Bedford North Lawrence Sports

BOYS BASKETBALL: Byrer, Day named All-HHC

BNL senior Blaze Byrer is the seventh player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. Now hes shooting for a sectional title.

BNL senior Blaze Byrer was named to the All-HHC First Team.

By Justin Sokeland

Bedford North Lawrence senior Blaze Byrer and junior Braxton Day were named to the Hoosier Hills Conference First Team by the league coaches.

Byrer averaged 17.1 points and 5.8 rebounds while leading the Stars to the Class 4-A sectional final at Seymour. He finished his career with 1,098 points. Day averaged 14.9 points as BNL finished 12-15.

New Albany, which won the HHC and sectional titles, also had two on the First Team with freshman Romeo Langford and senior Davon Winburn. Langford averaged 17.6 points and 5.8 rebounds while Winburn totaled 11.6 points and 3.0 assists as the Bulldogs finished 23-3.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Stars waiting for the All-Star call

BNL's Jenna Allen battles for a loose ball during Sunday's Top 60 Workout at Marian University.

BNL’s Jenna Allen battles for a loose ball during Sunday’s Top 60 Workout at Marian University.

BNL trio among the Top 60

assembled on Sunday for

last-look shot at All-Stars

By Justin Sokeland

INDIANAPOLIS – The phone call, one of the most anticipated connections in the life of an Indiana basketball player, will come for the few, the proud, the best later this week. Only 12 of the state’s elite will be selected to join the already-determined Miss Basketball on the Indiana All-Star team that will face Kentucky twice in June.

Bedford North Lawrence’s Dominique McBryde and Jenna Allen are probably already on speed dial for All-Star director Charlie Hall, the man in charge of the process. Any collection of Indiana’s best without the duo that was considered among the contenders for the Miss Basketball honor would be a joke.

Video: Top 60 Workout

Several other worthy candidates are probably “locks” for the team. Lawrence North’s Lamina Cooper, who suffered a season-ending injury in the regional, will be included on an extra roster spot. Those are easy choices. It’s the bottom of the All-Star roster that requires some tough decisions.

That’s what the annual Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 Workout is all about. One last look, one two-hour session in front of the All-Star coaches, to make a bid for that call, that jersey, that immortality.

On Sunday afternoon at Marian University, with Barr-Reeve’s Mark Holt (the All-Star head coach) and his staff looking on from their judgment perch, the invitees got their opportunity to be noticed, to stand out in the crowd, to do something that might tip the deciding vote in their favor.

BNL’s Alexa Bailey is among those.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Messmore to play in Elite game

McKenzie Messmore and the Stars 15-0) are ranked No.1 in both state polls. Photo courtesy of Wet Ink Designs

McKenzie Messmore will play in the Indiana Elite Challenge.

Bedford North Lawrence freshman McKenzie Messmore will compete in the fourth annual Indiana Elite North vs. South Challenge on Sunday in Lebanon.

Messmore will play in the Class 4-A freshman game. The Challenge features games divided by classification and age groups.

Messmore averaged 2.7 points for the Stars (26-1). She started seven games (while Alexa Bailey was sidelined with a hamstring injury) and scored 10 points against Jennings County and New Albany.



GIRLS BASKETBALL: McBryde, Allen named All-State

BNL's Dominique McBryde and Jenna Allen are ranked among the top recruits in the country by ESPN.

BNL’s Dominique McBryde and Jenna Allen were named to the “Supreme 15″ by the IBCA.

Bedford North Lawrence seniors Dominique McBryde and Jenna Allen were named to the “Supreme 15″ All-State team by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

McBryde averaged 20.0 points and 6.4 rebounds while Allen totaled 16.0 points and 10.9 rebounds. The Stars finished 26-1 with a Class 4-A sectional title and won the Hoosier Hills Conference for the fourth consecutive season.

The rest of the “Supreme 15″ included Lawrence North’s Lamina Cooper, NorthWood’s Jordan Frantz, Merrillville’s Victoria Gaines, Fort Wayne Canterbury’s Darby Maggard, Michigan City’s Michal Miller, Fishers’ Adrianna Murphy, South Bend Washington’s Tiara Murphy, Columbus North’s Ali Patberg, South Bend St. Joseph’s Madeline Raster, Evansville Central’s Zuriel Sanders, Evansville Mater Dei’s Tori Schickel, Evansville Memorial’s Stephanie Sherwood, and Pike’s Brittany Ward.

BNL’s Alexa Bailey and Madison’s Olivia Crozier were named to the Senior Large School (4-A and 3-A) All-State team. Floyd Central’s Madison Kaiser and Jennings County’s Baylee Krueger earned Honorable Mention status, as did Seymour’s Emilee Pollmann and Columbus East’s Audrey Wetzel on the Junior All-State Team.

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The HHC Sports Weekly episode 25


BOYS BASKETBALL: BNL weaves a tangled web

Braxton Day, who averaged 14.9 points, will be teh leading returning scorer in 2015-16.

Braxton Day, who averaged 14.9 points, will be the leading returning scorer in 2015-16.

Final record of 12-15 marked

by second-half highlights

and some dubious lowlights

By Justin Sokeland

Whether Bedford North Lawrence’s 2014-15 basketball campaign is judged as half-full or half-empty depends on the viewpoint and mindset of the observer. It’s a season that can most definitely be divided in half.

Records were set, most of them dubious. Progress was made, then squandered in the final performance. Flashes of brilliance, moments of head shaking. Good, bad and ugly. That murky conclusion is expected when a team finishes 12-15.

Final BNL statistics

Half full? The 10 wins during a 13-game span over two months. A senior joining elite company as one of the few to score 1,000 career points in program history. Two tournament wins for the first time since 2002.

Half empty? The worst start (2-11) ever. The most losses (thanks in part to the IHSAA allowing more regular-season games) ever. The worst postseason loss (on many levels, not just score) ever.

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SOFTBALL: First day is a snow day for Stars

Brad Gilbert

Brad Gilbert

BNL kicks off practice for 2015

with indoor work as snow melts

By Justin Sokeland

The crack of the bat, or even the composite ping, and the smack of leather doesn’t generate the same sounds when they echo off a gymnasium floor.

The official start of softball practice should mark the changing of the season. Wicked winter, be gone. Welcome spring and let the grass green. It’s difficult to do when it’s buried in snow.

Bedford North Lawrence christened the first day of the 2015 season with an indoor session. The field, while the white blanket is disappearing, is still unplayable, and could be for several days. For the 27 girls who answered the call for Day One, that’s not good news.

Uniforms don’t get grass stains on the hardwood. Eye black looks silly in the house.

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BOYS BASKETBALL: Bulldogs chew up Stars

New Albany freshman Romeo Langford snatches a rebound. Langford scored 22 points as the No.5 Bulldogs blew away the Stars 79-33 in the 4-A sectional final at Seymour.

New Albany freshman Romeo Langford snatches a rebound. Langford scored 22 points as the No.5 Bulldogs blew away the Stars 79-33 in the 4-A sectional final at Seymour.

Langford toys with Stars as

No.5 New Albany blasts BNL

79-33 in sectional championship

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

SEYMOUR – Like an energetic puppy with chew toys, like a lion with raw meat, No.5 New Albany devoured and spat out Bedford North Lawrence in the 4-A sectional final on Saturday night.

The trophy engraver would not have needed much time to decide which team to etch into history. The Bulldogs reduced BNL to emotional rubble during a dominating performance and blasted the upstart Stars 79-33, winning its second straight title and earning a return trip to Seymour for the regional.

Video: New Albany wins sectional

BNLs Braxton Day encounters Romeo Langford on his way to the basket. Day had 9 points to lead the Stars, who finished 12-15.

BNLs Braxton Day encounters Romeo Langford on his way to the basket. Day had 9 points to lead the Stars, who finished 12-15.

If an MVP plaque had been awarded, it would have gone to a freshman. Romeo Langford, smooth, stunning and totally oblivious to the battle around him, scored 22 points, 20 during the first-half barrage that rocked BNL (12-15) and exposed its frustration.

New Albany (23-2) saved its best for the Stars. It was not BNL’s finest hour, from the standpoint of score (the worst postseason defeat in program history), from the standpoint of poise breakdowns (constant emotional displays, complaining and a technical foul). It might have been New Albany’s, certainly this season.

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BOYS BASKETBALL: From dead to the doorknob

Leading scorer Blaze Byer and the Stars will challenge No.5 New Albany for the 4-A sectional title at Seymour.

Leading scorer Blaze Byer and the Stars will challenge No.5 New Albany for the 4-A sectional title at Seymour.

BNL has battled back from

2-11 start to stand at the door

of title tilt with No.5 Bulldogs

By Justin Sokeland

What a long, strange trip this has been. After  16 weeks, after 26 grueling games, after being given up for dead, Bedford North Lawrence is one game away from a sectional championship that would rank as its most unexpected ever.

When the Stars were 2-11 and the sky was falling, a title – other than Worst Ever in program history – was not being considered. When the Stars face Class 4-A No.5 New Albany (22-2) in the final at Seymour on Saturday night, a crown – other than Mr. Congeniality for a good effort – is not being predicted.

Video: BNL-New Albany preview

Yet here they are. They’ve got tonight. Why don’t they stay? From the dead, they now grasp the doorknob of the entrance to a championship.

BNL (12-14) is the absolute underdog. A victory would stun many, considering New Albany already spanked the Stars 65-51 on Feb. 26, considering New Albany is the defending champion, considering BNL hasn’t won a title since 2001 and is playing for one for only the third time since 2002.

BNL statistics

Braxton Day has averaged 21.5 points per game in the tournament.

Braxton Day has averaged 20.5 points per game in the tournament.

“We’re not supposed to win the game,” BNL junior Braxton Day said. “Our goal all year was to play in the sectional final. Now we have our goal.”

From flat on its back, BNL has risen, winning 10 of 13 games. They have brushed off the muck of mediocrity, they have reclaimed respectability. Now can they claim a championship? That would be quite a story to tell.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “We’re hot right now, and they’re hot. We’re just excited to have a chance to play for a title.”

If BNL is hot, New Albany is spewing flames. The Bulldogs have won 15 straight games, and they blazed through the Hoosier Hills Conference. Only two opponents have stayed within single digits during the streak.

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BOYS BASKETBALL: Stars live another Day

Braxton Day

BNL junior Braxton Day drives toward the basket. Day scored 18 points, including two layups in the final minute, as BNL defeated Jeffersonville 63-60.

Braxton Day’s two late layups

helps Stars conquer Devils

63-60 and advance to final

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

SEYMOUR –  The ball floated an instant too long, a soft pass from the baseline toward the top of the key. Braxton Day, coiled to strike, soared to tap the ball free. It bounced loose, beckoning. Win the race to the ball, win the game.

Day won it. So did Bedford North Lawrence.

Video: BNL clips Jeffersonville

Down 60-59 with less than a minute left in the Class 4-A sectional semifinal at Seymour, the Stars needed a hero in a cape, perhaps a minor miracle, certainly a clutch play. Day came through, and BNL lives to play another day.

Lucas Fisher

Lucas Fisher scans the court for an opening. Fisher scored 16 points, including 11 in the first quarter as the Stars erupted to a 15-2 lead.

Day’s steal and streak to a layup, followed by his rebound and coast-to-coast dash through traffic for another score, powered BNL (12-14) to a thrilling 63-60 victory over Jeffersonville on Friday night. The Stars will meet No.5 New Albany (22-2) for the championship.

Funny how a bounce or two can alter the outcome and change destiny. Day’s poke and dash, plus his scoop and score, will be one of his signature highlights for years and yarns to come. Jeffersonville’s Triston Kimbrough had his shot at immortality, a 3-pointer just before the buzzer that would have erased the Day work and sent the battle into overtime.

His wide-open trey from the right wing clipped the rim. BNL escaped, and the Red Devils (8-14) limped home. That’s the nature of the one-and-done brutality of the postseason. Survive somehow. That’s what BNL was fortunate to do.

“Anything can happen,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “At this time of year, and I know everybody says it, but you survive and advance. Our kids just fought, never gave up, made some plays down the stretch, and now we have a chance to play for a sectional title.”

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