Bedford North Lawrence Sports
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BOYS: South dominating the rivalry with Stars

Bloomington South coach J.R. Holmes has guided the Panthers to eight straight wins over BNL.

Panthers have

won 8 straight

in the series

 

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

For a team sport rivalry to flourish, to maintain its meaning and excitement, the competition should be level, intense and the outcomes divided.

That has not been the case lately between Bedford North Lawrence and Bloomington South.

The BNL-South battles date back to founding of the program, and many are historic, story-worthy tales that have been relived and retold countless times. Each has ripped out the other’s heart and loved doing it. From a BNL perspective, there is no other team on the schedule the Stars enjoy conquering more than South.

Label it a neighborhood, familiarity-breeds-contempt thing.

But it’s also been completely one-sided for eight straight years. During this near-decade of domination, only the last two meetings have been decided by single digits. Five were by 20-plus points.

“As long as I’ve been here, no team – freshman, JV or varsity – I’ve been on has ever beat them,” BNL senior (and perhaps Big Jinx) center Jackson Ryan said.

That’s not a rivalry. That’s punishment.

BNL (2-0) will seek to end that sad streak Friday night when it travels north to meet South (0-1).  And there’s no way to overstate what a victory would mean.

“It would mean a bunch,” junior guard Trey Turner said. “It’s been a while. They’re been a team we’ve struggled with, and it would be really big to beat them.”

“They’re a great program,” Ryan said. “It would be huge for our program.”

Granted, the Panthers had tremendous teams during that span, including two Class 4-A state champions. But this South team, which lost an opener for the first time since the 1995-96 season, is not of that caliber. At least , with a freshmen and sophomore starting in the backcourt, not yet.

“We won’t be bad when it’s all over with, when our guards get some experience,” veteran South coach J.R. Holmes said. “I’m happy with the way we didn’t give up (in the 61-57 loss at New Albany last week). We did a lot of good things. I’m pretty pleased from the standpoint we played a freshman, a sophomore and five juniors. It was a learning lesson.”

In other words, if BNL is going to get them, and win at South for the first time since 1996-97, get them now.

South still has talent, with sophomore guard Johnny Jager, junior 6-5 swingman Keaton Hendricks and senior forward Johnathon Winters (all returning from last year’s sectional title team) all scoring in double figures in the opener. Jager had 17 points in last year’s 55-51 win over BNL.

“It’s another test for us,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “They have more experience than we do and have a huge advantage in height (with another 6-6 starter and three 6-5 players coming off the bench). That’s something that worries me because we’re so small. We have to own the boards because they’re good rebounders and they’re big.”

BNL’s strength so far has been offensive balance and defensive toughness. Sophomore forward Blaze Byrer leads the Stars in scoring at 19.0 while juniors Morgan Cummings (9.5), Turner (8.5) and Matt Garrison (8.0) have all made significant contributions. BNL has allowed only 47 points per game as opponents have shot only 19 percent from 3-point range.

“The kids have bought into how we will have to defend this year,” Hudson said. “They’ve done a good job. If we can keep the turnovers down like we did against North (with only 10), if we can stay in the ballgame, we have a great chance of winning every game. This is the type of group that can do that.”

BNL suffered a blow on Tuesday when reserve junior guard Dillon Hensley went down with a high ankle sprain and will miss the next two weeks while wearing a protective boot. But the Stars will add junior Jesse Millikan into the mix after he completed the required number of practices to compete.

BNL will also host Salem (0-2) on Saturday night. It’s the first of three consecutive double-dip weekends on the schedule. BNL will also play three straight doubleheader weekends in January.

 

BNL at BLOOMINGTON SOUTH

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 2-0; Bloomington South 0-1

Series: South has won eight straight meetings and 13 of the last 15.

Last meeting: The Panthers prevailed 55-51. Nik Bailey had 15 points for the Stars, who owned a 46-44  lead with 3:32 left. Johnny Jager had 17 points for South.

Game notes: South opened with a 61-57 loss at New Albany, losing an opener for the first time since the 1995-96 season. BNL is going for a sweep of the three Monroe County teams for the first time since 1995-96.

BNL starting lineup

F – Blaze Byrer 6-3 So.

F – Matt Garrison 6-1 Jr.

C – Jackson Ryan 6-7 Sr.

G – Trey Turner 5-9 Jr.

G – Morgan Cummings 6-1 Jr.

Bloomington South starting lineup

F – Isaiah Gooch 6-6 Jr.

F – Johnathon Winters 6-2 Sr.

G – Keaton Hendricks 6-5 Jr.

G– Tucker Blackwell 6-1 Fr.

G – Johnny Jager 5-11 So.

 

SALEM at BNL

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 2-0; Salem 0-2

Series: BNL has won 36 of 38 games against Salem.

Last meeting: The Stars won 63-56 last year as Nick Bailey scored 18 points and Evan Deckard added 13. Ian Bowling had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Zach Bowling scored 16 points for the Lions.

Game notes: The Lions are averaging only 25 points per game. Salem’s only wins in the series came in back-to-back seasons, the last being an 80-59 victory in 2008-09.

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COLUMN: Stars crackling with confidence after 2-0 start

Jackson Ryan

“Those enjoying winning streaks thus win twofold. They win not only the game but also the right to greater self-determination. They become masters of their own fate. That feeling of efficacy, of being in charge of circumstances, is the essence of confidence. Winning once or twice is encouraging, but winning continuously is empowering.”

–       Rosabeth Moss Kanter

 

The vibe inside BNL Fieldhouse is palpable. Something is in the air.

Practice has yet to start, but there is an energy, a buzz, a crackle of excitement. Bedford North Lawrence, with one of the youngest teams in its basketball history, is 2-0 for the first time in seven years, and the needle on the meter is moving further to the right, nearing the red zone.

The Stars, as if political talking points had been passed out in the locker room, point to a common theme, a single description of their attitude.

Confidence.  Winning has bred it.

“We’re very excited, very confident,” lone senior Jackson Ryan said.

BNL coach Jamie Hudson

“I think our kids have that confidence,” coach Jamie Hudson said.

“It’s just knowing that we can win, not listening to other people,” sophomore scoring leader Blaze Byrer said. “We can do it.”

The definition of confidence reads “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-reliance; assurance.” It is not to be confused with cockiness, which is defined as “an offensive boldness and assertiveness; aggressive self-assurance.”

Cockiness creates a false sense of security and is doomed for a crash of reality. Confidence creates a cornerstone for sustained success. There is nothing offensive about the Stars.

This BNL team, with its youth and inexperience, with its lack of size and speed, was a preseason mystery, not expected to make waves in Southern Indiana. Two wins is not yet a trend, but some ripples have appeared in the water. And one factor is behind it.

Confidence. The Stars didn’t listen to the outside negative thinkers (more commonly called ‘haters’ in today’s world). Abraham Lincoln said “You have confidence in yourself, which is valuable, if not an indispensable quality.” BNL can attest to that.

“I don’t think it surprises any of us, as a team, but it has surprised people outside of the program,” junior guard Trey Turner said of the start. “It’s exciting for us and it’s given us a lot of confidence to go out and play.”

Each step so far has been tougher than the first. The Stars opened with a win over Edgewood, then conquered Bloomington North. Now the challenge is a road trip to Bloomington South, which has treated BNL like a whipping post, winning eight straight in the series and 13 of the last 15.

BNL hasn’t swept the Monroe County teams since the 1995-96 season.

Mission impossible? Not for a team with confidence. “As is our confidence,” essayist William Hazlitt wrote, “so is our capacity.”

“I think it would be another huge confidence boost for us,” Hudson said. “Beating North was a big win for us, and it was a great momentum builder going into this weekend.

“It all is mental with Bloomington South. We just have to get over the hump one time, and it would solve a lot of problems. Mentally, over the last few years, we haven’t been able to do that.”

Don’t tell the Stars it can’t be done. There is no cockiness, no bragging about a victory not yet achieved. But neither is there fear.

“Edgewood seemed like a starter, we worked our way to North, and now South will be a little tougher,” Byrer said. “It would feel good to break the streak.”

 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

–       Marie Curie, Nobel Prize winner

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BNL girls move up to No.4 in polls

Bedford North Lawrence moved up to No.4 in this week’s Indiana Basketball Coaches Association girls basketball state poll.

Columbus North was voted the No.1 spot, followed by Hamilton Southeastern and Fort Wayne South. BNL (4-0) will host FW South on Jan. 26.

Lawrence North, which lost at Columbus North 64-62 on Saturday, slipped to No.5. BNL will visit Lawrence North on Dec. 20.

In the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Class 4-A poll, BNL moved up to No.4. Hamilton Southeastern was No.1 in that poll, followed by Columbus North and Fort Wayne South. The Lady Stars received one first-place vote.

Other ranked teams ahead on the BNL schedule include 3-A No.9 Madison (on the road on Dec. 15), 3-A No.10 Scottsburg (home on Jan. 5), and 4-A No.21 Bloomington South (on the road Jan. 29). The Lady Stars could also meet 4-A No.13 Castle and 3-A No.13 Jasper  in the BNL Tournament on Jan. 28-29.

 

IBCA POLL

1. Columbus North (4-0); 2. Hamilton Southeastern (5-0); 3. Fort Wayne South (3-0); 4. Bedford North Lawrence (4-0); 5. Lawrence North (2-1); 6. Merrillville (4-0); 7. Fort Wayne Canterbury (4-0); 8. Greenwood (6-0); 9. Evansville Mater Dei (3-0); 10. Pike (3-0); 11. Logansport (4-0); 12. Fort Wayne Snider (3-1); 13. Penn (2-1); 14. Norwell (4-0); 15. Brownsburg (3-1); 16. Michigan City (3-0); 17. Westfield (5-1); 18. Northridge (5-0); 19. Ben Davis (1-2); 20. Homestead (3-0)

 

ICGSA POLL

Class 4A

    1st Place      
Rank School Votes Record Points Prev
1 Hamilton Southeastern 11 5-0 140 1
2 Columbus North 3 4-0 130 3
3 Fort Wayne South 3-0 101 4
4 Bedford North Lawrence 1 4-0 93 5
5 Greenwood 6-0 76 6
6 Lawrence North 2-1 46 2
7 Northridge 5-0 43 7
8 Merrillville 4-0 41 8
9 Logansport 4-0 39 9
10 Pike 3-0 31 NR
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COLUMN: BNL’s Rizzi shoots to thrill

BNL junior guard Brittani Rizzi is shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line this season.

Shooters have no conscious, no memory, no fear.

Miss five straight? The next one is going down, they guarantee. Hit the first one? The next five will follow, they are sure. They are always open, their range infinity. Confidence is never in short supply.

That’s been called the shooter’s mentality. Perhaps they are just mental cases, on the edge of crazy.

Bedford North Lawrence junior Brittani Rizzi is sane enough. But she’s a shooter, with her right wrist locked in the firing position, trigger at the ready. She shoots to thrill, plays to kill. She has the gun at the ready and will fire at will.

Swish!

Actually she’s not that indiscriminant. But neither is she shy. She can’t be. Rizzi is a vital part of BNL’s offensive weaponry, the perfect perimeter piece to compliment the interior power game of sophomores Jenna Allen and Dominque McBryde. Her main job is what she does best.

Swish!

That’s the beautiful sound of a basketball dropping from the sky, unmolested by contact with a rim and spinning with backward rotation, through the net. It’s leather rubbing rapidly against nylon. This season, more often than not, it is the perfect ending to a Rizzi jumper, worth three points.

Through four games, Rizzi has hit half her 3-point attempts. She’s on pace to hit 70 during the regular season. But at any time, when a hot streak hits, that needle could move higher. She hit six Saturday afternoon, just  shy of the seven she poured in against Jennings County in last year’s sectional semifinal, and scored 20 points as the Lady Stars bombed Corydon 65-31.

She was on fire, from the moment she launched that first one and watched it splash successfully.

“It’s a good feeling,” Rizzi said. “It gives you confidence. If you make the first one, you feel like you can make the second one, the third one, the fourth one . . . .”

Swish!

The funny thing is, during the practice session the previous day, Rizzi was ice cold. Couldn’t buy one. Not even close. But that’s the nature of those 19.75 feet shots. Some days, it’s a mystery. Other days . . .

Swish!

“She saved them all from practice,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said with a wry smile. Rizzi did not make a withdrawal from a bank deposit of shots but said focus was the key.

“I focused in warm-ups,” she said. “I was hitting during the shoot-around. I knew I had to come into this game and hit shots. I was thinking that with every shot. I’m just going to keep shooting. I felt like I had the green light today, and it felt good.”

Rizzi has always been a shooter. She started taking technique more seriously in junior high and worked on improving it, practicing it for precision more than repetition. In high school, she averaged 12.0 as a freshman (hitting 53 treys) and 11.5 as a sophomore (with 64 treys), but the shooting percentage was nothing to shout about.

This year it’s over 50 percent. Two factors are at play. Rizzi is stronger and the shot smoother, and her interior teammates are demanding much attention, which allows Rizzi plenty of time to catch the ball with feet set and shoulders square, eye the rim and let it fly.

Swish!

“They help a lot,” Rizzi said of the Allen-McBryde combo. “They hit a couple of shots inside, and the defense starts to collapse on them. They can just kick it right out to me. So I love it when I get a lot of time. But not too much time.”

Why? Because shooters don’t want time to think about it. They just want to act instinctively. They have worked on a quick release to frustrate defenders.

Allen (19.0), McBryde (12.3) and Rizzi (12.5) are all averaging double figures for the No.5 Stars, who have not been challenged while going 4-0. That could change in coming clashes with Madison (4-0 and No.9 in 3-A), Lawrence North (2-1 and No.2 in 4-A, but likely to drop this week after a two-point loss to Columbus North) and Fort Wayne South (3-0 and No.4 in 4-A).

“All these games are really important to us, but we’re looking forward to the other big teams,” Rizzi said. “That’s what we’re practicing for right now.”

Practice? We’re talking practice? On certain days, Rizzi might not make many then, but she’s making them when they count. If she stays hot, so will the Stars.

 

 

Brittani Rizzi’s numbers

Year G FGs Pct FTs Pct R Avg Pts Avg 3s
Freshman  22 90-223 .404 30-41 .732 49 2.2 264 12.0 53
Sophomore  26 94-248 .379 42-55 .764 47 1.8 298 11.5 64
Junior  4 17-33 .515 2-2 1.000 9 2.3 50 12.5 14
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BOYS: Stars claw past Cougars 65-53

Byrer, Turner

Trey Turner

power BNL

past North

Box score

Bedford North Lawrence’s offensive stars lived up to their given names Saturday night.

Blaze was hot and Trey knocked down treys as the Stars surprised Bloomington North 65-53 at BNL Fieldhouse and started a season 2-0 for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.

Sophomore forward Blaze Byrer scored a career-high 21 points and junior guard Trey Turner hit three 3-pointers and totaled 15. BNL opened with an 18-6 spurt and held off North’s second-half charge.

“It’s a great win,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “They’re a very good ballclub. It’s a great momentum builder. I told the kids if we played our basketball, we would win.”

Byrer was the catalyst to the hot start with nine first-quarter points.

Morgan Cummings

After the Cougars clawed within 39-38 to start the fourth quarter, Morgan Cummings hit two 3-pointers and Byrer added another as BNL battled back to a comfortable working margin.

“We settled down, knocked down some shots and made another run,” Hudson said. “Blaze played exceptionally well again and Trey knocked down some really good shots. It’s just a great team effort.”

North’s backcourt firepower, which was key to North’s opening 75-59 win over Terre Haute South and last year’s 66-63 win over BNL, was neutralized. Grant Sims scored 14 points and Saikou Jallow added 11, but Tyler Truesdel was limited to two points after scoring 22 in last year’s clash with the Stars.

“We had a really good game plan defensively and the kids executed very well,” Hudson said. “Morgan did a great job defensively. They followed the scouting report.”

Blaze Byrer

Cummings, who finished with 9 points, was quick to credit BNL’s team defense. North hit only 7 of 23 first-half shots.

“I had a lot of help,” Cummings said. “If I got beat I had guys behind me. So I just tried to keep them in front of me.”

Hudson also pointed to BNL’s turnovers (10) as a factor. The Stars had 17 in the opening win over Edgewood.

“We played confident and played together,” Cummings said. “Everyone did their job and we hit the open guy. This is really big for us. We were about the only ones who thought we would win. So it’s a big confidence booster. Hopefully we can build on it.”

Matt Garrison also had 9 points for BNL. Burt Bloom had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Cougars.

BNL will go for a Monroe County sweep when it visits Bloomington South (0-1 after falling at New Albany 61-57) on Friday. The Stars haven’t beaten all three northern neighbors in the same year since the 1995-96 season.

“I’d go to battle with these kids any day of the week,” Hudson said. “They’re a great group to coach. They listen, they’re unselfish and all they care about is winning for BNL. Those type of kids don’t come around very often. I think this could be a special group.”

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GIRLS: No.5 BNL shoots down Corydon

Brittani Rizzi

Jenna Allen

Rizzi, Allen

propel Stars

to 65-31 win

over Panthers

Box score

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The two-edged offensive sword of Bedford North Lawrence pierced Corydon to its basketball joints Saturday afternoon at BNL Fieldhouse.

With the inside-outside combination of sophomore center Jenna Allen and junior guard Brittani Rizzi doing the dividing damage, the Class 4-A  No.5 Lady Stars sliced up the Panthers 65-31. Allen and Rizzi both scored 20 points as BNL improved to 4-0 while handing Corydon its first loss.

With Allen powerful in the paint, and with Rizzi quick to pull the trigger on open perimeter jumpers, the BNL attack was sharp and deadly. Allen hit 9 of 11 shots from inside while Rizzi – given more than ample time to line up and fire from the outside – drilled 6 of 9 3-pointers.

“Their post players are so good, and if you try to help out they have so many shooters,” Corydon coach Michael Uhl said. “They just pass the ball so well and they always know where the next option is before they catch the ball. They’re just very good at it. And when they shoot so well, there’s not much you can do.”

Another sensational start got BNL on its way. The Stars hit their first six shots, including a trio of treys by Rizzi, and zipped to a 16-4 advantage. They converted 9 of their first 10 field goals, including another Rizzi bomb, en route to a 25-7 lead.

They were so hot, and confident, that Rizzi launched an off-balance heat-check shot from NBA range, just to see if everything would go in. It didn’t, but it didn’t slow the onslaught as Allen rebounded her own miss for a bucket and Dominique McBryde scored from can’t-miss range for a three-point play and a 32-9 edge at halftime.

BNL’s defensive dominance was again overshadowed by its offensive execution, but the Panthers could testify to its tenacity as the Stars fought through Corydon’s multiple-screen offense and harassed shooters. Corydon (3-1) converted only 3 of 18 shots in the first half and only cracked double figures in one quarter (the third).

Allen and Rizzi kept the pressure on in the second half. Allen scored twice from the post and Rizzi buried her final 3-pointer at the buzzer, capping a 9-0 spurt to the break for a 51-22 lead. The margin swelled to 35 in the fourth.

“When we did make the right defensive play, they kicked it out and the girl drained the three,” Uhl said. “They’re just good.”

The BNL shooting numbers were, for the third straight game, amazing. The Stars hit 24 of 36 shots, with Allen and Rizzi doing most of that, and committed only four turnovers. McBryde finished with 10 points.

“We did a much better job of going inside and then outside,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “Brittani had opportunities and did a good job of shooting the basketball. I really like how the kids are finding the open person.”

Coaches always want something to work on, but Godlevske was hard pressed to find a negative. Corydon did collect 13 offensive rebounds and won that statistical battle 24-18. But leading scorer Marie Rothrock was limited to 5 points while Taylor Frederick had 10 points and 6 rebounds.

“The only thing I can say we need to work on is our post defense,” Godlevske said. “We gave up too many easy positions, and it’s an area we need to improve on for when we face someone that is really tough inside. That’s the one thing I can think of. It’s something we have to address.”

Otherwise, BNL continued its superior play. The Stars are now shooting 62 percent from the field as a team, with Allen over 80 percent. Suddenly, the torrid percentage is not an anomaly or accident, it’s becoming the norm. Now the question is how long BNL can maintain its pace and its focus as things, and wins, come easily.

“I think that’s why we’ve been so focused in practice and going hard every single day,” Godlevske said. “Hopefully that will have game carry-over.”

Kennedy Wall missed her third straight game since suffering a concussion. The Stars are hopeful she will be cleared on Wednesday.

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BOYS: BNL ‘on guard’ for North’s power trio

BNL coach Jamie Hudson

Backcourt the key

as BNL prepares

to face Cougars

 

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

The first four minutes of last year’s Bloomington North blitz of Bedford North Lawrence were a high school basketball version of “shock and awe.”

North sniper Tyler Truesdel buried his first four 3-pointers. Three BNL turnovers were converted into breakaway layups. The bombs and blasts nearly blew the Stars off the court. BNL recovered from the false start, scrambling within 56-55 with 4:35 left, but the rally finally fizzled as the Cougars won 66-63.

So the first objective for BNL (1-0) on Saturday night, when the Cougars (1-0) visit BNL Fieldhouse to renew the rivalry, is to survive the expected onslaught launched by North’s experienced and talented backcourt.

North’s Tyler Truesdel

Doing that, and limiting the production of Truesdel and junior backcourt teammates of Grant Sims and Saikou Jallow, would lead to the ultimate objective – winning.

North’s guards will be the focus. Sims scored 22 points, Truesdel totaled 15 and Jallow added 10 as the Cougars pummeled Terre Haute South 75-59 in their opener Wednesday night. Truesdel had 22 points and the other two were double-digit scorers during last year’s win over BNL.

North coach Andy Hodson is on record saying “I like my guards.”And when a coach says that about a trio that has started since their freshman year, he knows he has something special. BNL coach Jamie Hudson holds them in high regard.

“They’re extremely quick,” Hudson said. “Truesdel can absolutely fire the rock. But we’ll be ready. Our kids have known them and played against them. It’s going to be a battle.”

North will also have a size advantage at every position.

“They’ll make it physical, which everyone will try to do to us, but we will adjust to that,” Hudson said. “Our lack of size will be a problem. But I love our basketball IQ.”

The Stars debuted with a solid 54-41 win at Edgewood on Tuesday. Sophomore lefty Blaze Byrer scored 17 points and junior guard Morgan Cummings added 10. BNL went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter to erase a turnover-marred start.

“I thought we moved the ball very well,” Hudson said. “We did a pretty good job defensively. I’d really like to see us work on our turnovers (17). We have to keep them around 10 to be very competitive with our schedule.”

The home opener with North represents a significant leap in schedule toughness as a follow-up to the conquest of the Mustangs. A win would mark BNL’s first 2-0 start since the 2005-06 season and be a red-letter win for a young team with only one senior (Jackson Ryan, who had nine rebounds against Edgewood) on the roster.

“As we get more games under their belts, getting that experience, we’ll get a lot better,” Hudson said. “I think we’ll be a lot better after Christmas.”

 

BLOOMINGTON NORTH at BNL

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 1-0; Bloomington North 1-0

Series: North has won 11 of the last 15 meetings.

Last meeting: The Cougars prevailed 66-63 as Tyler Truesdel hit 5 3-pointers and scored 22 points. Nik Bailey had 15 and Jackson Ryan came off the bench to score 13 for the Stars. North bolted to a 22-3 lead and then held off BNL’s late charge.

Game notes: North opened with a 75-59 win over Terre Haute South. The Stars haven’t started 2-0 since the 2005-06 season.

BNL starting lineup

F – Blaze Byrer 6-3 So.

F – Matt Garrison 6-1 Jr.

C – Jackson Ryan 6-7 Sr.

G – Trey Turner 5-9 Jr.

G – Morgan Cummings 6-1 Jr.

Bloomington North starting lineup

F – Tyler Truesdel 6-2 Jr.

F – Adam Sowder 6-2 Jr.

C – Burt Bloom 6-7 Sr.

G– Saikou Jallow 6-3 Jr.

G – Grant Sims 6-3 Jr.

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BOYS: BNL goes out in Blaze of glory to win opener

Blaze Byrer

Byrer scores 17

as BNL wins

at Edgewood

 

Box score

ELLETTSVILLE – Bedford North Lawrence, to quote Jon Bon Jovi, went out in a Blaze of glory for its boys basketball season opener Tuesday night.

Sophomore forward Blaze Byrer scored a game-high 17 points as the Stars made a successful debut with a 54-41victory at Edgewood. BNL overcame a shaky start with a 16-0 run in the second quarter to conquer the Mustangs for the third consecutive year.

“I’m glad the kids found a way to win a ballgame on the road,” BNL coach Jamie Hudson said. “That was a huge thing. It was all about settling down and grabbing a little poise. Once we got the lead, we played a lot better.”

The Stars (1-0) were guilty of eight first-quarter turnovers, then stopped that oil leak to pull away.

“We definitely had some first-game jitters in the first quarter,” senior center Jackson Ryan said. “But once we slowed the game down and started playing how we wanted to, it smoothed out.”

BNL’s breakaway ended with a 27-8 lead at the half.

“We did a much better job of handling the basketball and that’s when we took the lead up,” Hudson said. “That was a big difference. We pushed the ball in transition, got some good shots out of our offense.”

Byrer was the offensive star and did his most damage at the free-throw line (where he was 7 of 8), but he had plenty of balanced support as junior guard Morgan Cummings scored 10 while Matt Garrison and Isaac Fender had 7 points each. Ryan grabbed 9 rebounds.

“That’s a heck of a start for a sophomore,” Hudson said.  “I’m very pleased with Blaze. He’s come a long way. The sky is the limit for him. When we get him going on both ends, he’s going to be a very nice player for BNL. It was a good team effort.”

Mike Bowman had 17 points, Trevor Selburg added 13 and Tommy Black totaled 10 for the Mustangs (0-1).

BNL finished with 17 turnovers but made up for the mistakes with 50 percent shooting (20 of 40) and a 29-25 rebounding advantage.

“We’re a young team that’s learning roles, and people had to step up into spots,” Ryan said. “So it’s big to get that first win and get some confidence.”

The Stars will entertain Bloomington North in their home opener on Saturday night.

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Corydon still searching for weaknesses in Lady Stars

BNL junior guard Sammy Dillman and the No.5 Lady Stars (3-0) will entertain Corydon (3-0) on Saturday afternoon.

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Corydon coach Michael Uhl has been searching for weaknesses in No.5 Bedford North Lawrence to expose and exploit when the two undefeated girls basketball teams meet Saturday afternoon at BNL Fieldhouse.

So far, his investigation has been fruitless. “They do not seem to have any,” Uhl said.

Uhl, a smart coach with 225 wins during his 15 seasons, will probably continue his exploration as the Panthers (3-0) prepare to face one of Indiana’s elite. In addition to its perch in the human voter polls, BNL is ranked second in the state by the inhuman and impartial Sagarin computer power rankings.

He knows the challenge that awaits.

“BNL is probably the best team on our schedule,” Uhl said. “We schedule teams like them to see where we are as a team. They will expose a lot of weaknesses, and we will know what we need to improve on going forward.”

Uhl has definite respect for the Stars, but he also has a capable team. The Panthers already own a road victory over a Hoosier Hills Conference opponent after clipping New Albany 59-48 last week. Corydon, allowing only 40 points per game, didn’t allow a field goal in the second quarter of that impressive win.

Junior guard Marie Rothrock leads Corydon in scoring at 13.7, while junior forward Taylor Frederick averages 12.0. Frederick had 19 points, Rothrock added 17 and Kayla Uhl added 11 during the triumph over New Albany.

“They are a solid group,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “They are fundamentally sound and shoot the ball well. Coach Uhl is creative with his schemes and strategies so they can be a tough team to prepare for.”

BNL’s numbers are simply amazing. The Stars are shooting 60 percent as a team, with sophomore leading scorers Jenna Allen (18.7) and Dominique McBryde (13.0) both converting 80 percent of their shot attempts. Junior guard Brittani Rizzi (10.0) gives BNL an outside compliment to the interior power.

The only possible blip on the Corydon weakness radar is turnovers. BNL is averaging 16 per game.

But that was Corydon’s problem during last year’s 52-27 loss to the Stars. They couldn’t force any. The Stars were guilty of only nine miscues, and their early solid start (a 35-12 lead in the second quarter) overwhelmed the Panthers.

McBryde was the only scorer to reach double figures with 10 points. BNL dominated the boards 37-19, with Allen grabbing 12 rebounds.

 

CORYDON at BNL

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 3-0, ranked No.5 in Class 4-A; Corydon 3-0

Series: BNL leads 6-2

Last meeting: BNL won last year’s game at Corydon 52-27. Corydon’s last win in the series was a 57-46 decision during the 2005-06 season.

Game notes: BNL coach Kurt Godlevske needs five more wins to reach 100 in his seventh season. BNL is currently ranked second in the state in the Sagarin computer power ratings behind Hamilton Southeastern. Corydon already owns a win over a HHC opponent (New Albany) this season.

BNL starting lineup

F – Dominique McBryde 6-2 So.

C – Jenna Allen 6-3 So.

G – Brittani Rizzi 5-7 Jr.

G – Alexa Bailey 5-7 So.

G – Sammy Dillman 5-6 Jr.

Corydon starting lineup

F – Taylor Frederick 5-7 Jr.

F – Reagan Mosley 5-10 Jr.

G – Marie Rothrock 5-8 Jr.

G– Symphony LeJeune 5-5 Sr.

G – Kayla Uhl 5-5 Sr.

Shortlink

Allen named IBCA Player of the Week

Sophomore center

BNL’s Jenna Allen

hit 17 of 19 shots

in two victories

 

Bedford North Lawrence sophomore center Jenna Allen was named Player of the Week (Nov. 12-17) for District 3 by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

Allen averaged 21.0 points and 8.0 rebounds as the No.5 Lady Stars posted wins over Mooresville and Jeffersonville. She was 17 of 19 from the floor during those two games and scored a career-high 27 points against the Red Devils.

Other winners this week included Hanover Central senior Blayr Poston (District 1) and Winchester senior (and Ball State signee) Jill Morrison (District 2). This is the fifth season for the IBCA Player of the Week program.