Stars survive Kent barrage for road win over Jennings

NORTH VERNON – BNL’s Gracie Crulo-Rood eyes the basket during Tuesday night’s HHC clash with Jennings County. Crulo-Rood has 7 points as the Stars pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 53-43 triumph.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

NORTH VERNON – The quickest gun in the South left Bedford North Lawrence riddled with holes. The solution, besides donning a bullet-proof vest? A bigger cannon.

With Jennings County star Addyson Kent waging a personal, heroic war to end BNL’s 17-game winning streak in the series, the Stars asked senior center Madison Webb to inflict greater damage. And in the fourth quarter, with BNL struggling against the Kent barrage, she blasted the Panthers with post superiority.

Webb scored 10 points in the final period, the bulk of her 17-point, 11-rebound difference in the middle, as BNL withstood Kent’s spectacular shooting display for a 53-43 victory on Tuesday night. BNL guards Karsyn Norman and Gracie Crulo-Rood also had big baskets during the final surge as the Stars (5-3, 1-1 in the Hoosier Hills Conference) won their first road game of the season.

That wasn’t easy. Not at all, thanks to Kent, who was Superwoman in disguise as she rifled in a career-high 28 points to make the Stars squirm for the longest time. BNL finally took control with a 12-3 run to start the fourth, made possible when Kent finally cooled.

Kent, whose catch-and-release trigger is as fast as Billy the Kid and her range almost unlimited, drained 8 treys, half of them from the volleyball line (about 25 feet). Few defenders follow someone that deep on the court. Kent demanded that attention.

Yet it was BNL with the greater firepower. Webb opened the final frame with back-to-back point-blank buckets, and then dished off to Crulo-Rood for a gorgeous layup. Webb and Norman added free throws that extended BNL’s lead to 49-40 with 1:45 left, and that was enough.

NORTH VERNON – BNL senior center Madison Webb scoured 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

“That was a really good win,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “Kent was on fire. I thought we did a good job defending her, but she made some tough shots. So that’s a heck of a road win.”

BNL stammered offensively for most of the first half, hitting only 7 of 27 shots, yet had a 19-17 lead when Kent exploded. Three straight 3-pointers, each deeper than the last, shot the Panthers (2-4, 0-2) to a 26-19 advantage.

The Stars responded with their first real blast, a 13-3 run to a 35-29 lead as Crulo-Rood dashed in for an offensive rebound, Irye Gomez swished a trey, and Jenna Louden cut backdoor for another great Webb pass and layup. Back came Kent. Bang! From the key. Bang! From the middle of the new JC logo.

Crulo-Rood was the chosen one to chase Kent (the daughter of former JC boys star Robbie Kent, so she has the bloodline), and she was relentless in that pursuit. Even BNL’s best had to shake her head.

“She just hit them everywhere,” Crulo-Rood said. “I just had to let it go when she hit one in my face. We knew she could hit them, but we didn’t think she could do it from half court. But she did.”

NORTH VERNON – BNL’s Chloe McKnight battles for a loose ball. McKnight had 8 rebounds.

Perhaps Kent wore down, because the bombs missed late as BNL made its final move.

“That’s basketball,” Allen said. “Kids are going to make great plays, and she had a great night. I thought we did our best to guard her. Sometimes a kid just makes plays. When she makes plays like that, they’re pretty good.

“We felt we needed to go inside, keep attacking the basket, and finally got some separation. We felt if we did that, we’d be able to relax a little bit.”

BNL had balance in Webb’s support. Gomez totaled 9 points, Chloe McKnight added 8, while Norman and Crulo-Rood chipped in 7 each. McKnight also had 8 rebounds, and the Stars were guilty of a season-low 8 turnovers (6 in the second quarter).

Kent was 8 of 17 behind the bonus line. The rest of the Panthers were a combined 7 of 27 from the field.

The losing streak to BNL still irks the Panthers.

“We have to continue to work hard, be good teammates, talk and communicate,” Kent said. “And then the sectional comes around . . .”

BNL will continue its three-game conference road swing on Saturday when it visits New Albany.

NORTH VERNON – BNL freshman guard Karsyn Norman dribbles past Jennings County’s Kali Thompson.

BEDFORD NL STARS (53)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

22 Irye Gomez, f 2-8 3-13 1-2 3 3 9

32 Madison Webb, c 0-0 6-12 5-8 11 0 17

11 Chloe McKnight, g 1-7 1-9 5-6 8 3 8

24 Gracie Crulo-Rood, g 0-1 3-6 1-5 4 2 7

21 Karsyn Norman, g 0-2 2-6 3-4 4 0 7

23 Jenna Louden 0-0 1-3 0-0 0 0 2

40 Haley Deckard 0-0 1-2 1-4 2 0 3

20 Carlee Kern 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

44 Grace Kinser 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 3-17 17-51 16-29 34 8 53

JENNINGS COUNTY PANTHERS (43)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

33 Lily Ernstes, f 0-0 4-6 0-0 7 4 8

5 Addyson Kent, g 8-17 9-19 2-2 4 3 28

11 Brooke Mowery, g 1-1 2-3 0-0 1 2 5

14 Kali Thompson, g 0-4 0-6 0-0 3 4 0

31 Kenna Maschino, g 0-0 0-5 0-0 5 2 0

2 Megan Schuler 0-0 0-4 0-0 4 2 0

22 Abi Vogel 0-0 1-2 0-0 3 1 2

Totals 9-22 16-46 2-2 35 18 43

Bedford NL 12 10 15 16 – 53

Jennings Co. 8 18 11 6 – 43

Turnovers – BNL 8, Jennings County 20

Field goal percentage – BNL 17-51 (.333); Jennings County 16-46 (.348)

Free throw percentage – BNL 16-29 (.551); Jennings County 2-2 (1.000)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email