Kaufman, Dragons muscle their way to 74-51 win over Stars

SELLERSBURG – BNL’s Aden Pemberton looks for a way past Silver Creek star Trey Kaufman. Pemberton scored 17 points, but Kaufman had 26 points and 18 boards as the Dragons overpowered the Stars 74-51 on Saturday night.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

SELLERSBURG – Sometimes, even when the fight in the dog is better than its normal bite, size does matter – especially when the Dragons are huge and the swords against them just can’t penetrate the scales.

Silver Creek, with a possible Mr. Basketball inside and a wing man of considerable talent, overwhelmed Bedford North Lawrence with sheer length. It’s that simple. The Stars had no answer for the men in the middle.

Trey Kaufman scored 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, while Kooper Jacobi added 15 points and 15 boards, powering the Class 3A No.3 Dragons to a 74-51 victory over the Stars on Saturday night. Kaufman, a 6-9 forward en route to Purdue, showed why he was such a recruiting prize, and the 6-7 Jacobi – a Toledo recruit – was a perfect sidekick.

Together, they muscled the Stars out of the way as Silver Creek collected 19 offensive rebounds to offset an off shooting performance. Just chuck it and go get it. BNL was defenseless to stop that.

“When you look at our team, that’s something we have to capitalize on,” Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said. “We missed some shots we usually make. But that stuff happens. You have to make up for it somehow, and our rebounding was the difference.”

BNL (3-4) did its best to hang on. Aden Pemberton scored a career-high 17 points, Ben Cosner totaled 15, and Colten Leach grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds. But when the Dragons breathed fire and flexed muscles, the Stars were more than a few inches short.

SELLERSBURG – BNL’s Ben Cosner lofts a jumper. Cosner scored 15 points.

“That’s a very good good team, a lot of weapons,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “You’re giving up so much size. We struggled with the rebounding.”

Kaufman was the unstoppable force and an immovable object in the paint. He had 17 points and 11 boards in the first half, many of those collections of his own first miss as he shrugged off contact. Kind of like flys on a horse’s back, just an annoyance.

BNL shot within 12-10 as Cosner ripped two early treys, but Kaufman went to work, posting in the lane for a bucket, dropping a 10-footer, recovering his own miss for a layup, and planting in the post for another point-blank score. Many big guys envision themselves as 3-point shooters in this new age. Kaufman did not.

Silver Creek surged to a 39-23 lead at the half, then blasted to its first 20-plus margin at 49-27. That was more than enough.

SELLERSBURG – Trey Kaufman works inside against BNL’s Ben Cosner.

“I thought we competed really hard,” Hein said. “That has been addressed a lot since Wednesday night (the loss to Castle), and they responded the right way. Leach was a lot more aggressive and assertive, Cosner played hard.

“Aden got challenged. We have to find five guys that can score, as well as five guys that can guard. They trapped off him a lot, he knocked some shots in and played within confidence.”

BNL didn’t back down from the Silver Creek tempo.

“Our philosophy was, if open, take it and make it,” Hein said. And his team got half of that right. “We didn’t make enough (19 of 56), but they make you play. You can’t hold it when they’re trapping.”

Nolan Gilbert came off the bench to add 11 points for the Dragons (7-2), who have now won six of the seven games in the series.

“The last couple of years, it’s been a knock-down, drag-out,” Hoffman said. “Some years we want to play that way, some we don’t. We wanted to make them have more possessions. Credit to them, they had a lot to do with us not playing the cleanest of games.”

The Stars will return to action at Evansville Reitz on Friday.

SELLERSBURG – BNL’s Colten Leach breaks free from pressure. Leach grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.

BEDFORD NL STARS (51)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

11 Ben Cosner, f 3-8 6-15 0-0 1 4 15

31 Jackson Miracle, f 0-3 1-9 0-0 7 2 2

24 Colten Leach, g 0-0 3-9 1-2 12 3 7

12 Kooper Staley, g 0-1 0-2 1-2 3 4 1

3 Aden Pemberton, g 3-8 5-14 4-4 4 3 17

22 Colton Staggs 0-0 3-5 1-1 1 2 7

25 Josh Blunk 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 2 0

41 Austin Messmore 0-0 1-1 0-0 0 0 2

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

Totals 6-20 19-56 7-9 30 20 51

SILVER CREEK DRAGONS (74)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

4 Trey Kaufman, f 0-1 10-22 6-9 18 0 26

32 Kooper Jacobi, f 0-3 4-14 7-9 15 3 15

24 Branden Northern, g 0-2 1-6 4-6 2 2 6

22 Trey Schoen, g 2-6 3-7 0-0 2 2 8

20 Isaac Hinton, g 0-2 1-3 2-2 6 0 4

14 Nolan Gilbert 3-3 4-4 0-0 1 2 11

44 Dominic Decker 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

2 Kyle Roberts 0-2 1-3 0-0 6 0 2

0 Hayden Garten 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

30 Zac Stricker 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

12 Nate Dallman 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 2

42 Wyatt Hoffman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

10 Cooper Murley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 5-20 24-61 21-28 49 11 74

Bedford NL 10 13 18 10 – 51

Silver Creek 18 21 13 22 – 74

Turnovers – BNL 11, Silver Creek 8

Field goal percentage – BNL 19-56 (.339); Silver Creek 24-61 (.393)

Free throw percentage – BNL 7-9 (.778); Silver Creek 21-28 (.750)

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