Energetic Stars Blast Off for 73-36 Victory Over Olympians

BNL’s Brayton Bailey absorbs contact while scoring. Bailey had 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Stars blasted Columbus East 73-36 on Friday night.

By Justin Sokeland

(BEDFORD) – Jackson Miracle claims to weigh 165 pounds, and it would be a miracle if he does. Even counting the mop top of thick, black curls, he’s a 6-foot-4 stick in the paint, where bruisers usually prowl.

Well, Bedford North Lawrence, with Miracle setting an energetic tone, stuck it to Columbus East in the Hoosier Hills Conference opener on Friday night. That wasn’t just a victory, it was a backside, woodshed, hide-from-Dad spanking.

The Stars exploded with a near-perfect first quarter of spectacular basketball, crushing East’s will into dust with a 27-6 eruption. The next 24 minutes were just mandatory as BNL blasted to an impressive 73-36 triumph.

Brayton Bailey scored 18 points, moving into sixth place on the school’s career scoring list, and grabbed 10 rebounds, but the senior All-Star candidate had plenty of support. Miracle scored a career-high 12, Trey Mollet totaled 13, and BNL (2-2, 1-0) won its second straight home game with amazing efficiency and maximum effort.

East (1-3, 0-1) looked bewildered without junior point guard Ben Major (out with an ankle injury), but his absence hardly mattered. BNL dominated every phase.

“I’d like to bottle up the last two games,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “That’s a great start. I thought we played well, both ends of the floor.”

BNL’s Jackson Miracle scores from close range. Miracle had a career-high 12 points.

The only game section to discuss was the opening 8 minutes. BNL was superb, crashing in front with a 22-2 run that ended all suspense. Mollet ignited it with a wing trey, freshman Colten Leach turned a steal into a breakaway, Bailey roared through the paint, and Miracle cleaned up any miss with offensive rebounds. All arms and legs, that kid.

“I just go in there and work hard, put my butt in them,” Miracle said, as if he has one to work against guys that outweigh him by 50. “It was fun. The energy was amazing.”

East coach Brent Chitty pointed to that intangible as the key. The Olympians were dead guys walking, and on the road in the HHC, that’s a doomed approach.

“We practiced that way,” Chitty said. “Practice, that’s the way you play. Our energy level was horrible. They just whipped us. We got whipped. Mentally, we just kind of gave up.

“Those are things you have to learn, if you want to win in Indiana. This isn’t AAU, this is high school basketball. You have to be physical. We kind of stood around. No energy. You have to play the game with energy. We had none. We had no physicality. We’ll change or it will be a long season.”

BNL’s Trey Mollet attacks the basket in transition. Mollet totaled 13 points.

The Stars were fireballs, scoring the 27 first-quarter points with only 15 possessions. Mollet drilled back-to-back bombs for a 35-9 advantage in the second, Miracle grabbed another offensive rebound (5 of his 6 boards were on that end), and BNL was ahead 41-14. Few saw that coming.

Miracle’s interior quickness and Bailey’s strength powered the Stars to a phenomenal 35-14 rebounding advantage. Zane Harrison scored 7 (his first varsity points), Leach added 6 and Ben Cosner totaled 6.

“That’s the balance we need,” Hein said. “Jackson had a great game. He altered some shots with his length. He did a nice job in there. He doesn’t weigh a lot, but he can provide some size we need. You can tell the kid is enjoying playing. That’s what you want a kid to do.

“Every one in that locker room had a big smile on their face. That’s what you want. We’re a team. You win together, you lose together.”

BNL had a lot to smile about. East did not. The Olympians were only 8 of 34 from the floor. Jacob Pierce had 13 points while Tyler Boyer (who had 22 last year as East torched the Stars for 77 points) was limited to 9.

BNL will chase its third straight win on Saturday night at South Knox.

Jackson Miracle had 5 offensive rebounds as BNL pounded East 35-14 on the glass.

COLUMBUS EAST OLYMPIANS (36)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

33 Tyler Boyer, f 1-3 2-8 4-4 0 3 9

24 Daniel Murphy, f 0-1 0-7 0-0 3 2 0

35 Bailey Harden, f 0-0 0-0 2-2 2 3 2

31 Jacob Pierce, g 1-1 3-7 6-6 2 1 13

31 Will Rieckers, g 0-2 0-3 4-4 1 2 2

12 Ben Kuhlman 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 0

42 Seth Chandler 0-0 0-1 0-1 0 3 0

20 Crase Bergman 0-2 2-4 2-5 1 5 6

43 Casey Bartholomew 0-0 0-1 0-0 1 0 0

21 Ethan Ianni 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

23 Harry Major 0-0 1-2 0-0 1 1 2

Totals 2-10 8-34 18-22 14 20 36

BEDFORD NL STARS (73)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

31 Jackson Miracle, f 0-0 5-6 2-4 6 2 12

13 Kooper Staley, g 1-2 2-3 0-0 1 3 5

22 Brayton Bailey, g 0-0 6-13 6-7 10 3 18

1 Trey Mollet, g 3-3 5-7 0-0 2 1 13

24 Colten Leach, g 0-0 3-4 0-1 6 3 6

21 Zach Sasser 0-0 0-2 1-2 5 4 1

11 Ben Cosner 0-1 2-4 2-3 0 3 6

12 Zane Harrison 1-1 1-1 4-4 2 2 7

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

15 Cole Karr 0-0 0-0 2-2 1 0 2

25 Josh Blunk 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

41 Austin Messmore 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 6-8 25-41 17-23 35 21 73

Columbus East 6 12 6 12 – 36

Bedford NL 27 17 13 16 – 73

Turnovers – East 11, BNL 15

Field goal percentage – East 8-34 (.235); BNL 25-41 (.610)

Free throw percentage – East 18-22 (.818); BNL 17-23 (.739)

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