Bailey, Stars turn back Patriots for first win in Hein era

BNL’s Brayton Bailey muscles through defenders at the rim. Bailey scored 24 points as the Stars stopped Terre Haute North 56-42 for their first win on Saturday night.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

BEDFORD – One night after a complete breakdown, Bedford North Lawrence was a complete team. What an amazing turnaround in 24 hours, going from crushed to conqueror.

With Brayton Bailey leading the charge, with a curly-topped freshman kid playing defense like an angry tarantula, the Stars powered to their first win in the Jeff Hein coaching era. Shots fell. Possessions were valued. It worked perfectly.

Bailey scored 24 points and Trey Mollet added 12 as BNL turned back Terre Haute North 56-42 on Saturday night, rebounding from the 30-point performance the previous night against No.3 Bloomington South with some toughness and desire. Getting blasted by 32 will do that.

How wonderful when the ball tickles twine rather than clanking iron. The Stars hit their first five shots – after needing 13 minutes to make one the last time out. Of course, North isn’t South. BNL didn’t need a compass to figure that out.

Except for an 0-for-8 span in the second quarter, BNL was sharp, hitting 54 percent from the field. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the Stars sent North’s scoring leader home with a wow-factor total of zero. That’s how games are won.

“We knew if we came out strong, we could compete,” said Bailey, who moved into seventh place on the school’s career scoring list. “This was big. It’s our first win. We played two good teams the first two games. I’m glad we came out ready to play and came out on top.”

BNL’s hot start, capped by Bailey’s steal and layup for a quick 10-3 lead in four minutes, was crucial. So were the final 30 seconds of the half, when the Patriots (1-2) had a 24-21 advantage after the BNL lapse. Bailey turned it with a driving layup, and North fumbled away the inbound pass. With 1.2 seconds left, Bailey caught and fired from the left wing, a buzzer trey for a 26-24 advantage. The Stars never trailed again.

BNL’s Trey Mollet finds room in the lane. Mollet scored 12 points.

BNL was supremely effective in the second half, converting 12 of 18 shots. That works. Jackson Miracle was 3-for-3, all from point-blank range on excellent passes from Bailey and Mollet, and Kooper Staley’s bomb put BNL up 41-31 late in the third. BNL closed from there.

“A lot more efficient,” Hein said. “We got off to a good start, got going again, then did a really good job in the second half. I liked the way the offense clicked for the majority of the game. Brayton did a good job finding people. We can’t just have one or two guys score.”

Staley finished with 9 and Miracle totaled 8, although everything flowed through Bailey. He was 10 of 18 and added 7 rebounds.

“It all starts with Bailey,” North coach Todd Woelfle said. “We said if he got 25, we’d probably get beat. He’s a good player. We didn’t contain him.”

On the flip side, BNL contained North’s Matt Gauer, who was averaging 18 after two outings. He got off two shots, all in the first quarter, and failed to score. Credit goes to freshman Colten Leach, who played 32 minutes (with only one turnover) and chased Gauer like a shadow on the dance floor.

“How many points did the kid have? Zero,” Hein said, knowing the answer. “Leach did a great job. And it wasn’t just Leach, the team did. We played good team defense and helped him out. I just love the way he sticks his nose in there.”

BNL’s Ben Cosner looks for a way past two defenders.

Dalton Sturm paced North with 15 points while Mahki Johnson added 13.

“We had way too many unforced errors,” Woelfle said. “Part of that was us, part of that was BNL’s defense. We have to be better to win in 4A basketball.”

BNL (1-2) avoided an 0-3 start for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign, and Hein got his first win since Feb. 20 of 2016. Of course he was idle as an athletic director for three seasons.

“It feels good,” he said. “It’s a relief to get it out of the way. There’s going to be some peaks and valleys in this season, but if the kids continue to buy in, we have a chance to continue to get better.”

The Stars will return to action on Friday, opening Hoosier Hills Conference play against Columbus East.

Brayton Bailey moved into seventh place on the school’s career scoring list.

TERRE HAUTE NORTH PATRIOTS (42)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

11 Mahki Johnson, f 3-4 5-7 0-0 1 4 13

44 Dalton Sturm, c 2-6 5-11 3-3 7 2 15

10 Cody Bunch, g 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 0

22 Matt Gauer, g 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0

23 Ethan Knott, g 0-1 3-4 0-1 0 1 6

14 Bryson Carpenter 0-0 0-0 3-4 4 3 3

50 Dylan Ingle 0-4 0-4 0-0 1 0 0

32 Nolan White 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

12 Caden Mason 0-1 1-2 1-2 1 2 3

24 Noah Crosley 0-1 1-3 0-0 0 0 2

20 Mark Hankins 0-0 0-2 0-0 2 0 0

Totals 5-20 15-36 7-10 21 14 42

BEDFORD NL STARS (56)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

31 Jackson Miracle, f 0-0 4-5 0-2 2 1 8

13 Kooper Staley, g 1-3 3-6 2-2 2 2 9

22 Brayton Bailey, g 1-3 10-18 3-6 7 0 24

1 Trey Mollet, g 0-4 5-10 2-2 3 1 12

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

11 Ben Cosner 1-2 1-2 0-0 2 2 3

21 Zach Sasser 0-0 0-2 0-0 1 0 0

20 Colton Staggs 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 3-12 23-43 7-12 22 9 56

TH North 13 11 9 9 – 42

Bedford NL 15 11 17 13 – 56

Turnovers – TH North 14, BNL 9

Field goal percentage – TH North 15-36 (.417); BNL 23-43 (.535)

Free throw percentage – TH North 7-10 (.700); BNL 7-12 (.583)

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