Better late than never, No.4 BNL erupts for 65-41 victory over tardy North Central

BNL’s Chloe Spreen draws a crowd while scoring from the lane. Spreen had 16 points as the Stars conquered North Central 65-41 on Friday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – The start was slow, dark, a little discomforting. For the first time this season, Bedford North Lawrence faced an opponent that punched back, that favored a helter-skelter pace and briefly forced some squirming.

Obviously North Central’s team bus wasn’t the only thing late in arriving. Everyone kept checking their clocks, wondering when the Panthers would finally show up (ultimately 50 minutes late). And they kept checking, wondering when the Stars would show up after a sluggish opening segment. Maybe North Central didn’t feel tardy, but it certainly was.

Here came the Stars, emerging from the shadows of themselves with a starburst of scoring, with the expected excellence and the anticipated runaway victory. North Central’s lack of punctuality only delayed the inevitable.

With Chloe Spreen finding gaps in the halfcourt traps, with Karsyn Norman igniting from the perimeter, No.4 BNL cruised after the early stumbling and pounced on the Panthers 65-41 on Friday night. Norman totaled 23 points and 7 rebounds while Spreen added 16 points and six boards to punctuate BNL’s fifth straight win.

The first-quarter angst – BNL missed six straight shots at one point, and Norman clanked her first six – was blamed on North Central’s ability to speed up the process. Fortunately BNL has the ability to create turnovers, and the Panthers were guilty of nine while the Stars found their rhythm and range.

The Stars were a little dysfunctional with a 10-6 lead early in the second quarter. Then came the explosion. Spreen rebounded a missed free throw for a bucket, dashed the baseline for another, and stroked home a jumper from the lane. Her personal burst (9 of BNL’s 11 points in one span) gave BNL its first double-digit lead at 18-8.

Then Norman caught fire. Three consecutive bombs from the bonus line, and the margin was 28-13. Three more BNL treys to start the third quarter, and the gap was 44-20. Just that quickly, what was once a battle had become a blowout. Better late than never.

“They have a really good presence, from a pressure standpoint, and it sped us up,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “We did some uncharacteristic stuff, as far as shot selection.

BNL’s Karsyn Norman finds room to drive the baseline. Norman scored 23 points.

“I thought they calmed down. I kept telling them ‘Just let the plays come to you. Don’t force plays.’ From the second quarter on, we started to make shots. Because they were good shots.”

After her limping start, Norman was in full-speed mode, hitting 8 of her next 11. Nobody expected the future Indiana All-Star to miss them all, after all.

“When you miss so many in a row, you’re bound to hit one,” Norman said with a tired smile. “I knew I would hit one at some point. I was taking some harder shots than I needed to out of the gate.

“They definitely sped us up. That’s the first team that’s really went out and pressed us like that. We responded well later. We just hadn’t seen it for a while. We figured it out.”

Give some credit to North Central (0-4). These Panthers don’t have the firepower of past state powers in their program history, but they made a statement with a brief comeback. They went on a 10-2 spurt to claw back to respectable range in the third, capped by Ava Couch’s steal and layup.

Norman helped end that comeback notion with a layup off an inbound set, with a gorgeous rebound bucket, with another trey from the key. Madisyn Bailey added a corner bomb, Emma Brown swished another, and order was restored at 63-37.

BNL’s Emma Brown drives past a defender. Brown totaled 11 points.

”It never felt like we were up 20,” Norman said.

“We got tested in the first quarter,” Allen said. “And it was a good thing, with how we reacted. We have to play a little smarter, keep our composure. Hopefully it’s a good lesson. It’s a great win against a great program. I’m happy with my kids. They’re playing hard.”

In addition to the starwatch duo, BNL got major production from Brown (a career-high 11 points) and Bailey (9 points and 6 boards).

“We’ve been waiting for more out of Madisyn. It’s there,” Allen said. “That’s good balance. Once we got ahead, and they guarded us man, we spread the floor and had a huge advantage at that point. We could be patient.”

North Central didn’t have anyone reach double figures. Trinity Archey and Kaiden Kreinhagen had 8 points. The Panthers shot only 29 percent and got the bulk of their points at the line (13 of 16).

BNL will now visit Jeffersonville for the Hoosier Hills Conference opener on Saturday. The Red Devils (5-2) prepped for the clash with a 69-62 triumph over Silver Creek.

BNL’s Emma Crane draws contact while fighting for a rebound.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

33 Nakiya Harris, f 0-0 1-7 3-4 9 3 5

21 Kaitlyn Hoff, f 0-1 0-2 4-4 4 2 4

24 Trinity Archey, g 0-3 4-9 0-0 4 0 8

13 Ava Couch, g 0-3 2-10 2-2 5 4 6

11 Kaiden Kreinhagen, g 1-2 3-4 1-1 4 1 8

30 Kristian Dinkins 0-0 0-1 0-0 1 0 0

5 D’Aaliyah Kemp 0-0 0-1 1-2 4 1 1

23 Ja’Niyah Tate 0-1 1-2 0-0 1 3 2

4 Gabrielle Burrus 1-3 2-7 2-3 0 3 7

10 Donyanna Pannell-Roman 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 2-14 13-45 13-16 35 17 41


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

2 Chloe Spreen, f 0-0 7-13 2-3 6 4 16

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

24 Madisyn Bailey, g 2-3 2-6 3-4 6 1 9

20 Emma Brown, g 3-7 4-9 0-1 0 2 11

21 Karsyn Norman, g 5-9 8-17 2-2 7 1 23

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

32 Trinidy Bailey 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 0

3 Katie Baumgart 0-0 0-2 0-0 1 1 0

44 Ellie Tillett 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

12 Tori Nikirk 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

23 Katie Godlevske 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

40 Bella Jackson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 10-17 23-52 9-13 32 14 65

North Central 5 10 18 8 – 41

Bedford NL 10 21 19 15 – 65

Turnovers – North Central 16, BNL 9

Field goal percentage – North Central 13-45 (.289); BNL 23-52 (.442)

Free throw percentage – North Central 13-16 (.813); BNL 9-13 (.692)