Bedford North Lawrence Girls Basketball


Column: Lady Stars play with wisdom beyond their years

The words to the popular song by FUN perfectly describes Bedford North Lawrence’s basketball blitz of Mooresville:

“Tonight . . . we are young. So let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun.” Sing along if you like. It’s a catchy tune once you’ve heard it a few hundred times, when you let the kids control the car radio.

The Lady Stars are young, with three sophomores in the starting lineup. Two of them are the first, best options for the offense. The other is the defensive quarterback, talking non-stop and directing traffic. And they don’t care how old they are. They can play.

They set the world on fire Tuesday night at BNL Fieldhouse. They burned brighter than the sun.

The sophomore power duo of Dominique McBryde and Jenna Allen didn’t miss a shot. Neither did junior point guard Sammy Dillman. In the second half, neither did junior shooter Brittani Rizzi. They torched Mooresville with a 16-0 opening burst en route to a 65-45 victory that was impressive for its brutal beatdown and beauty.

Ordinary basketball teams don’t hit 24 of 37 shots – not even unguarded in practice on some days.

Young teams don’t dismantle an opponent that just bounced the defending Class 4-A champions.

Before risking hyperbole and spinning it out of control, BNL does have some questions to answer. Depth? Experience? They might need more. But, on this night, with the more meaningful battles of February a long way off, they were virtually flawless to the point of being scary good.

“This game proved to us we can be good,” Rizzi said. “It feels good. It shows we have the ability to be a really good team. We have the ability to go as far as we can. It’s all on us. It’s where we want to go and how much effort we put into it. We’re good enough to go far.”

The most impressive part was BNL’s execution. The pathway to greatness goes through McBryde and Allen.

“That’s where we want to go to,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “We think we have two players that nobody else in the state has. We knew where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do.”

McBryde and Allen combined for 31 points, hitting 13 consecutive shots. That inside-first approach opened the door for Rizzi to drill four 3-pointers and total 16 points.

“I think they have a really strong team,” Mooresville coach Mark Hurt said. “They have everything, some quickness, some size, they do a good job of executing.  It was good for us, to see exactly where we are. We played against a team that really values possessions and exposed some of our weaknesses.”

The Stars set the standard bar very high for future nights. Can they play better? Probably not. The teams in their path better hope not. Can they maintain that level? Perhaps. Shots won’t always fall at that ridiculous rate, but the disciplined path they wisely chose to get them can be.

“It’s all about working hard in practice and making sure we execute,” McBryde said. “Then we have to bring it over to the game. We cleaned some things up, made sure we were doing the little things.”

That was a veteran’s response. These Stars might be wise beyond their years, able to trump their birth certificates with talent.

“Experience will come over time,” McBryde said.

Their time might be coming.


BNL mows down Mooresville, 65-45

McBryde, Allen

combine to hit

13 of 13 shots


Box score

By Justin Sokeland

Focused and flawless, Class 4-A No.5 Bedford North Lawrence sent a message to the rest of the basketball-bouncing state Tuesday night.

It reads, according to forward Dominique McBryde, “Everybody, watch out.”

The Lady Stars (2-0) were sensational to the point of amazing friend and foe alike. They charged to a 16-0 start and never relaxed while crushing No.14 Mooresville 65-45 at BNL Fieldhouse. Brittani Rizzi and McBryde scored 16 points each and Jenna Allen added 15 as BNL ended a five-game losing streak against a nemesis with a powerful performance.

This was not a blowout of a mediocre, schedule-stuffing rag team. Mooresville (1-1) started the season with a victory over Warren Central, the defending Class 4-A state champion. This was a merciless execution, from the opening minutes to the final horn. The Pioneers never got within single digits, never threatened to make BNL sweat.

“We were prepared and had a lot of focus,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “I think our intensity level was where it should be, where it had been lacking.”

But even that doesn’t explain some of the numbers:

McBryde and Allen, both sophomores, combined to hit 13 of 13 shots. Perfect.

“Seriously?” Godlevske said when informed. Seriously.

BNL, with Sammy Dillman adding 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting, hit 24 of 37 shots, a crisp 64.9 percent.

“Wow,” Mooresville coach Mark Hurt said. And there was really nothing more to add.

“I thought they beat us on both sides of the ball,” Hurt said. “They ran their offense pretty well, and defensively they did a nice job of just staying in front of us. They executed better than us.”

The opening told the story. Allen and McBryde, the focal points of the offense, worked in the paint and combined for 10 points. Dillman hit a 3-pointer that prompted a Mooresville timeout, and Rizzi buried another for the 16-0 advantage.

Mooresville’s Jessica McFarland finally ended the drought at the 2:17 mark, converting a steal into a layup. But it was too late.

“That was disappointing,” Hurt said. “They got off to a really hot start. We came up empty the first few times, and when you look up it’s 11-0. And then you look up again and it’s 16-0.”

“Whenever you start off like we did, on a big run, it sure makes things easier,” Godlevske said. “We were active and doing all the right things.”

Rizzi, supremely confident with her shooter’s mentality, got into the act in the fourth quarter by hitting all four of her shots. Her last gave the Stars their biggest lead at 61-36.

“I just focused better,” Rizzi said. “In the locker room at halftime, I was like ‘I’m going to make the next shot.’ That’s what I kept thinking.”

BNL dominated the boards (because there were few rebounds for Mooresville to claim) by a 25-11 margin.

Mooresville’s Sarah Corbin scored 13 points, all but two in the second half. The Pioneers did not throw this one away (with only 10 turnovers), they just got taken apart by a team that might not be able to play much better. If they can, McBryde’s warning isn’t strern enough.

“They have a really strong team,” Hurt said.

BNL, the defending league champion, will start its chase for the Hoosier Hills Conference title when it visits Jeffersonville on Saturday night.

Photos courtesy of Phil Knight


Lady Stars open with win over Mitchell

Bedford North Lawrence opened the 2012-13 regular season in style Saturday night, rolling to a 69-36 road victory over county rival Mitchell.

The Lady Stars (1-0) had five double-figure scorers. Sophomore center Jenna Allen dominated the paint while scoring 14 points and grabbing 7 rebounds, and outside threat Brittani Rizzi hit four 3-pointers to total her 12 points.

Kennedy Wall came off the bench to add 11, Sammy Dillman had 11 (with three treys), and Dominique McBryde had 10 for BNL, ranked No.8 in Class 4-A.

“We shot the ball really well,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “We did a nice job of pressuring the ball and played unselfish.”

After a slow start, BNL took control with a 15-0 spurt in the second quarter and rolled to a 41-17 halftime lead. McBryde had eight of her points during the first-half surge.

The Bluejackets (1-1) struggled on the offensive end, shooting 27.5 percent while committing 27 turnovers against BNL’s full-court press and half-court trap. Mia Burton was the lone bright spot with 16 points and 6 rebounds.

“Mitchell played hard, which is a credit to Coach (Matt) Sowders,” Godlevske said.

BNL will take a serious step up in competition when it faces No.20 Mooresville (1-0) in the home opener on Tuesday night. BNL has lost five straight decisions to the Pioneers. The last win was a 52-47 victory in 2006-07 that marked Godlevske’s first win with the program.

Mooresville opened with a 59-51 win over No. 6 North Central, the defending 4-A state champion, on Friday. The Pioneers won last year’s game with BNL 52-43.