Woe is BNL as No.3 South cruises to 62-30 triumph

BNL’s Trey Mollet pulls up for a jumper in the lane. Mollet scored 8 points, but the Stars struggled to score while suffering a 62-30 loss to No.3 Bloomington South on Friday night.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

BEDFORD – The punishment seemed eternal, and in basketball terms, 13 minutes without a field goal – putting the ball in the basket is the name of the game, by the way – is forever.

The gnashing of teeth was Bedford North Lawrence’s offense, doomed to destruction as No.3 Bloomington South dismantled the Stars during a dismal first half. By the time BNL finally broke the chains, South’s 16th consecutive win in the series was already secure.

Anthony Leal, destined for Indiana University, scored 25 points as the Panthers crushed the Stars 62-30 on Friday night. Noah Jager added 16 as South (3-0) blasted BNL to oblivion, the worst defeat to its nemesis since the Panthers clawed the Stars 79-45 during the 2005-06 season.

Actually, this felt worse, because BNL’s attack was thwarted at every point.

The Stars didn’t score until Brayton Bailey dropped two free throws with 41.5 seconds left in the first quarter. They didn’t hit a shot – not for lack of quality looks – until Trey Mollet popped a lane jumper with 3:03 remaining in the half. That was the lone basket in the first 17 minutes.

“It’s demoralizing when the ball doesn’t go in the basket,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said.

South coach J.R. Holmes, with the most wins in the state history, figured out very quickly how to take BNL out of its rhythm and flow. When Bailey drove, he was surrounded. When he got the ball out high, he was doubled and forced to pass. Somebody else was going to have to make shots. Very few did.

BNL’s Brayton Bailey drives under the basket against South’s Joey Bomba. Bailey had 15 points.

“We did a really good job,” Holmes said. “We were doubling Brayton, making him give it up and seeing if someone else could beat us. He’s hard to guard, he’s strong. We just thought we’d make it hard on him and make someone else take up the slack. They struggled a little bit.”

A little? A lot. BNL was 1-for-13 in the first half, 9-for-38 overall. Even unguarded at the free-throw line, the Stars hit only half. It became a frustrating exercise in futility.

“They’re building their defense around our main guy, and we have to get some other guys to step up and score for us,” Hein said. “We have to continue to search.”

Bailey finished with 15 points (9 from the line), and Mollet totaled 8. Everyone else combined for three baskets. Scoring looked like it would not be a problem during the preseason. Suddenly, it is.

“They’re very hard to score on, very good in the half court,” Hein said. “We struggled to score, and we also missed some easy shots. I don’t know what we need to change up to get off to better start.

“We’ll just keep plugging along and try to get better, try to find some answers for our offensive woes.”

South coach J.R. Holmes chats with an official while recording his 813th career win.

South, while blowing out to an unchallenged win, was not exactly super-charged. Connor Hickman added 12 points, yet the Panthers were limited to their lowest total of the season. That’s a short sample, of course, but Holmes noticed some misfires.

“I thought we were out of sync,” he said. “Our motto is ‘We not me’ but we got more toward me in the first half. We weren’t really smooth offensively, we just have more offensive players than they do.

“That’s my biggest concern. Can we survive with one basketball? I wasn’t happy with our smoothness and execution.

“But for me to come here and win. I was giving them static and we won by 32. I shouldn’t be that way, but I want them to understand that other teams might hit those shots. But to come down here and win our first game on the road (with 6 of the next 7 away from home as well), it’s a big deal or us.”

The Stars will host Terre Haute North on Saturday. The Patriots ripped Evansville Central 65-37 for their first win on Friday night.

BLOOMINGTON SOUTH PANTHERS (62)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

3 Anthony Leal, f 3-6 8-11 6-8 6 2 25

12 James Bomba, c 0-0 1-2 0-0 3 1 2

10 Connor Hickman, g 2-2 5-7 0-0 4 1 12

11 Joey Bomba, g 1-3 2-4 0-0 6 3 5

15 Noah Jager, g 1-4 6-11 3-4 1 1 16

12 Cody Doig 0-1 1-4 0-0 3 2 2

5 Maddix Blackwell 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 2 0

21 Jalen Peck 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0 0

45 Trent Kirby 0-0 0-1 0-0 2 1 0

20 Gabe Roberts 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 7-16 23-42 9-12 27 13 62

BEDFORD NL STARS (30)

3s FGs FT R F Pts

11 Ben Cosner, f 0-2 0-3 0-4 1 4 0

21 Zach Sasser, c 0-0 0-2 0-0 4 0 0

22 Brayton Bailey, g 0-1 3-11 9-13 4 0 15

1 Trey Mollet, g 2-8 3-12 0-0 2 3 8

24 Colten Leach, g 0-0 1-1 0-0 2 3 2

13 Kooper Staley 0-3 0-5 0-0 0 2 0

31 Jackson Miracle 0-0 1-3 0-1 5 2 2

20 Colton Staggs 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 2 3

12 Zane Harrison 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 3-15 9-38 9-18 22 15 30

Bl. South 16 11 15 20 – 62

Bedford NL 2 6 13 9 – 30

Turnovers – South 8, BNL 13

Field goal percentage – South 23-42 (.548); BNL 9-38 (.237)

Free throw percentage – South 9-12 (.750); BNL 9-18 (.500)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email