Stars trudge the Green Mile finish to 61-38 loss at Floyd Central

GALENA – Floyd Central’s Jake Heidbreder drives against BNL’s Colten Leach. Heidbreder scored 16 points as the Highlanders conquered the Stars 61-38 on Thursday night.

By Justin Sokeland

WBIW.com

GALENA – The Green Mile, the march down death row for the condemned, took a new form. Bedford North Lawrence, radiating such life for so long, was convicted and executed during a long, tortuous slog to defeat.

After pushing Floyd Central to frustration for nearly three quarters, the Stars collapsed, failing to score a field goal during the final 9:57, scoring only one point in the final quarter. What was once a thriller looked like a killer at the end.

The Highlanders, clinging to a one-possession lead, closed with a 21-1 run to record a deceiving 61-38 victory over BNL on Thursday night. Jake Heidbreder scored 16 points while Kyle Poates came off the bench with sparkplug plays and 10 points as Floyd (10-2) won its seventh straight game.

BNL (7-9, 3-3 in the Hoosier Hills Conference) was excellent for the first 22:03. But after Ben Cosner’s 3-pointer with 1:57 left cut Floyd’s lead to 37-35, the Stars went 0-for-the-finish.

“That,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said with some gallow’s humor, “is not a very good way to end the game.”

No, it’s not. What started with such promise and excellence of execution ended with such head-shaking exasperation.

The final minute of the third quarter set the tone for the finale, and Poates was the catalyst. Colten Leach hit two free throws to get BNL within 40-37, but Poates came back with a tough 10-footer in the lane. BNL’s Kooper Staley misfired from long range, and Poates – Floyd’s smallest contributor – waded into the fray for an offensive rebound basket and a 44-37 advantage.

GALENA – BNL’s Kooper Staley peers over a defender for an opening, Staley scored 16 points.

“We rushed a shot at the end of the third quarter, a quick three, then they go down and score,” Hein said. “The momentum just completely shifted. Where I felt we were in great position for 23:36, playing really well, it shifted the other way.

“It got going and we couldn’t put a tourniquet on it. We did everything we needed for three quarters, then went away from it. That gave them some energy, zapped ours, and we couldn’t get it back.”

The Highlanders (3-1 in the league) scored the last 17 points. As BNL missed, as the Stars scrambled defensively to force the issue, Floyd pulled away with steady resolve.

The first half was a completely different scenario. Staley dropped two jumpers and Leach scored twice on penetration for a quick 8-2 burst. After the Highlanders steadied with a 13-2 run, BNL answered again with treys from Staley and Ben Cosner, with another Leach bucket in the paint, with Jackson Miracle’s rebound basket for a 25-25 deadlock at the half.

BNL controlled tempo with its patience.

“To their credit, they decided to spread us out,” FC coach Todd Sturgeon said. “We didn’t do a good job of keeping guys in front of us.”

GALENA – BNL’s Ben Cosner glides through traffic for a shot at the rim. Cosner scored 8 points.

The Stars kept control and maintained close contact with Miracle’s layup and Staley’s drive to a 3-point play. But the first crack came with Heidbreder’s steal for a layup. After Cosner drained the trey for what would be the last BNL bucket, Floyd pulled free from BNL’s annoying and dangerous grasp.

“We switched up and played a little zone once we got the lead,” Sturgeon said. “You can’t do that if they’re holding the ball, if we did that before we got in a situation they had to shoot. Fortunately they missed some shots.

“I don’t know if it was a great stratagy move, other than we were fortunate we got the lead. They’re not playing free and easy any more. Then it’s like ‘Oh crap, we could lose.’ Those shots are harder to make. That’s a big difference.”

Caleb Washington had 11 points and Brady Moore added 10 for the Highlanders.

“We were deep in the library in the second half to find something that would work on offense,” Sturgeon said. “All we did was stand around and shoot 3-point shots in the first half, We got a lot more at the rim in the second half. We got enough of a cushion where we stopped pressing on offense.

“And Poates really came in and gave us a shot in the arm. He always creates some tempo and speeds things up for us.”

Staley finished with 16 points and Leach added 10 for the Stars.

BNL will look to regain its offensive mojo when it visits Evansville Memorial on Saturday.

GALENA – BNL’s Colten Leach attacks Floyd’s Cole Harritt. Leach totaled 10 points.

BEDFORD NL STARS (38)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

11 Ben Cosner, f 2-3 3-9 0-0 3 3 8

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

24 Colten Leach, g 0-1 3-11 4-5 3 1 10

12 Kooper Staley, g 3-4 5-6 3-4 5 4 16

22 Colton Staggs, g 0-3 0-5 0-0 4 2 0

3 Aden Pemberton 0-1 0-3 0-0 0 1 0

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

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

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

Totals 5-14 13-29 7-11 21 14 38

FLOYD CENTRAL HIGHLANDERS (61)

3s FGs FTs R F Pts

33 Caleb Washington, f 0-1 4-6 3-4 8 1 11

23 Brady Moore, f 0-1 5-10 0-1 0 2 10

12 Max Tripure, f 1-1 2-2 0-0 3 0 5

21 Jake Heidbreder, g 1-4 4-11 7-9 4 0 16

31 Cole Harritt, g 1-1 1-1 0-0 2 2 3

42 Wesley Celichowski 0-0 2-2 2-2 2 1 6

2 Kyle Poates 0-0 4-5 2-3 4 0 10

30 Kevin Woodruff 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

11 Gabe Cora 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

22 Will Fisher 0-0 0-1 0-0 1 0 0

10 Will Bouch 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

14 Kaden Kruer 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 3-8. 22-38 14-19 26 7 61

Bedford NL 10 15 12 1 – 38

Floyd Central 15 10 19 17 – 61

Turnovers – BNL 10, Floyd Central 5

Field goal percentage – BNL 13-29 (.448); Floyd 22-38 (.579)

Free throw percentage – BNL 7-11 (.636); Floyd 14-19 (.737)

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