Stars hit the ‘play’ button to top Scottsburg in Bush Classic

BNL’s Ben Cosner finds an opening inside against Scottsburg. Cosner scored a career-high 20 points as the Stars topped the Warriors 67-58 in the opening round of the Danny Bush Classic on Wednesday morning.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

BEDFORD – After pressing the ‘pause’ button for 19 days, Bedford North Lawrence hit ‘play’ and expected a glitch. Didn’t happen, didn’t miss a beat. In fact, the Stars didn’t miss a shot during a video-game burst they might want to put on a loop playback.

BNL opened the third quarter by hitting 8 consecutive shots, blasting to a 19-point lead on the way to a 67-58 victory over Scottsburg in the opening game of the Danny Bush Classic on Wednesday morning.

Ben Cosner scored a career-high 20 points, including three straight treys during the breakaway, while Colten Leach added 16 as the Stars (3-2) came back from their virus quarantine for their third straight win. BNL advanced to the final round to face Castle in the nightcap. The Knights (1-3) topped Milan 58-46 in the second game.

After so much idle time, that impact softened by five practice sessions to find their footing, the Stars were treading with tentative steps. They hit their stride with tough work on the offensive glass during the first half, then shifted to run mode with the explosion during the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second.

That time period was spectacular, and Cosner was the catalyst as he fed Jackson Miracle for a layup, then buried those three long-range jumpers, all from the same area of the court on the left wing. Kooper Staley added two more treys and Miracle capped the outburst with a lane jumper for a 53-34 advantage. Put that on ‘repeat.’

”They looked like they enjoyed playing again after a three-week break,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “I don’t care how many times you practice, it’s not like getting out there on game night.

“We had those eight possessions in a row where we scored. Cosner knocked in some big shots for us. We’re starting to see him shoot the ball well again.”

BNL worked with the lead the entire first half because of offensive rebounding. The Stars had 10 second-chance possessions, and they scored three times off those in the first quarter. Miracle slithered inside twice for putbacks as BNL claimed a 15-14 advantage.

BNL’s Colten Leach absorbs contact from Scottsburg’s Treyton Owens. Leach scored 16 points for the Stars while Owens had 22 for the Warriors.

Scottsburg (2-6) drew even at 21-21 midway through the second when the Stars surged to some separation. Leach converted a layup off an inbound set, Cosner ripped a corner 3-pointer, and Josh Blunk muscled in a rebound basket for a 32-27 lead at intermission.

“That was big,” Hein said. “I thought we could really get on the boards on them. Physicality has not been our forte the last two years, but we did.”

“They look like a big, strong, tough team, and they really hit the offensive glass,” Scottsburg coach Eric Richardson said. “I knew that would be a big key.

“Then we talked about being physical, packing it in, and they got out and hit five straight threes on us. I think they’re a really good team.”

The Warriors did not slump away and accept BNL’s impending triumph. They scored 7 straight points after the BNL sunburst, got the margin down to single digits in the fourth and had possessions to make the Stars a little queasy. BNL hit six free throws in the final minute to settle those nerves.

“We got down, but we never quit,” Richardson said. “That’s a good sign for an inexperienced team.”

BNL’s Jackson Miracle had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Treyton Owens paced Scottsburg with 22 points, including 16 in the second half after the BNL surge. Hayden Cutter, a power in the post with 11 points in the first quarter, totaled 20 and grabbed 8 rebounds.

“I was concerned they had some weapons and they showed that,” Hein said. “Those two guys can score. And I can see that team evolving.

“Any time you get to that lead, kids relax a little bit, get a little passive. We obviously have to hit our free throws (BNL was 5 of 13 until the finish) a little better. That enabled them to stay with us. We had them where we wanted them, we didn’t maintain the run. Our pause hurt us a little bit at times, probably late in the game with legs more than anything. That’s from having two weeks off.”

BNL had balance as Miracle recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Staley, the face-guard target of Scottsburg’s defense, totaled 11 points.

“That’s the way we have to play,” Hein said. “We have to have that balance, that team chemistry for us to compete at a high level.”

BNL’s Aden Pemberton looks for an open teammate. Pemberton had 4 points and directed an offense that was guilty of only 8 turnovers.

Castle 58, Milan 46 – Zeke Niehaus hit 5 treys and scored 26 points for the Knights.

Isaiah Swope added 13 points and Bob Nunge totaled 11 as Castle advanced to the final round with its first win.

Adam Norman had 16 points and Carsyn Ascherman added 11 for the Indians (2-4). Milan will meet Scottsburg in the consolation round at 6 p.m.

SCOTTSBURG WARRIORS (58)

3s FGs FT R F Pts

4 Hayden Cutter, f 0-0 7-13 6-8 8 1 20

5 Dalton Daniels, f 1-3 1-4 0-0 2 1 3

12 Javis Roush, g 0-0 0-0 0-0 8 3 0

14 Treyton Owens, g 2-7 7-17 6-6 0 2 22

32 Kody Clancy, g 2-3 2-4 4-4 4 2 10

11 Jarrett Richey 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 3 0

20 Wyatt Zellers 1-1 1-1 0-0 1 2 3

25 Ryan Gibson 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 4 0

Totals 6-17 18-41 16-18 23 18 58

BEDFORD NL STARS (67)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

11 Ben Cosner, f 4-6 6-11 4-4 5 2 20

31 Jackson Miracle, f 0-1 6-10 0-0 10 4 12

24 Colten Leach, g 0-0 7-14 2-8 6 1 16

12 Kooper Staley, g 2-3 3-6 3-3 2 3 11

3 Aden Pemberton, g 0-0 1-2 2-2 0 2 4

25 Josh Blunk 0-0 2-2 0-2 3 2 4

22 Colton Staggs 0-0 0-2 0-0 3 0 0

41 Austin Messmore 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

15 Kaedyn Bennett 0-3 0-4 0-0 0 2 0

5 Dylan Nikirk 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Totals 6-13 25-51 11-19 31 16 67

Scottsburg 14 13 16 15 – 58

Bedford NL 15 17 24 11 – 67

Turnovers – Scottsburg 10, BNL 8

Field goal percentage – Scottsburg 18-41 (.439); BNL 25-51 (.490)

Free throw percentage – Scottsburg 16-18 (.889); BNL 11-19 (.579)

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