Stars Get Cooked as Mount Notre Dame Erupts for 70-37 Win

CINCINNATI – Mount Notre Dame star K.K. Bransford looks for room to drive against BNL’s Gracie Crulo-Rood. The Cougars, ranked No.8 nationally, exploded in the second half for a 70-37 victory over the Stars on Saturday afternoon.
Photo courtesy of Aaron Harrell

(CINCINNATI) – When Mount Notre Dame, ranked No.8 nationally, turned up the heat, Bedford North Lawrence got Cooked.

MND senior guard Makira Cook, destined for Dayton, fueled a third-quarter explosion that turned a battle into a blowout as the Cougars (8-0) blitzed the Stars 70-37 on Saturday afternoon.

Cook scored a game-high 24 points, hitting 5 treys, and she had four during MND’s eruption that left BNL (7-4) in ashes. BNL had scratched within 31-26 early in the second half, but the Cougars (the defending Ohio state champions) roared with a devastating 16-0 run to end the suspense.

MND star K.K. Bransford, one of the top recruits in the country, added 19 points, and that backcourt duo was too much for the Stars, who shot a season-low 28 percent. BNL junior Irye Gomez was the lone bright spot as she scored 20 – including BNL’s first 17 in a one-girl assault to keep the Stars close.

The key moments were the Notre Dame blast. Cook swished four straight bombs, at the same time BNL was coughing up 6 turnovers in a 3-minute span. When the dust settled, MND was in control at 56-30. Just like that.

“There was a little panic when they started making shots,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “They got hot, and we tried to force some things that weren’t there. We got in a hurry, which is exactly the opposite of what you should do when a team is making a run.”

CINCINNATI – BNL’s Irye Gomez challenges MND’s Grace Centrulla. Gomez scored 20 points, including the first 17 for the Stars.
Photo courtesy of Aaron Harrell

MND coach Scott Rogers was not pleased as BNL stormed back from a 31-15 deficit in the second quarter to scramble within upset range.

“I wasn’t happy with the pace of play and the intensity, due in large part to BNL,” Rogers said. “We just got outscrapped and outhustled in the first half.

“We switched defenses, and that got us going when we created a couple of turnovers. If we’re to be the type of team we want to be for 32 minutes, we can’t turn it on and off. We played exceptionally well in the second half, and Jeff’s team ran out of gas.”

Gomez was sensational, when everyone around her was struggling. She ended MND’s early 10-0 surge to the front and single-handedly kept the Stars from getting buried. When Madison Webb scored from close range late in the second quarter and Karsyn Norman ended the first half with a runner at the buzzer, BNL was back.

But not for long.

“I was happy with moments in the game, but we were disappointed that we didn’t compete better than that,” Allen said. “Irye had a great day. She played an outstanding game and really battled.

“We battled, played hard, but we missed some shots early that would have set a different tone. Overall, it was a great experience for us as we fought back.”

BNL will return to Hoosier soil and Silver Creek on Thursday.

BEDFORD NL STARS (37)

22 Irye Gomez, f 1-5 6-13 7-8 1 1 20

32 Madison Webb, c 0-0 2-7 3-4 8 2 7

11 Chloe McKnight, g 0-1 1-6 2-4 3 3 4

21 Karsyn Norman, g 0-0 1-5 2-2 1 1 4

24 Gracie Crulo-Rood, g 0-0 0-2 0-0 2 2 0

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

20 Carlee Kern 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 1 0

23 Jenna Louden 0-0 0-1 0-0 1 1 0

40 Haley Deckard 0-0 1-1 0-0 1 0 2

44 Grace Kinser 0-0 0-2 0-0 1 0 0

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

Totals 1-9 11-39 14-18 18 12 37

MOUNT NOTRE DAME COUGARS (70)

44 Grace Centrulla, f 1-3 4-8 0-0 3 2 9

55 Brianna Counts, f 1-1 3-5 0-0 5 2 7

4 Abby Wolterman, g 0-0 0-1 2-2 0 2 2

14 K.K. Bransford, g 0-0 7-12 5-9 4 2 19

3 Makira Cook, g 5-8 9-14 1-2 3 1 24

0 Savannah Smith 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

12 Crysta Lacrosse 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

22 Cortney Nichols 0-0 1-3 0-0 0 0 2

23 Autumn Crockett 0-0 0-1 0-0 4 0 0

24 Kristen McBride 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

33 Taylor Stanley 1-3 3-5 0-0 0 2 7

35 Cassidy Stainton 0-3 0-3 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 8-18 27-52 8-13 20 12 70

Bedford NL 10 14 6 7 – 37

Notre Dame 21 10 25 14 – 70

Turnovers – BNL 13, Notre Dame 4

Field goal percentage – BNL 11-39 (.282); Notre Dame 27-52 (.519)

Free throw percentage – BNL 14-18 (.778); Notre Dame 8-13 (.615)

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