Balanced Stars swat away pesky North Harrison 78-65

RAMSEY – BNL’s Madison Webb works inside against North Harrison’s Chloe Jacobi. Webb scored a season-high 23 points as BNL shot down the Lady Cats 78-65 on Thursday night.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

RAMSEY – Locked in a shootout that was not anticipated from recent film study, nor really appreciated by a defense-first coach, Bedford North Lawrence unleashed all its weapons on North Harrison. And it needed every one.

Scoring at a furious early pace, the Stars displayed the balance that makes them great and the firepower that makes them dangerous. North Harrison played its best, yet felt like a mosquito swatter on a hot summer night. Couldn’t kill ‘em all, and the bites added up.

Madison Webb, exerting her presence in the post, scored a season-high 23 points, the first of four (almost five) Stars in double figures, as No.14 BNL shot down the scratchy, pestering Lady Cats 78-65 on Thursday night. Karsyn Norman added 16 as BNL (15-4) won the 11th straight in the series.

The offense hummed, purred, rocked. The defense? Issues. Only Ohio superpower Mount Notre Dame has scored more against BNL this season. North Harrison (13-7) limped home with only 40 just two nights ago at Corydon. Who was that team in white?

“Most nights,” North Harrison coach Barry Geltmaker said, “this is us.”

Most nights, North Harrison’s amazing execution would have been enough. But the Cats were clawless, helpless to stop BNL on the other end. Irye Gomez scored 14 points, Chloe McKnight cooled down to mortal but still had 13, and Haley Deckard was huge off the bench with 9 points.

“My kids played well offensively,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “That balance really helps us. You can’t focus on just one kid. When one isn’t zeroed in, one of the others will be.

“Do I think our defense could have been better? Yeah I do. But when you go on the road against a team that plays really well, you have to be happy to get out with a win. So I am.”

RAMSEY – BNL’s Karsyn Norman drains a 3-pointer in front of the North Harrison bench. Norman had 16 points.

The first quarter, played at a NBA pace, set the tone. BNL drained 6 3-pointers, blasting to a 27-18 advantage. But from that point, the Stars couldn’t pull away. Ali Saunders, a force on the perimeter and almost unstoppable coming off screens, had 18 points to keep the Cats within 48-38 at the half.

Once BNL figured out how to contain Saunders, the inside duo of Chloe Jacobi and Diana Burgher went crazy, combining to hit 12 of 14 shots. But the Stars kept them at arms length, never allowing the lead to shrink under 7 in the second half.

Finally, when the Stars forced four straight turnovers early in the fourth, when Gomez got loose for three layups, BNL rumbled to a comfort zone at 71-57 and cruised from there.

Webb was dominant inside, hitting 10 of 15 shots after being much more quiet the last two games.

“We played really good team basketball, worked the ball around,” Webb said. “It’s easier if a team has a bigger girl instead of a team with all guards. It’s easier to get in the post because all those guards swipe down.”

Saunders finished with 20 points and 8 assists. Burgher, recently back from a two-week absence with a sprained knee, totaled 17 and Jacobi had 12. Lucy Robertson totaled 14. That’s all the North Harrison points, by the way.

RAMSEY – BNL’s Gracie Crulo-Rood whips a pass out of a double team. BNL had only 7 turnovers.

“I thought they played really well,” Allen said. “They made shots. They played a lot better than they have the last few games, and we do that to people. We bring out the best in people.

“On the road, when the other team is making shots, it can be difficult. It’s a great effort on the road against a team that’s better than the last game they had. They couldn’t make a shot (25 percent at Corydon) last game. They made a lot of them tonight.”

North Harrison shot a a blistering 63 percent.

“Just get them to do that every game, it would be great,” Geltmaker said. “You never know about them. We played really well. They’re just better than us. They’re good, really good.”

Norman, one shy of her career best, hit double figures for the first time since netting 17 at East Central. She was 4 of her last 20 over the last three games. Not this time. She was 5 of 6 in the first half, one of the reasons BNL hit its season high in points and went over 70 for the third straight contest.

“She looked to attack,” Allen said, “which is something I want her to do more of.”

BNL extended its winning streak to 8 in a row (12 against in-state competition). The Stars will return to action on Tuesday at Salem, as Saturday’s home game with Vincennes Rivet was cancelled at Rivet’s request.

RAMSEY – BNL freshman Karsyn Norman turns the corner and leaves a defender behind. Norman hit 5 of 6 shots in the first half.

BEDFORD NL STARS (78)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

22 Irye Gomez, f 2-4 5-9 2-2 2 3 14

32 Madison Webb, c 0-0 10-15 3-3 4 1 23

11 Chloe McKnight, g 3-9 4-12 2-2 5 4 13

24 Gracie Crulo-Rood, g 0-0 0-1 3-6 4 1 3

21 Karsyn Norman, g 2-4 6-11 2-2 2 0 16

40 Haley Deckard 1-2 3-5 2-2 5 1 9

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

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

Totals 8-19 28-54 14-17 25 11 78

NORTH HARRISON LADY CATS (65)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

21 Chloe Jacobi, f 0-1 6-7 0-0 4 2 12

22 Diana Burgher, f 0-0 6-7 5-5 1 3 17

44 Lucy Robertson, c 0-0 7-9 0-0 5 3 14

11 Ali Saunders, g 4-7 8-15 0-0 4 2 20

5 Maddie Messick, g 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 0

35 Skylie Burns 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 4 0

32 Jessica Fulk 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

13 Lily Moore 0-0 0-2 2-2 1 0 2

3 Sarah Waynescott 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 4-9 27-43 7-7 16 16 65

Bedford NL 27 21 15 15 – 78

North Harrison 18 20 17 10 – 65

Turnovers – BNL 7, North Harrison 14

Field goal percentage – BNL 28-54 (.519); North Harrison 27-43 (.628)

Free throw percentage – BNL 14-17 (.824); North Harrison 7-7 (1.000)

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