By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – With success comes rewards. And in Indiana high school sports, it also comes with a belated form of punishment.
Silver Creek has been a power in Class 3A, winning the state championship in 2021 and finishing as state runner-up to South Bend Washington last season. After celebrating those wonderful postseason runs, and after the nucleus of those title teams departed, reality scorched the Dragons. Thanks to the IHSAA’s “Success Factor” rule, they will compete in Class 4A for the next two years.
That means Silver Creek’s clash with No.4 Bedford North Lawrence will have added weight. Silver Creek has been added to Sectional 15, which the Stars have won 11 consecutive times. That also means the Dragons (4-5) will command BNL’s complete attention when the Stars make that road trip on Thursday night.
“We won’t overlook them, especially since they will be a sectional opponent,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “We’ll get ready for them like anyone in our conference or sectional.
“It’s a new adventure for them, a tough year for them to come into the sectional. They’re playing a lot of young kids. But they play extremely hard, and some of those young kids are pretty skilled.”
Silver Creek coach Scott Schoen has reloaded with a lot of underclassmen, starting with freshman forward Brooklyn Renn (10.5 points) and his freshman daughter Emma (10.0). The other top scorer is sophomore guard Lydia Wright (9.5).
“We are young and this is a great opportunity for our kids to compete with what I consider a state contender,” Schoen said. “We always look forward to playing BNL, they are a blue chip program and we have had a couple of great games and butt kickings the past few years. Tons of respect for what Jeff and the program stands for. They have two of the top players in the state, but a supporting staff that makes them go.”
BNL won last year’s clash 49-42, with Karsyn Norman scoring 13 points, with Carlee Kern adding 11, with Mallory Pride totaling 9 points and 8 boards, with Chloe Spreen grabbing 11 boards. Sydney Sierota paced Silver Creek with 12 points while Kynidi Striverson (an Indiana All-Star) had 11.
Spreen (21.1 points, 5.3 rebounds) and Norman (17.2 points, 4.5 assists, 3.7 steals) will demand most of Silver Creek’s defensive attention. Norman is coming off a sensational shooting night against Brownsburg, with five treys and 23 points. Spreen hit 28 of 40 shots during a recent three-game burn.
“If Karsyn can do that every game, and the way Chloe has been shooting the ball, it makes us better and better,” Allen said. “I was really proud of my kids (during the win at Brownsburg). We had a lot of fight to us.”
Silver Creek clipped Scottsburg 50-49 on Tuesday night.
BNL at SILVER CREEK
When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Records: BNL 10-1, ranked No.4 in Class 4A; Silver Creek 4-5
Sagarin ratings: BNL 105.33; Silver Creek 74.04
Last meeting: Last year at BNL, the Stars prevailed 49-42. Karsyn Norman had 13 points and Carlee Kern totaled 11 for BNL. Sydney Sierota had 12 points for the Dragons.
Previous game story: Collective Star power
Game notes: Silver Creek will compete in the Class 4A sectional for the next two seasons after winning the 3A state title in 2021 and finishing as state runner-up in 2022.
Bedford NL Stars
F – Chloe Spreen 5-9 Jr.
F – Mallory Pride 5-8 Sr.
G – Madisyn Bailey 5-8 Jr.
G – Karsyn Norman 5-6 Sr.
G – Emma Brown 5-5 Sr.
Silver Creek Dragons
C – Brooklyn Renn 6-2 Fr.
G – Hallie Foley 5-6 Sr.
G – Lydia Wright 5-7 So.
G – Kiki Grant 5-2 Jr.
G – Olivia Johnston 5-8 Sr.