BNL turns the lions loose on Horizon Christian, 84-42

BNL’s Kooper Staley attacks the basket during Saturday’s clash with Horizon Christian. Staley scored 18 points as the Stars roared to an 84-42 win.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

BEDFORD – Horizon Christian got fed to some hungry lions.

Bedford North Lawrence, coming off back-to-back losses, roared and devoured its overmatched prey on Saturday afternoon, completely changing its style, tempo and patterns while clawing to an 84-42 victory over the small private school with a big enough heart to face a giant.

This David lacked a sling shot and stones.

After these Lions snarled a little, the Stars made the most noise with a 25-0 run that ended suspense. Kooper Staley scored 18 points and Colten Leach added 17, powering BNL (7-8) to its expected triumph. No Biblical miracles were cast to save Horizon Christian (10-5), playing its fifth IHSAA-sanctioned opponent of the season and its first Class 4A power in seven years.

BNL used this unusual matchup, scheduled to replace Mitchell when the Bluejackets insisted on playing with no fans in attendance two weeks ago, to work on unusual parts of the game. The Stars pressed, platooned in substitutions, and set aside their normal controlled tempo for a higher-speed attack.

It’s not quite the Grinnell System, which relies on shooting 3-pointers, applying constant pressure, and substituting players frequently. But it was a taste of that.

“Last night, the problem we ran into (against Jeffersonville), when we got outscored in the second quarter, was we got passive,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “So we wanted to come in today and get rid of the passiveness, stay aggressive the whole game. I thought we did that. We wanted to get up and down the floor, pressure and get some shots up.

“We could play our normal tempo game, and they could hang around with us, or we could work on things and put the game away. This was a good time to do that.”

BNL’s Colten Leach scores from close range. Leach had 17 points.

Horizon did hang around for a few minutes, with its first four field goals from long range, for a 12-9 lead. Quick, take a picture of the scoreboard. It didn’t last much longer.

BNL exploded over the next six minutes, closing the first quarter with a 10-0 burst (with Staley’s 3-pointer and Ben Cosner’s 3-point play on the fast end of a fast break). The Stars then scored the first 15 points of the second as Cosner buried another bomb and Houston Corbin came off the bench to stroke two treys for a 34-12 lead.

“I thought we could wear them down, get them to turn the ball over,” Hein said. “We got them sped up. I’m a tempo coach. I believe if you’re playing somebody as good or better, you slow it down if you can. If you’re playing somebody not as good, you want to speed it up. That’s the name of the game in high school basketball.”

From that point, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. BNL went to halftime with a 45-20 advantage and extended that to 65-30 in the third.

BNL had widespread contributions. Cosner and Corbin scored 9 points each, Aden Pemberton came off the bench for 7, and Jackson Miracle added 6. BNL’s bench produced 32 points.

BNL’s Dylan Nikirk and Houston Corbin apply defensive pressure on Horizon Christian’s Treveon Jackson.

“We got great play off the bench,” Hein said. “We were trying to keep the energy up, to keep playing hard and not get complacent.”

Horizon had quality athletes, just not enough of them. Cameron Ball led the Lions with 11 points while Luke Eberhardt hit three treys for 9. Leading scorer Treveon Jackson was limited to 8.

“We knew this is a great program and we probably wouldn’t win,” Horizon assistant coach Bob Peters said, as he took over for absent head coach Josiah Godbey. “But we learned what it’s like to be a great program. Disciplined on offense, disciplined on defense. They were awesome, so we learned a lot in terms of what we want to become.

“I was happy with the energy we came out with, happy with the way we executed in the beginning. Depth plays a key in that, and they had the ability to wear us down. It was fun for a little bit.”

The Stars scored the most points since posting 85 in win over Mitchell during the 2016-17 campaign.

BNL will return to action on Thursday, visiting Floyd Central in the first game of a three-game road trip.

BNL’s Houston Corbin came off the bench for a career-high 9 points.

HORIZON CHRISTIAN LIONS (42)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

25 Luke Eberhardt, f 3-10 3-11 0-0 3 1 9

20 Sam Reynolds, f 1-1 1-4 0-0 3 4 3

5 Treveon Jackson, g 1-3 2-7 3-4 2 2 8

10 Cameron Ball, g 0-1 4-7 3-6 7 2 11

12 Moise Yoder, g 1-4 2-6 0-3 1 1 5

22 Luke Smith 0-0 3-6 0-0 2 1 6

24 Ben Clark 0-1 0-1 0-0 3 1 0

33 Gabe Story 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 6-20 15-42 6-13 21 12 42

BEDFORD NL STARS (84)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

11 Ben Cosner, f 1-2 3-7 2-3 6 0 9

31 Jackson Miracle, f 0-0 2-3 2-2 4 1 6

24 Colten Leach, g 0-0 8-11 1-1 2 2 17

12 Kooper Staley, g 4-7 7-11 0-3 5 3 18

22 Colton Staggs, g 0-2 1-3 0-0 2 1 2

3 Aden Pemberton 0-2 3-7 1-2 5 4 7

25 Josh Blunk 0-0 2-5 1-2 5 2 5

5 Dylan Nikirk 1-3 2-4 0-0 2 3 5

13 Houston Corbin 3-6 3-6 0-0 2 0 9

14 Grant Todd 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

41 Austin Messmore 0-0 1-2 2-2 4 0 4

21 Jett Jones 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 2

Totals 9-22 32-59 11-17 41 16 84

Horizon Chr. 12 8 15 7 – 42

Bedford NL 19 26 22 17 – 84

Turnovers – Horizon 15, BNL 11

Technical foul – Horizon Christian bench (illegal substitution)

Field goal percentage – Horizon 15-42 (.357); BNL 32-59 (.542)

Free throw percentage – Horizon 6-13 (.462); BNL 11-17 (.647)

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