Defensive Stars Demolish Turnover-Prone Zionsville

BNL’s Chloe McKnight drives against a Zionsville defender. McKnight scored 18 points as the Stars clubbed the Eagles 62-19 on Saturday afternoon.

By Justin Sokeland

(BEDFORD) – Bedford North Lawrence was angry. Two-game skids tend to cause that green-eyed, muscle-and-snarl reaction. The next opponent wasn’t going to like the Stars when they’re angry.

Zionsville, those poor folks. Somebody should have warned the Eagles. Would have been the polite, respectable thing to do. Hang a sign outside BNL Fieldhouse: Do not go in there. Too late.

BNL vented its fury, released its rage, unleashed its fierce defensive wrath, smashing the Eagles 62-19 on Saturday afternoon. Chloe McKnight and Irye Gomez both scored 18 points as the Stars left Zionsville’s offense looking like battle aftermath. Rubble and ruin.

Zionsville could not function against ferocious pressure. BNL forced 29 turnovers, allowed only one basket in the first 9 minutes, only one bucket during a similar span to open the second half. Call it Devastation Inc.

Previous girls basketball seasons on the renowned John Harrell website, the Bible for Indiana high school sports, only go back to the 2000-01 campaign, so it’s not clear if Zionsville’s offensive output was its worst ever. It’s definitely the worst in 20 years.

“I thought we were focused, especially defensively,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “That’s where we said we wanted to be good. We felt we could pressure them. It was a great effort from our kids.

BNL freshman guard Karsyn Norman applies defensive pressure. The Stars forced 29 turnovers.

“We try to take pride in our defense. I believe, and I’ve told the kids this all summer long, all fall, and reinforced it in practice: for us to beat high-level teams, we have to get stops and rebound. That’s the focus, to get better defensively.”

BNL has surrendered fewer points (Indianapolis Attucks scored only 18 two seasons ago) and beaten teams worse (79-23 over Attucks last year, as examples). This wasn’t an Attucks-level program. This was a team that’s been in state championship games and produced Indiana All-Stars. The demolition was just that impressive.

“We wanted to show, even though we lost to two really good teams, that wasn’t us,” Gomez said. “We just wanted to stop them.”

And truth be told, it could have been worse. BNL shot less than 40 percent, so it wasn’t artistic on that end. BNL lumbered to a 14-3 lead after the first quarter, and then McKnight got hot late with back-to-back treys during a surge to 30-10 advantage at the half.

BNL’s Irye Gomez battles for a rebounds. Gomez scored a season-high 18 points.

Gomez had 11 points in the second half, and BNL’s transition game accounted for most of a runaway fourth quarter as Haley Deckard swooped open for breakaway layups. She finished with 12 points off the bench.

“We shared the ball well,” Allen said. “We didn’t necessarily shoot the ball well, but we shared it on the break. And each game we have some success, we feel good about it.”

Zionsville, caught shorthanded because of injuries, could not handle the intensity. Laila Hull, a freshman forward, had 8 points and 10 rebounds. But any time the turnover total is greater than the point total, it’s a problem. Zionsville (2-5) has now lost four in a row, the last two by a combined 88 points.

“We put a lot of pressure on them,” Allen said. “We felt we could with our guards.”

McKnight had four 3-pointers and, more impressively, 8 rebounds, helping BNL build a 41-36 board advantage. Deckard added 6 in that category.

The Stars (4-3) will go back on the road on Tuesday night, visiting Hoosier Hills Conference rival Jennings County, the first of three straight league road contests.

BNL’s Payton Sweet works inside against Zionsville’s Laila Hull (42) and Alyssa McCarthy.

ZIONSVILLE EAGLES (19)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

33 Mya Childress, f 0-1 0-4 0-0 5 4 0

42 Laila Hull, f 1-4 3-14 1-2 10 2 8

40 Mallory Heerdt, f 0-1 0-2 2-2 4 3 2

11 Imani Thomas, g 0-2 1-6 01 2 2 2

3 Aalia Carlson, g 0-0 0-1 0-0 2 2 0

20 Alyssa McCarthy 1-3 2-8 0-0 6 0 5

12 Gabby Gray 0-0 1-3 0-0 4 0 2

10 Marissa Urbanek 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

13 Erica Bostwick 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

50 Katelyn Makinde 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 2-11 7-42 3-4 36 14 19

BEDFORD NL STARS (62)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

22 Irye Gomez, f 1-3 8-15 1-2 5 2 18

32 Madison Webb, c 0-0 2-9 2-5 5 1 6

11 Chloe McKnight, g 4-8 5-12 4-4 8 1 18

24 Grace Crulo-Rood, g 0-1 0-3 0-0 2 2 0

21 Karsyn Norman, g 0-5 0-8 2-2 2 2 2

23 Jenna Louden 0-1 2-4 0-0 2 2 4

50 Peyton Sweet 0-0 0-1 0-0 1 0 0

40 Haley Deckard 0-1 6-8 0-1 6 3 12

12 Makena Moore 0-1 0-1 0-0 2 0 0

20 Carlee Kern 0-0 1-1 0-0 3 1 2

Totals 5-19 24-61 9-14 41 14 62

Zionsville 3 7 2 7 – 19

Bedford NL 14 16 13 19 – 62

Turnovers – Zionsville 29, BNL 13

Field goal percentage – Zionsville 7-42 (.167); BNL 24-61 (.393)

Free throw percentage – Zionsville 3-4 (.750); BNL 9-14 (.642)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email