Leach holds the scalpel as Stars surgically cut down Seymour

SEYMOUR – BNL’s Colten Leach attacks the defense during Friday’s clash with Seymour. Leach scored 16 points as the Stars conquered the Owls 44-36.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

SEYMOUR – The last time Colten Leach graced the court of Lloyd Scott Gymnasium, now the world’s largest high school basketball arena, he left with his knee turn up during a sectional loss. Took surgery to repair and a long rehabilitation.

During his latest appearance, he surgically tore up Seymour. His scalpel cut deep.

With Leach as the linchpin, Bedford North Lawrence played its most intelligent, patient and poised game, beating the deliberate Owls at their own attack as the Stars plucked them 44-36 on Friday night.

Leach scored 16 points as BNL (6-6, 3-1 in the Hoosier Hills Conference) shut down Seymour’s pass-probe-pass offense, allowing only 9 points in the first half. The Stars plowed to an early double-digit lead – which felt like two touchdowns – and kept it until the Owls closed with a late flurry of bombs and pressure.

After surrendering the first basket of the game, BNL didn’t give up another until the 3:44 mark of the second quarter. The defense, forced to stay intense for looonnngg possessions, never cracked.

“I thought we played smart, I thought we played hard,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “We shared the ball at the right times, and obviously our defense was phenomenal in the first half. We just didn’t give them what they were trying to get. We did a great job on the post.

“The big key was getting up 13-3. We could dictate what we wanted to do instead of them dictating. If they got up, we’re the ones chasing. That opened things up for Leach in the middle.”

BNL got there with Ben Cosner’s corner 3-pointer, Colton Staggs’ deep trey, and a Leach drive through the lane. The Stars started the second quarter with a 9-3 edge and extended it with Leach’s 12-footer in the paint and Staggs’ transition layup off a Kooper Staley steal.

SEYMOUR – BNL’s Colton Staggs surveys his options. Staggs scored 7 points off the bench.

That forced the Owls (6-7, 1-3) out of their comfort zone, and Leach took over, scoring 10 points in the second half, most from the underbelly of the defense. His three baskets, Aden Pemberton’s 10-footer in the lane, and Staley’s 3-point lead gave BNL its biggest lead at 40-23 with four minutes left.

“We wanted to attack their defense,” Hein said. “They pack it in so much, they do such a good job moving laterally, it’s easy to attack too quick and turn it over. Leach did a great job getting to the basket once we got the defense spread out.”

Leach was alone in double digits, but he had plenty of help. Cosner and Staley totaled 8 points each and Staggs came off the bench – for the second game in a row – as a threat with 7 points. BNL shot a crisp 53 percent in a contest that required efficiency because of the low possession count.

“You can control the game, get them sped up,” Leach said. “When they extended into the press, we got a lot of shots.”

Landon Fritsch paced Seymour with 14 points, most of that coming with three treys in the last 2:40. Eli Meyer, a smooth lefty in the paint, had 13 points, but Seymour’s main scorers inside were negated. They were as quiet as the massive Scott Arena with only a handful of parents and relatives in attendance.

BNL will visit Edgewood on Saturday night.

SEYMOUR – Seymour coach Kirk Manns discusses the situation with Casey Regruth. The Owls were held to 9 points in the first half.

BEDFORD NL STARS (44)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

11 Ben Cosner, f 2-3 3-6 0-0 3 1 8

31 Jackson Miracle, f 0-0 0-0 0-0 4 3 0

24 Colten Leach, g 0-1 7-10 2-2 4 2 16

12 Kooper Staley, g 1-2 2-5 3-3 1 2 8

3 Aden Pemberton, g 0-2 2-6 1-2 0 0 5

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

15 Kaedyn Bennett 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0

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

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

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

13 Houston Corbin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 4-9 16-30 8-12 20 11 44

SEYMOUR OWLS (36)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

21 Casey Regruth, f 0-1 1-6 0-0 3 1 2

13 Marcus Brooks, f 0-2 1-6 0-0 2 4 2

24 Eli Meyer, f 0-0 6-9 1-2 5 5 13

11 Andrew Levine, g 0-1 1-4 1-2 5 1 3

12 Charlie Longmeier, g 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0 0

2 Landon Fritsch 4-8 4-9 2-2 1 2 14

3 Dylan Fields 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

5 Bret Perry 0-0 1-1 0-0 0 0 2

Totals 4-13 14-36 4-6 19 13 36

Bedford NL 9 8 12 15 – 44

Seymour 3 6 7 20 – 36

Turnovers – BNL 11, Seymour 11

Field goal percentage – BNL 16-30 (.533); Seymour 14-36 (.389)

Free throw percentage – BNL 8-12 (.667); Seymour 4-6 (.667)

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