By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Bedford North Lawrence’s Jorie Allen is one step closer to the ultimate dream.
Allen, the driving offensive force for the Stars for four seasons and the program’s career scoring leader, was named one of four finalists for the Miss Basketball award. She will look to become the second in school history (Marla Inman in 1992) to earn the state’s highest individual honor.
The other three finalists include Warren Central’s Shaila Beeler, North Harrison’s Lilly Hatton and Marquette Catholic’s Emma Nolan.
“Just to be considered for that award, that title – wow,” Allen said. “Just the history behind it. Look at all the girls that have had the title of Miss Basketball. What a huge honor. That’s all you can say.
“It’s Indiana basketball, there’s something special about it. If you’re a girl that grew up playing basketball, Miss Basketball is a dream. It’s the highest point, it’s the top.”
Allen averaged 18.1 points and 8.0 rebounds while leading the Stars to a 23-6 record and an eighth consecutive sectional championship. Allen, an Indiana University recruit, totaled 1,930 career points. Her selection capped an outstanding four-year career while playing for her father Jeff.
“That’s a dream for most young girls that play basketball,” Jeff Allen said. “It’s a great thing for her. It rewards her for all the hard work and dedication she put in. She has the talent, skills and resume, and she’s had the team and individual success to be one of the finalists.”
Allen was already named to the Indiana All-Star squad for the annual June series against Kentucky. She will be the ninth BNL player to wear the Indiana jersey. Donning the prestigious No.1 would be the final thrill.
“This will add to the proud tradition of BNL basketball,” Jeff Allen said. “We’ve got a proud history, and hopefully this will continue to motivate kids from this area to strive high and work hard.”
The winner will be announced on May 5. That means Allen will have a lot of time to think about the ramifications.
“I will be a little anxious to know,” she said. “I will either get it or not, it won’t be a big surprise either way. It’s a different level, but whoever wins it will be a huge moment. Maybe I will be wearing that No.1. That would be amazing.”
“I think we’ll stay pretty busy,” Jeff Allen said. “She’s getting ready for the challenges that lie ahead. It will be on her mind, and there will be a little apprehension. But she will be happy for whoever wins. There are a lot of great candidates.”
Beeler, also an Indiana recruit, led Warren Central to the Class 4A state title as a junior. She averaged 11.8 points and 7.9 assists as Warren went 18-3 in 2018-19.
Hatton, certainly familiar to BNL fans, set a North Harrison school record with 2,052 career points. She averaged 24.8 points and 10.2 rebounds this season before the Stars ousted the Lady Cats in the 4A sectional at New Albany.
Nolan, headed for St. John’s, averaged 19.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals while leading Marquette to the Class A state championship. Her twin sister Sophia is also an Indiana All-Star.