BNL’s silence is deadly as South rolls to 47-30 victory

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Colten Leach looks for way to attack South’s Maddix Blackwell. Leach scored 9 points, but the Stars suffered a 47-30 loss to the Panthers on Friday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – Silence, former president Jimmy Carter stated, is as deadly as violence. And for Bedford North Lawrence, offensively challenged and in need of a loud scoring voice, any prolonged scoreless span is fatal.

The Stars, muffled by Bloomington South’s masking defense, were muted for the final 7:19 of the first half. They do not possess the firepower to overcome that type of dooming dry spell.

The Panthers finished the second quarter with 16 straight points and cruised to a 47-30 victory over BNL on Friday night. Joey Bomba had 21 points and 8 rebounds as South (2-1) extended its winning streak to 17 straight in the series.

When Colten Leach turned a backcourt steal into a layup, pushing the Stars in front 8-7 in the first minute of the second period, how could anyone know that would be BNL’s final basket of the half? But six turnovers and two huge South 3-pointers later, BNL slumped to the locker room down 15.

Might as well have been 30. The margin never dipped below 12 in the final two quarters.

”You can’t score two points in a quarter and win a game,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “We dug such a big hole by not being able to score.”

South helped do some digging, and some unexpected shovelers did some important work during the South spurt. Maddix Blackwell slashed inside for two buckets, Noah Ransom buried a corner trey, and Jalen Peck popped a wing 3-pointer. Bomba, with BNL guilty of the cardinal sin of fouling a jump shooter at long range, made three free throws with 1.6 seconds left for a 23-8 lead at the break.

That was similar to the first half of last year’s clash, when BNL went 13 minutes without a field goal and totaled only 8 points. That was a great South team, on its way to 26-0 and the No.1 ranking in the final state poll. These Panthers will not be confused with their predecessors, but they were tough and tenacious on the defensive end.

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Aden Pemberton finds his path blocked by Maddix Blackwell.

“Last year they just missed shots,” South coach J.R. Holmes said. ”It wasn’t because our defense was dominating. Tonight I thought our defense took them out of a lot of things they wanted to do. It was much better.”

BNL was equal to that challenge at first. Leach’s 3-point play and Aden Pemberton’s 3-pointer powered the Stars within 7-6 at the first stop, and Leach’s backcourt thievery created the go-ahead bucket. Then the door got slammed in their face.

“They got going, they had some kids beside Bomba hit some threes and that opened the floodgates for them,” Hein said. “We had to pick our poison. The poison we picked was take Bomba away, make the other guys beat us, and they made shots to open the gap.

“We started forcing the issue, trying to force things instead of letting the game come to us. We looked up and see we’re down 8, we think we have to make an 8-point play. There is no 8-point play. Now all of a sudden we’re down 15 because we’re trying to do too much. You can’t waste possessions at critical times in the game, and it just snowballed.”

BLOOMINGTON – BNL’s Kooper Staley finds an open teammate after drawing defensive pressure from Noah Ransom.

Bomba was a threat BNL does not have, a 6-4 scorer who can stroke jumpers or create in the post. He’s been asked to carry a heavy burden with the injury absence of Bradley recruit Connor Hickman, and he’s answered with 53 points in South’s first three games.

“Joey shot a little quick,” Holmes said. “He‘s got to learn to shot fake and get to the basket a couple of times. He’s a really good shooter, but he will face that pressure every game.”

BNL had some hopeful moments in the second half. Ben Cosner scored all 11 of his points before fouling out with 4:47 left. Leach finished with 9 points and didn’t miss. Everyone else was a combined 3-of-20 from the field.

“I did see some good things,” Hein said. “We needed some momentum for Saturday (at Terre Haute North). Ben’s 11 in the second half was huge. Leach made some nice plays. But it was too little, too late.

“It’s how fast, how quick and strong their kids are in comparison to our kids. They’re quicker and stronger than us, and that’s a bad combination.”

“They’re like us,” Holmes said. “They have to find a scorer.”

BNL (0-2) will make the trip to face the Patriots, who opened their season Friday night with a 69-54 road win over Evansville Central.

BLOOMINGTON – South coach J.R. Holmes guided the Panthers to their 17th straight win over the Stars.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

11 Ben Cosner, f 1-4 4-8 2-2 3 5 11

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

24 Colten Leach, g 0-0 4-4 1-1 6 2 9

12 Kooper Staley, g 0-3 0-4 0-0 2 4 0

3 Aden Pemberton, g 1-5 1-6 0-1 1 1 3

22 Colten Staggs 0-0 2-3 0-0 0 1 4

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

15 Kaedyn Bennett 0-4 0-4 0-0 1 2 0

5 Dylan Nikirk 0-0 0-2 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 2-12 11-31 6-8 19 18 30


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

11 Joey Bomba, f 3-9 7-16 4-7 8 3 21

20 Gage Roberts, f 0-1 0-1 2-2 2 1 2

5 Maddix Blackwell, g 0-1 3-5 0-0 5 2 6

4 Patrick Joyce, g 0-4 0-5 4-4 3 0 4

15 Jalen Peck, g 1-4 1-5 0-2 1 2 3

22 Noah Ransom 2-2 2-2 2-2 2 2 8

33 Connor Coyne 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

14 Sam Kestranek 1-2 1-2 0-0 2 1 3

21 William Schultz 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

25 Brady Simpson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 7-23 14-36 12-17 25 11 47

Bedford NL 6 2 10 12 – 30

Bl. South 7 16 7 17 – 47

Turnovers – BNL 13, South 8

Field goal percentage – BNL 11-31 (.355); South 14-36 (.389)

Free throw percentage – BNL 6-8 (.750); South 12-17 (.706)