirror on the floor

BNL freshman Jorie Allen drives to the basket. Allen scored 23 points in her varsity debut, but the Stars dropped a 43-42 decision at No.9 Mooresville on Saturday. Photo courtesy of QT Photography

BNL’s Jorie Allen scored 23 points in her varsity debut last season, but the Stars dropped a 43-42 decision at Mooresville. The two teams will collide in the season opener on Friday night.

Tough-minded Mooresville

set to face new-look Stars

in season opener at BNL

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

From a toughness, discipline and execution standpoint, Bedford North Lawrence prides itself as one of the best around. But the Stars do not have a monopoly on those characteristics of success.

Meet Mooresville, BNL’s mirror, a challenging test for a season opener. Many programs would prefer to start with an easier opponent, a schedule-friendly win, but the Pioneers certainly do not qualify.

The Stars, ranked No.14 in Class 4-A in the preseason poll, will welcome a nemesis to BNL Fieldhouse for the 2016-17 debut on Friday night. Conquering your own shadow can be difficult.

“Mooresville is a team that mirrors BNL from the standpoint of they play with great effort,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “They are disciplined and they execute. Mark (Hurt) is an outstanding coach and he will have his team well prepared.”

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BNL Coaches Corner: week 12

Check out Week 12 of BNL Coaches Corner!

 

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Stars ready to run, gun for titles

BNL sophomore Jorie Allen and the Stars are ready to alter the offense in 2016-17.

BNL sophomore Jorie Allen and the Stars are ready to alter the offense in 2016-17.

BNL loosening the reins,

promising offensive

firepower in 2016-17

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Even the best, and those banners in the rafters of the gymnasium are proof Bedford North Lawrence ranks among the elite programs in Indiana, must adapt, change and adjust. Third-year coach Jeff Allen, without sacrificing the philosophies that have formed the foundation of success, realized the Stars must alter their identity in 2016-17.

Last season, certainly not a disappointment by any standard with a 19-8 record and another Class 4-A sectional title, exposed some flaws. BNL was too rigid offensively, struggling to score against quality opponents and relying on its defense in tight, tense battles. This year, the reins have been loosed.

BNL roster

BNL schedule

BNL will take its best shot, promising to launch a bunch of them, as it attempts to reclaim the Hoosier Hills Conference championship, as it defends the sectional crown and looks for a deeper run in the state tournament. If a new nickname is required, perhaps “Runnin’, Gunnin’ Stars” should be readied as the motto.

With three returning starters, with its top two scorers back, with the motivation of last year’s first-round regional loss and the coup against their conference reign, the Stars are primed for another successful run. And they plan to go down shooting.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Impressive Stars smack Eagles

Jorie Allen

BNL sophomore Jorie Allen muscles her way to the basket against Heritage Christian’s Hannah Williams. Allen scored 12 points as the Stars dominated the scrimmage with the Eagles, the defending 3-A state champions.

BNL dominates scrimmage

with 3-A Heritage Christian

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Impressive, very impressive.

Bedford North Lawrence, one of the feared names on the jersey in the world of girls basketball, faced an equal during Saturday afternoon’s IHSAA-sanctioned scrimmage. When Heritage Christian walks in the gymnasium, everyone pays attention.

The Eagles have earned that kind of respect. Seven state championships, including the last three in Class 3-A. So for the Stars, still an unknown commodity for the 2016-17 regular season, to smack a powerful opponent is one of those ‘things that make you go hmmmm’ moments, in a good way.

Kennedy Bunch scored 17 points and hit three 3-pointers.

Kennedy Bunch scored 17 points and hit three 3-pointers.

Make no mistake, BNL was the dominant force, winning all three varsity quarters (with 12-minute running clocks) by a combined score of 48-28. Granted, these Eagles aren’t the same without two departed Division I stars, but they still have Notre Dame recruit Katlyn Gilbert and a head coach (Rick Risinger) with a Hall of Fame pedigree.

BNL had the best player on the court (Jorie Allen had 12 points and 11 rebounds), the best shooters (Kennedy Bunch had 17 points with 3 treys) and the deeper team. There were mistakes, there were breakdowns, but the positives certainly made the final preseason workout before the season debut worthwhile and noteworthy.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: BNL shows a Bunch in scrimmage

Kennedy Bunch

Kennedy Bunch scans the court. Bunch scored 16 points during the intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday night.

Senior shooter enjoys freedom

to launch as Stars showcase

new skills in intrasquad work

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The first thing learned during the annual instrasquad scrimmage was Kennedy Bunch can shoot. Now perhaps her Bedford North Lawrence teammates already knew that, but it sure looked like they had forgotten that fact. So she proved it, rather emphatically.

Bunch scored 16 points as the Red squad whipped the White 27-19 on Thursday night during BNL’s public debut. The Stars still have a IHSAA-sanctioned scrimmage with defending 3-A state champion Heritage Christian on Saturday afternoon, but this was the first real look at the new BNL offensive mantra of “shoot first, ask questions later.”

McKenzie Messmore drives the lane. Messmore totaled 7 points as the Red squad prevailed 27-19.

McKenzie Messmore drives the lane. Messmore totaled 7 points as the Red squad prevailed 27-19.

That’s a perfect fit for Bunch, who stroked three 3-pointers and added an old-school 3-point play, all of that output within the confines of only one half with a running clock.

“I think the new philosophy works for me thus far,” Bunch said with a grin. “I hope it continues. I really like it.”

What remains to be seen, once the shots hit the span of the regular season and the stats – especially wins and losses – count, is how long that stream of consciousness attack will continue. But on this night, for the brief time on the court, the Stars were fearlessly firing. Everyone had a green light.

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