No.5 BNL locks down Mater Dei for 56-36 matinee victory

BNL’s Chloe Spreen looks for room to work against a defender. Spreen scored 18 points as the Stars conquered Evansville Mater Dei 56-36 on Saturday afternoon.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – The cell door slammed shut with a click of finality, a sickening, soul-shattering sound for the incarcerated. The lock down was complete, Bedford North Lawrence’s prisoner was not escaping.

After allowing 10 points during the first three minutes, a torrid start that put Evansville Mater Dei on pace for triple digits, the Stars slapped the restraints on their tormentors, restored order after the chaotic opening, and cuffed the Wildcats 56-36 during Saturday’s matinee at BNL Fieldhouse.

Sophomore star Chloe Spreen shed her shackles, scoring 18 points, and Madisyn Bailey added 11 as Class 4A No.5 BNL (12-1) won its sixth straight game and remained perfect against Hoosier competition. Mater Dei (6-5 with three straight setbacks) got wore down by the chase, surrendering to fatigue and 27 turnovers.

While the offense came in spurts, particularly during two runs that created the separation, the defense was constant after the early Mater Dei surge. Kate Breeden, the daughter of the head coach, swished her first three shots, Kennedy Wenger added a 3-point play for a quick 10-4 lead. That was like a slap across the face. The sting got BNL’s attention. The sirens sounded.

From that point, the Stars went on a 21-4 run. In the second half, the blast was 15-0 as the Wildcats went scoreless for almost eight minutes. There was no bolt for freedom from those devastating bursts.

“We weren’t getting after it defensively like we should,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “So we pulled back into halfcourt and worked to lock them down. And the kids bought into that on their own. They understood we gave up 24 points in the first half, we weren’t going to do that again. They took care of that themselves. Our kids take a lot of pride in their defense.”

BNL’s Madisyn Bailey scans the court. Bailey scored 11 points.

The first blitz featured dazzling ball movement. Karsyn Norman dished a quick-peek pass to Ella Turner for a layup, Spreen zipped another wicked feed to Turner for a second basket. Bailey knifed to a 10-footer in the lane, Norman cut back-door for a layup. Attacking drives by Bailey and Spreen, followed by Carlee Kern’s wing trey, powered the Stars to a 25-14 lead. Hadley Teague’s corner trey gave BNL a 32-24 halftime edge.

The Wildcats were hanging around, like street-corner loiterers, midway through the third quarter, still within range at 36-29, when the second spurt started. Bailey slid through lane traffic for a bucket, Kern floated down the baseline for a 4-footer in the paint, and Bailey turned a press steal into a 3-point play. Spreen popped one from the deep left wing, capping the getaway to a 51-29 lead.

“Some of our girls got a little tired, and they just put a ton of ball pressure on you,” Mater Dei coach Chad Breeden said. “You take away some runs, and I thought our girls played them neck and neck, really competed hard. Then our legs got to us. You don’t want to go home with a loss, but I’m proud of how we battled.“

Breeden had 12 points in the first half, but only one field goal in the second as the Stars took away her roaming privileges. Kennedy Wenger, Mater Dei’s usual scoring leader, was limited to 7 points, no field goals in the second half. The Wildcats were 3 of 18 after intermission, and the turnovers caused additional problems.

BNL’s Karsyn Norman applies defensive pressure on Mater Demi’s Olivia Schmitt. The Wildcats were guilty of 27 turnovers.

“Those are tough,” Breeden said. “That’s going to happen when you play full court, but the ones that hurt are the unforced errors, just throwing the ball away. When you don’t take care of the ball, the unforced errors came back to bite us.”

BNL had balance from Kern (7 points), Mallory Pride (6 points) and Norman (6 points). Bailey was smooth and efficient, hitting 5 of 8 shots. The Stars still were a cylinder shy of full throttle (getting outrebounded 30-23), but still able to hum and pull away.

“When we get everything working together, it’ll be fun,” Allen said. “That’s the collective team concept. One piece is not that great that day, the other pieces are. On the whole, you’re pretty good. Hopefully we can keep that going.”

The Stars will now brace for one of the premier one-day tournaments in the state, hosting the star-studded Limestone Classic (honoring Pete Pritchett) on Wednesday. BNL will battle No.14 East Central (7-1) in the opener at 10 a.m., followed by a clash between No.1 Crown Point (12-1) and No.3 Noblesville (11-1). The first-round losers will clash at 6 p.m., the winners will collide in the final at 7:30.

Chloe Spreen finds space to drive past Mater Dei’s Kennedy Wenger.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

30 Kennedy Wenger, f 0-2 2-5 3-3 6 2 7

31 Kate Breeden, f 2-7 6-13 2-2 6 3 16

11 Jamie Luigs, g 0-0 0-1 0-0 2 4 0

13 Molly Schmitt, g 1-2 1-5 0-0 3 0 3

3 Olivia Schmitt, g 0-2 0-1 0-4 3 0 0

35 Kate Wenger 0-0 2-4 1-2 5 4 5

12 Kayla Gerth 1-2 1-2 0-0 1 0 3

21 Chelsea Turner 0-0 1-3 0-0 1 3 2

Totals 4-14 13-35 6-11 30 16 36


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

2 Chloe Spreen, f 1-6 5-17 7-8 6 1 18

24 Carlee Kern, f 1-2 2-5 2-2 3 1 7

22 Mallory Pride, f 0-0 2-4 2-4 5 3 6

32 Madisyn Bailey, g 0-1 5-8 1-1 3 2 11

21 Karsyn Norman, g 0-4 2-10 2-2 2 0 6

31 Ella Turner 0-0 2-4 0-0 3 3 4

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

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

44 Bella Jackson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 3-14 19-49 15-19 23 10 56

Mater Dei 12 12 5 7 – 36

Bedford NL 17 15 9 15 – 56

Turnovers – Mater Dei 27, BNL 10

Field goal percentage – Mater Dei 13-35 (.371); BNL 19-49 (.388)

Free throw percentage – Mater Dei 6-11 (.545); BNL 15-19 (.789)