She said ‘Yes!’ as Stars knock Cubs down to their knees with 69-39 victory

BNL’s Kline Woodward battles for a loose ball. Woodward had 6 points off the bench as the Stars smacked Madison 69-39 on Friday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – How many basketball games include a marriage proposal, complete with cheerleaders, at halftime? And she said “Yes!” while bursting into tears. Of course, what else would Jessica say, with that many witnesses and all the tugs on the heartstrings?

Bedford North Lawrence also said “Yes” to a blowout victory, to a energy infusion from the bench, to a third-quarter burst of excellence. Of course, what else would the Stars say, with that many reasons to earn revenge after back-to-back heartbreaking losses to Madison? This time, overtime was out of the question. BNL made sure of that.

After Nick Villarreal made a little history with the first-known, choreographed intermission proposal in BNL Fieldhouse’s lifetime, bending down on one knee to seal the deal, the Stars knocked the Cubs down to their knees with a runaway win. Colten Leach scored 15 points as BNL mauled Madison 69-39 on Friday night.

Ain’t love grand? BNL (2-2) had to love this performance. Balance, with three in double figures and key minutes from the bench. Defense, forcing 21 turnovers. Offense, with 9 treys, with snappy ball movement. They could take that every night and live happily ever after.

This question has been popped before: does BNL have depth? The answer now is definitely. The Stars went deeper into the rotation when Leach and Colton Staggs – the two scoring leaders – were sidelined with two fouls each in the second quarter. Not only did the Stars hold their own during their absence, they extended the lead.

“We have that competition for positions, a lot more than we had last year,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “It’s keeping everyone honest. When Leach and Staggs went out with two fouls, we didn’t miss a beat. We extended the lead – not that we want to take those two off the floor that much.

“The other guys deserve playing time, they earn it every day in practice. They work their tails off. They’ve got some skills, they provide some things. It’s great to see that.”

BNL’s Colton Staggs lines up a jumper over a defender. Staggs had 12 points.

BNL closed the first quarter with seven straight points, capped by a Staggs full-court dash and jumper at the buzzer for a 17-7 advantage. But the real damage came from Jett Jones (who knew the big guy could drive, swoop and score like that?), from Kline Woodward (converting a layup off a Kole Bailey pass), from Maddox Ray (hustle plays and a nice 12-footer in the lane) in the second period. That burst, and two Kaedyn Bennett bombs, powered the Stars to a 32-18 halftime lead.

Then Leach took over. Because he can. Because sitting on the bench that long is not his style. He rebounded his own miss for a bucket, swished a trey in transition, scored off a quick inbound lob. Staggs drained a long-range jumper, and Bennett added another. That diamond ring wasn’t the only thing sparkling. In six minutes, BNL’s lead was 30 (52-22) and the winless Cubs were done.

“Once Leach got back in there, he got back into his game,” Hein said. “The third quarter was amazing. we really got to playing well. Once they extended their defense, we made them pay for it.”

BNL didn’t quite get to the mercy-rule trigger with a 35-point margin. The Stars haven’t done that since the rule was installed. They got within a possession this time, but that wasn’t important. What was important was the overall intensity.

BNL’s Kaedyn Bennett looks past a defender for an open teammate. Bennett totaled 12 points.

Bennett and Staggs finished with 12 points each, and Noah Godlevske added 8. But the shiny and valuable rocks were the bench guys who combined for 18 points.

“I’m glad we got everyone involved,” Staggs said. “A lot of fun, a lot of smiling.”

“We shared the ball very well,” Hein said. “We have kids that are unselfish, and we adjusted to their schemes, went to the right spots. And it looks nice when the ball goes in the basket (BNL shot a crisp 50 percent). Kaedyn got going and Staggs played a nice game.”

Quincy Reynolds paced the Cubs (0-6 with their sophomore-heavy lineup) with 12 points, and Landon True had 8 boards. But they were guilty of too many miscues to keep pace, and they struggled to contain BNL’s interior drives.

“They couldn’t guard us in ‘attack,’” Staggs said. “Drive, kick, get to the basket.”

BNL will visit Silver Creek on Saturday.

BNL’s Trace Rynders goes behind his back to escape pressure. Rynders had 4 points.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

30 James Schafer, f 0-1 2-5 3-4 3 0 7

0 Ryder Jones, f 0-0 3-6 0-0 3 2 6

14 Landon True, f 0-1 2-4 0-0 8 1 4

12 Quincy Reynolds, g 2-2 5-9 0-1 4 4 12

1 Mason Davis, g 1-4 2-8 3-4 0 2 8

22 Liam Murphy 0-0 0-1 0-0 2 2 0

34 Gunner Jones 0-0 0-4 2-4 2 3 2

5 Elliott Kozenski 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 0

3 Clayton Benkert 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 3-8 14-37 8-13 25 15 39


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

4 Kaedyn Bennett, f 4-6 4-7 0-0 2 0 12

2 Colten Leach, g 1-1 7-11 0-0 7 3 15

22 Colton Staggs, g 1-2 5-9 1-1 1 1 12

1 Trace Rynders, g 0-1 2-4 0-0 2 2 4

11 Noah Godlevske, g 2-6 2-7 2-2 0 1 8

14 Kole Bailey 0-0 0-2 0-0 2 1 0

34 Jett Jones 0-0 1-2 1-2 5 1 3

12 Maddox Ray 0-0 3-5 0-0 4 0 6

15 Kline Woodward 0-1 3-7 0-0 4 3 6

5 Houston Corbin 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 1 0

3 Quincy Pickett 1-1 1-3 0-1 2 0 3

31 Logan Miracle 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 4 0

Totals 9-18 28-56 4-7 31 17 69

Madison 7 11 10 11 – 39

Bedford NL 17 15 26 11 – 69

Turnovers – Madison 21, BNL 11

Technical foul – Woodward

Field goal percentage – Madison 14-37 (.378); BNL 28-56 (.500)

Free throw percentage – Madison 8-13 (.615); BNL 4-7 (.571)

BNL’s Colten Leach challenges Madison’s Landon True for possession. Leach had 15 points and 7 rebounds.