By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – For all the history buffs and trivia experts, Bedford Lawrence Lawrence won the first Hoosier Hills Conference championship in 1977. It only seems like the Stars have won the rest as well.
Of the previous 42 awarded league titles, BNL won or shared 19 of them. The Stars have already clinched a piece of No.20, and they would win their 15th outright championship with a victory at Floyd Central on Saturday afternoon.
BNL won 12 straight during the glory days from 1984-95, then restored its dynasty with four in row from 2012-15. The Stars won 30 consecutive HHC games during that latter run. In a conference that has produced three different state champions and another state runner-up, that’s simply amazing.
“BNL has been, and still is, the class of the sectional and the conference,” Floyd coach Randy Gianfagna said, rather point-blank in style but exactly correct. Jeffersonville is second on the list with 13 titles.
“It’s not to be taken for granted,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. Yet it’s hard not to be guilty of that. “This is something that may happen in the next few years, and it may not. So let’s do it, and enjoy it, relish in it. They’ve accepted that.
“This is one of our big goals. Our conference is tough, year in and year out. It’s a tough thing to do. We’re excited to have the opportunity to win it outright.”
The crown fits, it just needs to be polished.
BNL (15-4 overall, 6-0 in the league) earned part of the prize with Tuesday’s dominating 70-39 win at Columbus East. Now it can selfishly take home the entire thing for the first time since 2015. The Stars split the title with Jeffersonville last season.
“It’s been a few years since we won it outright,” junior center Madison Webb said. “If we can win this next game, that will be great.”
The Highlanders are ill-equipped to stop the coronation. Floyd (5-10) has struggled offensively, averaging only 36.5 points per game, and it has failed to reach 30 five times. Lindsey Dorsch, a 5-6 junior forward, is the top scorer at 10.4.
On the flip side, the No.9 Stars have multiple weapons, led by senior star Jorie Allen (20.1 points, 8.3 rebounds). BNL had six reach double figures against Floyd last season during a 75-36 victory. Katie Fisher had 15 (including 5 of the 13 treys the Stars made), Jacy Hughes (who had 18 points at East) totaled 12 while Webb added 11.
BNL also dominated the boards 37-16 that day, and the Highlanders don’t have size to battle the Stars in the paint now. The Stars have won 11 straight in the series, the last 10 by an average of 23.1 points.
BNL at FLOYD CENTRAL
When: Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Records: BNL 15-4 (6-0 in HHC), ranked No.9 in Class 4A; Floyd Central 5-10 (2-3 in HHC)
Sagarin ratings: BNL 90.11; Floyd Central 64.40
Last meeting: Last year at BNL, the Stars rolled to a 75-36 triumph. Six Stars scored in double figures, paced by Katie Fisher with 15. Sophia Gianfagna had 12 points for the Highlanders.
Game notes: BNL has won 11 straight in the series. BNL has won 20 Hoosier Hills Conference titles in program history. Floyd Central is starting a six-game home stand with Bloomington North on Friday night.
Bedford NL Stars
F – Jorie Allen 6-1 Sr.
C – Madison Webb 6-2 Jr.
G – Chloe McKnight 5-8 So.
G – Jacy Hughes 5-5 Sr.
G – Gracie Crulo-Rood 5-5 Jr.
Floyd Central Highlanders
F – Lindsey Dorsch 5-6 Jr.
F – Kara Jermont 5-7 Sr.
G – Kalissa Fosshuhl 5-3 Jr.
G – Keegan Kaiser 5-6 Fr.
G – Sophia Gianfagna 5-5 Sr.