Jasper gets first-hand look as No.3 Stars storm to 65-34 victory

JASPER – BNL’s Chloe McKnight heads for the rim during Saturday’s clash with Jasper. McKnight scored 17 points, all in the first half, as the No.3 Stars rolled to a 65-34 victory.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

JASPER – Seeing is believing. No amount of chalkboard or video preparation for Bedford North Lawrence’s blurring quickness and constant ball harassment can match the live, in-person, in-your-face reality.

For an amazing half, the third-ranked Stars were a vision of excellence. Pressing, hawking, shooting, running away from Jasper to a 25-point intermission lead. That standard couldn’t be maintained, but it was more than enough.

Chloe McKnight was the offensive catalyst and BNL’s blinding defensive assault was the main reason for the wide margin at the Stars smacked the Wildcats 65-34 on Saturday afternoon. McKnight scored 17 points – all in the first half – and Chloe Spreen added 14 as BNL concluded its bone-weary five-game road trip with an emphatic victory.

While the second-half pace was considerably less hectic, as BNL missed all but one of its shots from long range, the first-half damage was more than sufficient. The Stars (18-2) were at their best during that span, smoking to a 43-18 lead as Jasper was guilty of 21 turnovers.

The Wildcats (4-10) were aware of the potential avalanche headed their way. But until the storm descends, it’s difficult to comprehend its overall power. Jasper got buried.

“It is hard when you’re getting pressured like that,” Jasper coach Jessica Mehringer said. “You just don’t want to turn the ball over, that’s the first focus. Not getting set up, just don’t throw it to the other team. They definitely make it difficult to do what you want. It’s definitely hard to simulate that.”

BNL turned it loose with a 12-0 blast in the first quarter, with Karsyn Norman rising for a corner 3-pointer and racing to the basket to cash in a transition basket. McKnight added a trey and a 3-point play as the Stars fired to a 17-5 lead and never looked back.

JASPER – BNL’s Chloe Spreen finds a gap in the defense. Spreen had 14 points and 9 rebounds.

After gunning to a 25-11 lead in the first quarter, on pace for triple digits, BNL continued its savagery with breakout baskets by Makena Moore, Norman and Spreen. McKnight’s third trey capped a 10-0 burst to start the second quarter, and her last one finished the highlights of the first half as BNL rumbled to a 43-18 lead. The pace, the strain was more than Jasper could bear.

“That’s what we want to do, wear on teams and make them uncomfortable at that pace,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “It helps when you make shots.”

BNL was 10 of 15 in the first quarter and 16 of 27 in the first half with 6 treys. Those trends did not continue, with the Stars going 0–for-8 from distance in the third, but the Wildcats were not equipped to counter the 25-point deficit.

“It stops your momentum when you miss those threes, but I like the way we’re playing,” Allen said. “We’re getting kids involved, we did some different things we wanted to see for the future. So we got a lot accomplished.”

JASPER – BNL’s Jenna Louden turns toward the basket after forcing one of Jasper’s 31 turnovers.

Norman finished with 12 points, Irye Gomez totaled 8, and Spreen collected 9 rebounds. BNL’s main glitch was 19 turnovers. The Wildcats did not back away from challenging rebounds.

“I thought Jasper played hard and really came after us hard,” Allen said. “I was impressed. They were scrappy. We missed shots around the basket we should have made, they forced some turnovers on us in a crowd. We have to secure the basketball and take care of it. Maybe that will wake them up.”

Emma Shelton had 10 points while Kendyl Ruhe added 8 for Jasper, which totaled 31 turnovers.

“Games like this help us look at ourselves and see what we can do better,” Mehringer said. “We have to be prepared.”

Both teams are tuning for the sectional, and they’ll learn their tournament draws on Sunday night. BNL will conclude the regular season on Thursday, hosting Martinsville.

JASPER – BNL’s Makena Moore drives against Jasper’s Kendyl Ruhe. Moore scored 6 points off the bench.

BEDFORD NL STARS (65)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

22 Irye Gomez, f 1-4 3-7 1-2 2 1 8

11 Chloe McKnight, f 4-8 6-10 1-1 3 0 17

2 Chloe Spreen, f 0-2 7-13 0-1 9 1 14

21 Karsyn Norman, g 0-3 5-11 1-1 1 2 12

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

40 Haley Deckard 0-1 0-3 0-0 1 0 0

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

12 Makena Moore 0-1 1-2 4-4 2 0 6

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

32 Madisyn Bailey 1-1 1-2 0-0 1 0 3

20 Emma Brown 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 1 0

31 Ella Turner 0-0 0-1 2-2 1 0 2

Totals 7-24 26-53 10-15 29 7 65

JASPER WILDCATS (34)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

15 Kennedy Matheis, f 0-0 0-4 0-0 6 1 0

23 Hannah Schwenk, f 0-0 3-5 0-0 5 2 6

25 Emma Shelton, g 2-7 3-14 2-2 4 2 10

21 Jasmin Mehringer, g 0-0 2-4 0-0 3 0 4

3 Kendyl Ruhe, g 2-3 3-5 0-0 2 4 8

5 Adrienne Simmers 0-1 1-4 0-0 0 1 2

33 Jaycie Hooten 0-0 2-3 0-0 1 1 4

31 Izzy Hopf 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

41 Ava Noblitt 0-0 0-0 0-0 3 1 0

1 Hallie Rue 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Totals 4-11 14-39 2-2 26 12 34

Bedford NL 25 18 13 9 – 65

Jasper 11 7 9 7 – 34

Turnovers – BNL 19, Jasper 31

Field goal percentage – BNL 26-53 (.491); Jasper 14-39 (.359)

Free throw percentage – BNL 10-15 (.667); Jasper 2-2 (1.000)

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