Norman, Stars charge from the break with win over East Central

ST. LEON – BNL freshman Karsyn Norman attacks the lane against East Central’s Brilan McCory. Norman scored a career-high 17 points as the Stars stopped the Trojans 60-55 on Saturday afternoon.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

ST. LEON – The best thing about freshmen, former Marquette coach and television analyst Al McGuire once stated, is that they become sophomores. Bedford North Lawrence rookie guard Karsyn Norman is on the fast track to a fast promotion.

Norman, thrust into the fire as a starter once she graduated from junior high, is now over halfway through her debut campaign. She’s learning at a rapid pace. And she won a game for the Stars on Saturday afternoon.

Norman scored a career-high 17 points, exploding for four 3-pointers in the third quarter when nobody in blue could throw one in a dunk tank from the dropping seat, as BNL conquered East Central 60-55. Chloe McKnight and Irye Gomez added 15 points for BNL (10-4), which ended East Central’s seven-game winning streak.

The Norman fire was almost a lightning strike from a clear blue sky. She started 1-of-7, and one of her bombs to end that slump was a banked 3-pointer from the left wing. Not exactly the shot of confidence.

Yet that was a spark the Stars desperately required, breaking a 31-31 deadlock and giving BNL a lead it would not surrender. She buried two more in that frame as BNL powered to a 44-42 lead. Gomez (a layup off a beautiful Madison Webb pass) and McKnight (a steal and breakout basket) added the finishing touches to BNL’s seventh straight victory against Indiana competition.

BNL, idle since Dec. 21, showed a few signs of inactivity, most notably the shooting skid in the middle quarters. Grit was not one of them.

”It’s a great win for us, to come out of the gate in January,” Allen said. “I would have liked for it to have been cleaner and a little easier, but you have to win those games.

ST. LEON – BNL’s Chloe McKnight rips through the East Central defense. McKnight scored 15 points.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well, we didn’t play practically smart at times as we have been, but we found a way to get it done against a quality team on the road.”

After BNL’s firecracker beginning, a 21-12 lead after eight minutes as Gomez scored 9 points, East Central (12-5) rallied as the Stars missed 8 straight shots. They didn’t score for the first 5:41 of the second quarter, that lull ended with two McKnight free throws, and didn’t convert a basket until Webb’s post move at 1:35. It’s a testimony to toughness that BNL survived that span.

“We got a little impatient missed some shots we normally make, got a little frustrated and a little rushed,” Allen said. “That’s just basketball.”

Then came Norman, swishing three (and don’t forget the banked jumper, a head-shaker for her) from deep. She was hitting everything in pre-game warmsups, then virtually nothing. That’s how it goes some days. And other days a single shot will change the course. That was Norman’s afternoon.

”From there, after the first one went in, I was feeling pretty good,” she said. “I started hitting and everyone started coming together.”

”She was a little shaky early, and she came out of it,” Allen said. “That’s part of the growth with her. She played with more and more confidence as the game went along. You’re not always going to start well, but she finished well.”

ST. LEON – BNL’s Irye Gomez had 9 first-quarter points and finished with 15.

The Stars were still in jeopardy at 46-45 early in the fourth, but Gracie Crulo-Rood’s 3-point play (via a Gomez snap pass after she chased down her own miss) got BNL some space. After free throws from McKnight and Webb, the Gomez-McKnight combination of clutch plays finalized the victory.

“A lot of hustle plays, a lot of toughness down the stretch,” Allen said.

BNL did most of its damage at the foul line, converting a cool 21 of 24. McKnight was 11 of 13 from there. Webb added 10 points and 6 rebounds.

Josie Trabel, a flashy freshman who will be a handful the next three years, had 20 points for the Trojans, while Hope Fox totaled 12. Charsan McCory was a force with 11 points (including three treys) and 9 rebounds.

Norman was averaging 7.5 points, certainly quality numbers for a freshman, and she reached double figures for the fifth time.

“I feel a lot more comfortable, way more comfortable,” Norman said. “My teammates have pulled me in, and I’ve playing more games. I feel a lot better.”

So to does BNL as it heads for Bloomington North on Tuesday.

BNL’s Jenna Louden applies defensive pressure in the backcourt.

BEDFORD NL STARS (60)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

22 Irye Gomez, f 1-3 5-10 4-4 2 3 15

32 Madison Webb, c 0-1 4-11 2-2 6 2 10

11 Chloe McKnight, g 0-2 2-5 11-13 5 3 15

24 Gracie Crulo-Rood, g 0-0 1-3 1-1 3 4 3

21 Karsyn Norman, g 4-7 5-14 3-4 5 1 17

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

40 Haley Deckard 0-0 0-0 0-0 3 0 0

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

Totals 5-13 17-44 21-24 27 15 60

EAST CENTRAL TROJANS (55)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

23 Josie Trabel, f 0-0 7-11 6-8 5 2 20

50 Charsan McCory, f 3-9 3-9 2-2 9 4 11

15 Brilan McCory, g 2-7 3-14 2-2 0 4 10

12 Hope Fox, g 2-4 5-7 0-2 1 3 12

24 Kyla Maxwell, g 0-0 1-3 0-0 4 3 2

30 Emma Ertel 0-0 0-1 0-0 4 2 0

10 Natalie Schnell 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 1 0

20 Molly Robison 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

1 Megan Caudy 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 7-20 19-44 10-14 28 19 55

Bedford NL 21 7 16 16 – 60

East Central 12 13 17 13 – 55

Turnovers – BNL 6, East Central 9

Field goal percentage – BNL 17-44 (.386); East Central 19-44 (.432)

Free throw percentage – BNL 21-24 (.875); East Central 10-14 (.714)

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