Stars provide the buzz for 54-40 victory over Memorial

BNL’s Brayton Bailey scores from close range. Bailey scored 22 points as the Stars stopped Evansville Memorial 54-40 on Saturday afternoon.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

BEDFORD – In a building with all the energy of a Sunday nap or round of golf, Bedford North Lawrence had to create its own buzz, its own electricity. No power failure now, not after the last two scintillating wins.

Brayton Bailey was the spur, Ben Cosner was the power unit, Colten Leach was the charger. Together, they ensured the Stars avoided a letdown.

This season-best winning streak has been cobbled together by electrical-tape defense, by the path of least resistance to scoring, by the willingness to sacrifice individual spark for the team surge. That’s what worked so well during the Saturday matinee win over struggling Evansville Memorial.

Bailey scored 22 points, Cosner totaled 18, and Leach was the human conduit with 9 rebounds as the Stars weathered a Memorial shooting storm to cage the Tigers 54-40. BNL (12-8) extended its winning streak to five straight.

After the Tigers (4-13) stroked home 10 of 14 shots in the first half, BNL pulled the plug, allowing only two field goals after intermission. That left Memorial powerless to stop any BNL breakout.

“It comes down to where we great offensively? No,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “But we’re finding other ways to win games. That’s the thing we couldn’t do earlier the year. Now we’re able to do it in others ways. Defense, taking care of the ball, rebounding. Doing those thing enables you to win even if you miss some shots.”

BNL’s Jackson Miracle works to corral a rebound. Miracle had 7 points and 5 boards.

The key moments came in the end of the third quarter, with BNL clinging to 36-34 command. Bailey slashed home for a layup, Cosner buried a trey, and Bailey drove to set up another Cosner corner bomb to end the frame for a 44-35 lead.

When Leach sliced traffic for a lane bucket, when Bailey gathered a lob for a 3-point play to open the fourth, the Stars had finished a 13-1 run that was the difference.

“We’re about a 16-20 minute team,” veteran Memorial coach Rick Wilgus said. “The first 16 minutes we competed and played hard, took advantage of what they were giving us. We did a really god job in the first half of driving the ball. In the second half, we couldn’t get anything to drop.”

Bailey, now within 12 points of moving into second place on the school’s career scoring list, was a constant agitator, faking and driving, churning and scoring, carving his way to his own points or setting up others.

“He’s crafty with the ball,” Wilgus said. “We don’t have a guy in our lockerroom as crafty with the ball – the juke, the fake, the upper body – and I don’t understand why kids don’t see that and say ‘Why can’t I do that?’ He didn’t go to a special class.

“If he wants a Memorial uniform, we’ll make one available.”

BNL freshman Colten Leach was a catalyst with 7 points and a career-high 9 rebounds.

Too late for that, although the thought of a Bailey joining the Pat Graham boys on Memorial is intriguing. Cade Graham, the elder son of the 1989 Mr. Basketball, had 11 points, Connor Quick totaled 13. But the Tigers were toothless in the second half, hitting 2 of 14 shots.

“I told our kids to weather the storm,” Hein said. “They shot the ball really well in the fist half. I don’t think our defense was that bad. We weathered it.”

Leach scored 7 points and Jackson Miracle totaled 7. BNL had a distinct 27-16 advantage on the boards, with Miracle responsible for 5 on the offensive glass. Leach, Hein noted, “was all over the place.”

“That’s our season,” Wilgus said. “When we need a layup, it rolls around the rim. When we need a rebound, the other team gets it.”

BNL will celebrate Senior Night (for Bailey and Zach Sasser) on Tuesday when it hosts Loogootee.

Brayton Bailey moved within 12 points of second place on the school’s career scoring list.

EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL TIGERS (40)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

15 Connor Quick, f 0-0 5-7 3-4 1 4 13

31 Mason Auker, f 1-2 1-2 0-0 3 2 3

21 Cade Graham, g 2-5 2-7 5-8 1 0 11

1 Jace Graham, g 0-0 0-1 1-2 1 0 1

4 Justin Waiz, g 2-4 2-6 1-3 5 1 7

10 Nico Bordfeld 0-1 0-2 0-0 1 0 0

14 Andrew Helmrich 1-2 2-3 0-0 1 3 5

22 Luke Greder 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 6-14 12-28 10-17 16 11 40

BEDFORD NL STARS (54)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

31 Jackson Miracle, f 0-0 3-3 1-1 5 2 7

11 Ben Cosner, f 4-11 7-18 0-0 4 3 18

13 Kooper Staley, g 0-2 0-5 0-0 0 4 0

22 Brayton Bailey, g 0-0 9-16 4-5 3 3 22

24 Colten Leach, g 0-0 2-3 3-4 9 1 7

20 Colton Staggs 0-1 0-1 0-0 5 1 0

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

5 Dylan Nikirk 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

12 Kaedyn Bennett 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

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

Totals 4-14 21-46 8-10 27 14 54

Memorial 12 15 8 5 – 40

Bedford NL 16 16 12 10 – 54

Turnovers – Memorial 12, BNL 7

Field goal percentage – Memorial 12-28 (.429); BNL 21-46 (.457)

Free throw percentage – Memorial 10-17 (.588); BNL 8-10 (.800)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email