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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.