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Champs with an attitude as Stars smack Olympians

COLUMBUS – BNL’s Jacy Hughes drives into the lane. Hughes scored 18 points as the Stars clinched a share of the HHC title with a 70-39 win at Columbus East on Tuesday night.

By Justin Sokeland

bnlathletics.com

COLUMBUS – Now THAT was Bedford North Lawrence – runnin’, gunnin’ and funnin’ to a victory and a championship.

After the most disheartening loss of the season, the No.9 Stars returned to form and returned to the top of the Hoosier Hills Conference once again, smashing Columbus East 70-39 on Tuesday night. BNL clinched a share of the league title and can win the entire prize on Saturday at Floyd Central.

Jacy Hughes scored 18 points, one of four Stars in double figures, while Madison Webb had a strong double-double, punctuated by a career-high 14 rebounds, as BNL (15-4, 6-0 in the HHC) extended its winning streak over the Olympians to nine straight in the series.


Perhaps East (8-8, 1-3) had the misfortune of bad timing. BNL came in breathing fire and left the Orange Pit in flames.

BNL coach Jeff Allen challenged his team, asked for a renewal, a rejuvenation, a return to smiles and screams of joy. He got that as the Stars shared the wealth, and BNL’s defense was astonishing and devastating. East was guilty of 23 turnovers, and freshman scoring leader Koryn Greiwe suffered through the worst night of her young career, limited to a lone field goal and 5 points.

That was more like it. No pouting, no worrying about who did what. Just win.

“I liked our enthusiasm and our attitude,” Allen said. “That’s the one thing I challenged the girls, the way we played the game last Saturday (a 56-51 loss to No.11 Castle). That’s not us, that’s not how we play, that’s not BNL Lady Stars basketball.

COLUMBUS – BNL’s Madison Webb works in the post. Webb had 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

“I thought tonight was. We were supporting each other, we were celebrating success, we were sharing the basketball. We just had a different demeanor. That’s what we’re about.”

BNL never trailed, was never threatened, was intent on establishing its superiority and its reign. The Stars burst out 11-2, got a bench boost from Irye Gomez to race out 23-8, then scored the first 11 points of the third quarter and it was 41-15. The rest was killing time and killing East.

Jorie Allen, the Indiana recruit and the focus of East’s defense, had 15 points and 9 rebounds. She created a void for others to fill, and her teammates gladly and easily obliged. Hughes drilled 4 treys (and BNL had 10 total from long range), Webb added 10 points, and Chloe McKnight finished with 10.

Now the next part is something previously unreported. McKnight, along with Gomez (8 points), was the main antagonist on Greiwe, who was a miserable 1-of-14. That girl was averaging 18.6 points, and she was held to single digits for only the third time all year. She will have better nights. Not this one.

“Chloe and Irye have the ability to be McKenzie Messmore-type defenders,” Allen said. “They have some length, they’re very athletic. And I challenged them to give me that. That’s one thing we were missing a little bit, the defensive toughness to stop a good player. Just another gear that was missing.”

COLUMBUS – BNL’s Chloe McKnight drives through traffic. McKnight scored 10 points.

Claire Cunningham had 11 points for East, which hit only 14 of 45 shots and lost its fifth straight home game.

“Too much one-on-one offensively,” East coach Danny Brown said. “And none of it worked, No team play. We played terrible offense. We have to play together.

“We knew they had good shooters. We were taking a chance to get out on them. They knocked them down.”

BNL was cohesive and deadly.

“We all realized we need to be together and stay together,” Webb said. “Our team chemistry was back to where it was. The enthusiasm was so much better. We worked as a team.”

“It was a life lesson for them,” Allen said. “That’s what succeeds in life, a positive attitude. They did a great job.”

BNL will win its first outright HHC crown since 2015 with a victory over the Highlanders.

COLUMBUS – BNL’s Irye Gomez scored 8 points off the bench in the second quarter.


BEDFORD NL STARS (70)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

33 Jorie Allen, f 0-0 5-11 5-7 9 3 15

32 Madison Webb, c 0-0 5-11 0-0 14 2 10

11 Chloe McKnight, g 2-7 4-10 0-0 3 3 10

12 Jacy Hughes, g 4-9 7-14 0-0 0 2 18

24 Gracie Crulo-Rood, g 0-0 0-2 0-0 2 0 0

2 Irye Gomez 1-3 3-5 1-1 1 1 8

22 Allie Fugate 1-2 1-2 0-0 1 1 3

30 Katie Fisher 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 0

23 Jenna Louden 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 1 0

20 Makenna Moore 2-3 2-4 0-0 2 0 6

3 Sylvia Woods 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

21 Abby Riley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

40 Haley Deckard 0-0 0-1 0-0 2 0 0

Totals 10-26 27-63 6-8 39 14 70

COLUMBUS EAST OLYMPIANS (39)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

4 Claire Cunningham, f 0-1 5-9 1-2 5 4 11

22 Sarah Park, f 0-0 0-1 4-4 1 2 4

15 Kaitlyn Dougherty, f 0-4 2-8 0-0 5 1 4

2 Koryn Greiwe, g 0-2 1-14 3-4 4 1 5

14 Whitley Rankin, g 2-6 2-6 0-0 3 0 6

33 Beyoncé Coleman-Turner 0-0 1-2 0-1 3 1 2

32 Olivia Linnemann 0-0 1-1 0-0 0 2 2

21 Megan Vetter 0-1 1-3 0-0 1 0 2

20 Gretchen Comer 1-1 1-1 0-0 1 0 3

Totals 3-15 14-45 8-11 26 11 39

Bedford NL 15 15 20 20 – 70

Columbus East 4 11 11 13 – 39

Turnovers – BNL 13, East 23

Field goal percentage – BNL 27-63 (.429); East 14-45 (.311)

Free throw percentage – BNL 6-8 (.750); East 8-11 (.727)