Bedford North Lawrence Sports
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BOYS SWIMMING: Stars free from pressure in finals

Alex Manke

Alex Manke

Drew Baker

Drew Baker

BNL’s Baker and Manke

preparing for stress-free

races in state preliminaries

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The pressure, much like their shaved hair, has disappeared. Bedford North Lawrence swimmers Alex Manke and Drew Baker are free from the bonds of expectations as they prepare to compete in the Indiana High School Athletic Association state finals on Friday night.

Manke and Baker both won sectional championships to qualify for the state meet at IUPUI. Now they’ve sunk from first to last, seeded at the bottom of the 32-man field for their respective events. That just means they can relax and race, unencumbered by the stress of desired results. What could go wrong?

State finals seedings

Baker, a senior, is seeded 32nd in the 100-yard backstroke in 57.63. Manke, a sophomore, is seeded 31st in the 500 freestyle in 4:59.45. There is nowhere to go but up the chart.

The top eight in each event will advance from the Friday prelims to the championship races on Saturday afternoon. Positions 9-16 will qualify for the consolation races. Both have time to slash, and little time to accomplish that, even with the full effects of tapering and the boost in speed the Natatorium water usually provides.

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BOYS SWIMMING: Embree advances to state finals

Aaron Embree

Aaron Embree

BLOOMINGTON – Bedford North Lawrence senior Aaron Embree qualified for the IHSAA state finals during Wednesday night’s diving regional at Bloomington North.

Embree posted a total of 387.05 points (after 11 dives) to finish sixth in the field of 20 competitors. The top eight advanced to the state preliminaries on Saturday morning at IUPUI.

Columbus North’s Kaemon won the regional with a score of 421.5. Jennings County’s Lane Sawyer was second with 398.15. Embree also advanced to the state finals as a sophomore.

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BOYS BASKETBALL: Stars ready for final bows

BNL senior Lucas Fisher and the Stars will face New Albany on Thursday and celebrate Senior Night against Corydon on Friday.

BNL senior Lucas Fisher and the Stars will face New Albany on Thursday and celebrate Senior Night against Corydon on Friday.

Four seniors in spotlight

as BNL prepares to face

New Albany and Corydon

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The memories are the emotional enemy. It’s not escorting Mom to midcourt and holding her hand, it’s not hugging Dad in public that cracks the wall of outward strength. The finality, and all those endless days on the way to the last bow, is the demon that haunts an athlete on Senior Night.

All those who are fortunate enough to hear their name called, to make that walk to midcourt with those closest to them, suffer through it. The recognition is appreciated, but the heart is overwhelmed. And then a basketball game ends the moment.

BNL statistics

Bedford North Lawrence seniors Blaze Byrer, Lucas Fisher, Seth Stockman and Cameron Lane will stand in the spotlight on Friday night when they make their farewell appearance in BNL Fieldhouse. The Stars, idle last week because of the relentless weather, have a busy conclusion to the regular season, facing Class 4-A No.6 New Albany on Thursday and Class 3-A No.10 Corydon in the Friday finale.

Seth Stockman and the BNL senior class have played togther since elementary school.

Seth Stockman and the BNL senior class have played togther since elementary school.

The BNL foursome has been together since elementary school. The games will be difficult, but not as tough as stepping on Damon Bailey Court for the last call to competition.

“All the memories come back,” Fisher said. “It’s the last time I’ll play on that court. I’ll take it all in. It will be an incredible experience.”

Senior Night is a celebration, one of survival (making it when others were cut or left behind along the way), one of dedication (countless hours of commitment), one of thankfulness.

“It’s all the hard work I’ve put in for four years,” Stockman said. “Emotions will be high. Am I looking forward to it? Yes, and no. I knew it would come one day.”

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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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BOYS BASKETBALL: BNL-New Albany rescheduled

Bedford North Lawrence will host Class 4-A No.6 New Albany (18-2) on Thursday night. The game was originally postponed by inclement weather last week.

Both teams will also play on Friday, with BNL (9-13) hosting Corydon and New Albany hosting Bloomington North. The Bulldogs will then face Seymour in the opening game of the sectional at Seymour on Tuesday, while the Stars face Jennings County in the second game.

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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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BOYS SWIMMING: Manke, Baker advance to state

Alex Manke

Alex Manke

Drew Baker

Drew Baker

JASPER – Bedford North Lawrence senior Drew Baker and sophomore Alex Manke qualified for the IHSAA state finals during Monday night’s sectional races at Jasper.

Baker won the 100-yard backstroke and Manke claimed the 500 freestyle to advance to the state championships at IUPUI on Friday (preliminaries) and Saturday (finals). BNL diver Aaron Embree won his event on Saturday and will compete in the diving regional at Bloomington North on Tuesday night.

Team scores

Individual results

Baker touched first in the backstroke in 57.63. Manke easily won the 500, finishing in 4:59.45 to post a 12-second margin of victory. Manke also finished second in the 200 free and Garrett McLaughlin was second in the 100 breaststroke.

The Stars finished second in the team race. Jasper won the title in the 10-team field with 462 points while BNL posted 366.

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BOYS BASKETBALL: Stars draw Jennings County

Seth Stockman

Seth Stockman scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed 9 rebounds as BNL won the regular-season game with Jennings County. The Stars will face the Panthers in the first round of the sectional at Seymour.

After seven straight byes,

BNL to face Panthers

in first round of sectional

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Bedford North Lawrence’s sectional streak ended on Sunday afternoon.

The Stars had drawn seven consecutive first-round byes for the first stage of the state tournament, but that bizarre, odds-defying trend came to a halt when the Indiana High School Athletic Association announced the pairings for the 105th state tournament.

BNL (9-13) will meet Jennings County (9-11) in the second game on March 3 at Seymour. Overwhelming sectional favorite New Albany (18-2 and ranked No.6 in Class 4-A) will meet Seymour (8-11) in the opening game at 6 p.m.

Floyd Central (12-5) drew a bye and will await the New Albany-Seymour winner in the first semifinal on March 6, while Jeffersonville (6-13) also received a bye and will face the BNL-Jennings County victor in the second semifinal. The championship is set for March 7 at 7:30.

The Stars already own a 69-64 home win over the Panthers on Jan. 17. Jennings County has struggled since the Christmas break, losing 10 of 13 games while BNL has reversed course and won 7 of its last 9. But BNL coach Jamie Hudson is still wary of the wounded Panthers.

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