No.6 Stars sting, swarm to victory over South

BLOOMINGTON – BNL freshman Chloe Spreen absorbs contact while scoring from close range against Bloomington South. Spreen totaled 18 points and 9 rebounds as the No.6 Stars stung the Panthers 66-45 on Tuesday night.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

BLOOMINGTON – What ever happened to those menacing ‘murder hornets’ that were descending on this country? Well, they were discovered wearing blue uniforms on Tuesday night.

Swarming, stinging, destroying, Bedford North Lawrence’s relentless defensive assault – constant biting, wounding and pricking – left welts and swelling as the No.6 Stars surged to a 66-45 victory over Bloomington South.

Electric freshman Chloe Spreen scored 18 points, pacing a balanced offense with four starters reaching double figures, as BNL (2-0) blasted away with a 15-2 run to open the second half and roared to a rare runaway in this series. BNL has now won 10 straight over the Panthers (2-2), but most of those were done with chisels and hammers. Took a lot of pounding.

This was done with speed, of feet and hands, and unabated pressure. South was guilty of 24 turnovers, many of them leading to BNL breakaways. That was a major reason the Stars broke free from a 30-22 battle at intermission to a 20-plus margin in only five minutes.

“In the second half, we were able to to exert our quickness on them on the defensive end, and that turned into some easy baskets for us,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “Got us some separation.”

Oh death, where was they sting? It was the first five minutes of the third quarter, and this blue wave was devastating. Irye Gomez started it with a corner 3-pointer and a steal for a layup. Spreen and Chloe McKnight crashed through the lane for baskets, and Gomez converted another takeaway for an unchallenged bucket. Karsyn Norman capped the burst with an offensive rebound for a 45-24 lead.

“They probably hit a total of six jump shots and shot a bunch of layups,” South coach Larry Winters said. “A lot of that comes from having confidence they can get to the basket.

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Chloe McKnight powers her way past a defender. McKnight scored 13 points.

“More than anything, they play with a lot of confidence. We have a lot of young girls getting their first varsity experience, they aren’t playing with the same confidence.”

BNL’s quickness never allowed South to relax to a comfortable tempo. The Panthers stayed within range as Kendall Harmon hit three treys in the first half. That was taken away in the second. South scoring leader Brooke Grinstead didn’t score until the 2:55 mark of the third.

Spreen (who also grabbed 9 rebounds) was the early catalyst with 8 quick points and 12 in the first half. While she struggled to convert from close range after that, her teammates did not. Gomez finished with 14 points, McKnight had 13 plus 8 rebounds, and Norman added 12 points.

“We have weapons,” Allen said. “And I don‘t think we’re shooting the ball well (26 of 58 overall). That’s the thing. It’s the volume of shots with our defensive pressure.

”We are playing really fast, and some of that takes some getting used to from a shooting standpoint. Maybe we’re rushing our shot a little bit. But you can’t doubt the effort.”

Grinstead, who was averaging over 18, finished with 11 points while Anya Friend added 10.

BNL will return home to BNL Fieldhouse for a huge clash with No.3 North Central on Friday night. Varsity action will begin at 6:30 p.m.

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Irye Gomez takes off toward the basket after forcing a turnover. Gomez scored 14 points, and the Panthers had 24 turnovers.

BEDFORD NL STARS (66)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

22 Irye Gomez, f 2-4 6-9 0-0 3 4 14

11 Chloe McKnight, f 2-6 5-14 1-3 8 2 13

2 Chloe Spreen, f 0-1 8-17 2-3 9 3 18

21 Karsyn Norman, g 2-6 4-9 2-2 3 1 12

23 Jenna Louden, g 0-0 0-1 2-2 3 4 2

24 Carlee Kern 0-0 0-1 1-2 0 1 1

40 Haley Deckard 0-0 2-3 0-0 2 1 4

12 Makena Moore 0-0 1-2 0-0 0 0 2

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

32 Madisyn Bailey 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

50 Emma Crane 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

20 Emma Brown 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

31 Ella Turner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 6-16 26-58 8-11 33 16 66

BLOOMINGTON SOUTH PANTHERS (45)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

33 Abbie Lucas, f 0-0 2-3 0-2 3 3 4

0 Anya Friend, f 1-4 4-9 1-2 5 3 10

10 Raine Rolen, c 0-0 2-4 0-0 4 1 4

22 Brooke Grinstead, g 2-4 3-10 3-4 4 4 11

5 Kendall Harmon, g 3-8 3-8 0-0 2 1 9

21 Mya Lawrence 1-2 1-2 0-0 4 1 3

3 Carlie Pedersen 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 1 0

2 Arissa North 0-0 0-0 4-4 1 1 4

4 Caitlin Heim 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 7-20 15-38 8-12 26 16 45

Bedford NL 14 16 21 15 – 66

Bl. South 11 11 9 14 – 45

Turnovers – BNL 14, South 24

Field goal percentage – BNL 26-58 (.448); South 15-38 (.395)

Free throw percentage – BNL 8-11 (.727); South 8-12 (.667)

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