Bailey shines, seniors bid farewell in style as No.4 Stars roar past Salem

BNL sophomore Madisyn Bailey races toward the basket following a steal. Bailey scored 15 points as the No.4 Stars topped Salem 57-34 on Tuesday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – For all the tears and emotional sway surrounding Bedford North Lawrence’s electric-charged Senior Night celebration, a tight-lipped sophomore stole the show and caused the sacrificial opponent to cry a lot.

Madisyn Bailey, who surrendered her usual starting spot to allow BNL’s three seniors their moment in the spotlight, spoke volumes with her incredible defensive work, with her crackling offensive burst – including a gut-punch halfcourt bomb at the halftime buzzer – while powering the No.4 Stars to a stirring, memorable triumph.

With her team down and fighting to take a deep breath after an asthmatic start, Bailey scored 15 points and took Salem’s best offensive threat out of commission as BNL rumbled to a 57-34 win over Salem on Tuesday night. Karsyn Norman added 13 points as BNL (19-2) bid a beautiful farewell to seniors Carlee Kern, Ella Turner and Hadley Teague with a final home win.

The senior trio, after getting smothered in so much love during the pregame ceremonies, can thank Bailey later for sending them off in style. Without her 13 first-half points in a nine-minute span, without her defensive blanket on Salem scoring leader Natalie Noel, the Lions (10-9) were prowling for an upset.

But then the hunters became the hunted. Bailey was given the assignment of tracking Noel, who had 11 points as Salem roared to a 13-8 lead. Noel didn’t score again. Bailey accepted the task of sparking the offense, which was coughing a lot and struggling for air while missing hurried shots. She turned two steals into breakaway layups, buried a wing trey, then swished the bomb from midcourt for a 33-21 BNL lead at the half.

Settle down, everyone. She had this.

“Basketball is funny,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “Sometimes you search for people that are good matches for opposing players. You try a couple of kids, and it doesn’t have much effect. Then one of the coaches said ‘Let’s try Madisyn.’ I thought that changed the game. She did a great job on both ends of the floor.”

BNL’s Karsyn Norman drives the baseline. Norman totaled 13 points.

Bailey’s two takeaways came during a 14-3 run, which included two treys from Norman and a deep swish from Chloe Spreen. Her last two buckets were the daggers, especially the gorgeous launch from near the scorer’s bench. The Stars took possession from the far baseline with 1.3 seconds, and that was more than enough to find Bailey. Boom. Explosion of noise. Even a smile from the ultra-quiet Bailey.

“That,” Salem coach Jerry Hickey said, “was just a heartbreaker.”

BNL pulled away in the fourth quarter, with Spreen popping two jumpers, with Norman feeding Mallory Pride for a layup and turning another steal (Salem was guilty of 25 turnovers) into an easy transition basket. Then the final minutes belonged to the seniors once again, with Turner converting a layup off a Teague assist, with Teague hitting a last bomb from in front of the BNL bench. Her teammates got her three shots in a final-possession flurry, and she banged home the last.

“You see the chemistry of our team, and the love they have for each other, trying to get Hadley to score,” Allen said. “That’s a big part of what makes Lady Stars basketball, our kids have that mentality for each other. It was great to see.

“I was happy for the seniors. Those three kids are like daiughters to me. They had a great night, a good win against a good opponent.”

BNL’s Carlee Kern, one of three seniors honored in pregame ceremonies, pops a jumper from the lane.

Noel finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds while Abigail Ratts was limited to 8. After the hot start, Salem hit only 7 of 23 shots during the final three quarters, and BNL scored 26 first-half points off turnovers and offensive rebounds. That was a dooming combination. BNL had a 38-30 rebounding advantage, and 23 of those boards were on the offensive end.

“I can yell at the girls, but credit them,” Hickey said. “They’re faster than we are, more athletic than we are at basically every position. So you’re going to give up some. It’s hard to play when the person across from you is faster and more aggressive. Let’s not forget, two weeks ago that was the No.1 team in the state. They have two kids going to play major Div. I somewhere.”

Spreen finished with 10 points and 7 boards. Turner totaled 6 points and 7 rebounds. But the star was Bailey, who added 7 rebounds and 4 steals. At least she would talk about her defensive work on Noel.

“They told me to take her,” she said. “I knew I had to stop her, not let her score any more. We were having trouble stopping her and having trouble hitting some shots.”

BNL will close the regular season on Thursday with a road trip to Martinsville.

BNL’s Chloe Spreen looks for a way past Salem’s Sidney Brown. Spreen scored 10 points.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

13 Natalie Noel, f 2-5 4-11 1-1 10 1 11

15 Abigail Ratts, f 0-0 3-5 2-4 5 2 8

40 Kaylea Klinglesmith, c 0-0 1-2 1-1 4 1 3

1 Sidney Brown, g 0-1 2-7 2-3 2 0 6

33 Macie Tomlinson, g 2-6 2-7 0-0 4 0 6

12 Kendall Hickey 0-3 0-3 0-0 0 0 0

23 Mariah Cobb 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

2 Sarah Heightchew 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

34 Kirsten Sexton 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

5 Laney Roberts 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 4-15 12-35 6-9 30 4 34


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

2 Chloe Spreen, f 1-7 4-16 1-2 7 2 10

24 Carlee Kern, f 0-2 1-4 0-0 6 1 2

31 Ella Turner, f 0-0 3-7 0-0 7 1 6

23 Hadley Teague, g 1-3 1-5 0-0 0 0 3

21 Karsyn Norman, g 3-7 5-15 0-0 3 3 13

22 Mallory Pride 0-3 4-9 0-0 5 0 8

32 Madisyn Bailey 3-6 6-13 0-0 7 2 15

Totals 8-28 24-69 1-2 38 9 57

Salem 13 8 4 9 – 34

BNL 8 25 5 19 – 57

Turnovers – Salem 25, BNL 9

Field goal percentage – Salem 12-35 (.343); BNL 24-69 (.348)

Free throw percentage – Salem 6-9 (.667); BNL 1-2 (.500)