Mercy! BNL’s defensive tornado in second half blows away Bloomington North

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Chloe Spreen finds a path to the basket. Spreen scored 22 points as the No.4 Stars hammered Bloomington North 66-28 on Tuesday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BLOOMINGTON – Mercy, mercy. Bedford North Lawrence unleashed a defensive tornado, leaving a path of major destruction while spinning to the first mercy-rule victory of the season. And if the Stars continue to play defense to that catastrophic level, they will be a force.

The No.4 Stars didn’t allow any points during the final 13 minutes, blasting to a 66-28 triumph over Bloomington North on Tuesday night. Chloe Spreen scored 22 points, Karsyn Norman added 17 as BNL (2-0) hammered the Cougars for the 11th straight time in the series and matched the intensity of previous blowouts.

BNL’s winning margin during the last eight one-sided clashes has been 44.5 points, but this one was different. The Cougars (1-2) were competitive during the first half, scrambling within single digits for most of that time span until the Stars surged late to a 37-23 edge. But when BNL started the third quarter with a 10-2 burst, North cracked. And after North’s Emma McDivitt hit a 3-pointer with 5 minutes left in the third, the Cougars collapsed and didn’t score again.

Part of that was the triggering of the running clock. The new mercy rule takes effect at a 35-point margin, and BNL got there on Ella Turner’s layup with 6:03 left. Those finishing minutes vanished quickly, as BNL scored only once more. But the damage was done as BNL wiped out everything in its path.

“It was a great team win,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “We adjusted really well defensively in the second half, turned up the pressure a little bit. I’m happy with a road win. That fourth quarter flew by, didn’t it?”

Allen wasn’t too thrilled about the first half, which dragged a little, and North deserves some credit for its vast improvement from a year ago (when it had 34 turnovers against BNL and gave up 43 consecutive points). Mia Robbennolt had 13 points, North limited its miscues (10 in the first two quarters) and stayed within striking range by getting to the foul line.

But then the Stars switched to some full-court pressure and a swirling 1-3-1 halfcourt trap. And carnage ensued. North had 10 turnovers in the third quarter, and BNL roared like the runaway train. Norman scored from close range, Spreen turned a steal into a breakaway, and Madisyn Bailey swooped in for an offensive rebound basket. Another Spreen second-chance conversion made it 47-25.

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Karsyn Norman shoots over North’s Avery Patterson. Norman scored 17 points.

BNL scored the final 13 points of the third as Carlee Kern got loose twice inside, Bailey bombed a trey, Norman fed a wide-open Spreen for a transition layup, and Bailey raced to a layup for a 60-28 advantage.

“We felt we competed,” North coach Jeff Turmail said. “Our effort level was still there. We had too many breakdowns and they got a lot of easy looks. Credit them with the half-court pressure. That changed the third quarter, and we weren’t executing very well.”

“I thought North played well in the first half. They looked really good,” Allen said. “You have to hand them that. They shot well and handled the ball. But I thought we could play better defensively. And the kids took that to heart. They did a better job of putting pressure on people, so their teammate could make the steal.”

Norman had 15 of her points in the first half, while Spreen totaled 16 during the final three quarters. That’s a pretty devastating combination of talent and scoring firepower. Bailey added 9 points and 7 boards while Mallory Pride contributed 6 points and 8 rebounds. BNL had a commanding 39-15 rebounding edge.

“Maybe the biggest difference in the first half was some offensive rebounds and transition defense,” Turmail said. “We gave them too many chances. Against a good team, it’s tough when they get extra looks.

“We handled pressure well early. But they did a great job of switching up some defenses. It’s a very long season. We felt we learned a lot from tonight.”

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Mallory Pride turns the corner against North’s Ava Reitmeyer. Pride had 6 points and 8 rebounds.

North didn’t score in the fourth quarter for the second straIght game. The first one against Greenwood, the Cougars survived in overtime. This one, they couldn’t survive, not against a state power that’s beginning to find its comfort zone.

“We’re learning,” Allen said. “I have some kids out there that don’t have a lot of experience. We’re getting valuable minutes. So it was a great team win. Hopefully we can replicate this on Saturday. The first home game will be nice.”

BNL will host county rival Mitchell on Saturday.


3S FGs FTs R F Pts

2 Chloe Spreen, f 0-2 7-12 8-10 3 2 22

24 Carlee Kern, f 0-0 2-6 0-0 6 0 4

22 Mallory Pride, f 0-0 3-8 0-0 8 2 6

32 Madisyn Bailey, g 1-2 3-11 2-2 7 2 9

21 Karsyn Norman, g 2-3 7-11 1-2 4 2 17

31 Ella Turner 0-0 3-3 0-0 3 2 6

50 Emma Crane 0-0 1-2 0-0 1 2 2

23 Hadley Teague 0-1 0-3 0-0 1 0 0

3 Katie Baumgart 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 3-8 26-56 11-14 39 13 66


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

10 Mallory Barrow, g 1-5 1-7 0-0 1 2 3

32 Amya Mayes, f 0-0 0-1 0-0 2 2 0

23 Mia Robbennolt, f 1-4 56-11 4-4 4 2 15

21 Ava Reitmeyer, g 0-2 0-3 0-0 2 0 0

5 Avery Patterson, g 0-2 0-5 2-2 1 4 2

24 Ava Robbennolt 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

1 Emma McDivitt 2-4 2-4 2-2 0 0 8

4 Jamie Lian 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 0

25 Libby Rice 0-1 0-1 0-0 2 0 0

Totals 4-19 8-34 8-8 15 11 28

Bedford NL 19 18 23 6 – 66

Bl. North 12 11 5 0 – 28

Turnovers – BNL 13, North 23

Field goal percentage – BNL 26-56 (.464); North 8-34 (.235)

Free throw percentage – BNL 11-14 (.786); North 8-8 (1.000)

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Madisyn Bailey works in the open floor. Bailey had 9 points and 7 rebounds.