Stars shake off determined Devils for 65-50 victory in sectional semifinal

BNL’s Karsyn Norman attacks the defense during Friday night’s sectional semifinal. Norman scored 23 points as the Stars conquered Jeffersonville 65-50 while advancing to the championship game.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – In the 11 weeks since the unforgettable blowout, Jeffersonville closed the gap on its fierce rival. Changed personality, shifted the emphasis, refused to accept that shattering loss as reality. The Red Devils took dead aim at the defending sectional champion.

Bedford North Lawrence knew what was coming – Jeffersonville’s best. Absorbed it, deflected it, powered through it for another victory and the second step toward a championship. Anybody expecting another running-clock battle was mentally running on empty. Anybody expecting a stunning reversal for an upset was thinking wishfully for the end of BNL’s postseason reign.

Here’s reality. With senior guard Karsyn Norman triggering the charge, with a key run to end the third quarter, the Stars extended their sectional winning streak to a remarkable 35 straight games and advanced past the Devils in Friday’s first Class 4A semifinal.

Norman scored 23 points as No.7 BNL (22-3) decked the unintimidated, determined Devils 65-50. The Stars will face Silver Creek (a winner over Seymour in the second semifinal) in the quest for their 12th consecutive title on Saturday night.

Flash back to Nov. 19. That night, BNL ran over the hurried Devils by a devastating 65-21 count. The Devils trailed 43-8 at the half, missed all 20 of the 3-pointers they launched, and looked a little lost. So they adjusted, shifting the attack to BNL’s exposed interior. And for the longest time, they had the Stars on the defensive, squirming as Jeffersonville battled to a 33-31 deficit midway through the third quarter.

The following minutes were crucial. Mallory Pride ignited a 16-3 run with a corner trey, Chloe Spreen scored from the lane off a Norman drive-and-dish look, Pride popped a baseline jumper, Tori Nikirk converted an offensive rebound, and Emma Brown buried a bomb to close the period with a 49-34 lead. The Devils couldn’t get back within single digits after that.

“That was a huge spurt,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “I knew it wouldn’t be like November. That was ages away. They’ve gotten better. They play extremely hard.

“But it’s the sectional. Nobody wants to go home. Everybody is playing hard. You have to find a way to get it done. They didn’t want to go home. They came after us. I give my kids credit for hanging in there.”

BNL’s Chloe Spreen looks for a way past Jeffersonville’s LaKyra Johnson. Spreen scored 15 points.

BNL started quickly, taking advantage of Jeff’s 9 first-quarter turnovers and Norman’s hot hand. She swished two treys and dashed to a 3-point play for a 15-8 advantage. Emma Crane’s layup and two Spreen free throws pushed the Stars to a 23-14 lead, and the Devils were teetering. History was about to be repeated.

Not so. Instead of folding, the Devils fought back. Myah Johnson scored from the lane, Brooklyn Carter banked home a trey, and Sophie Reese added two free throws, cutting the BNL lead to 26-25. Elle Marble’s baseline bucket early in the third got the Devils within 33-31. Then came the BNL response.

Spreen finished with 15 points and Pride totaled 11 as BNL won for the sixth straight time in the series and for the 10th consecutive time in postseason clashes. But it was never easy.

“Their zone got us standing around,” Allen said. “We weren’t as efficient offensively. But scoring 65 points, offense wasn’t that much of a factor. I didn’t like how we guarded. We didn’t defend against the drive, we let people post up, which is not us.

“We relaxed a little bit, never got that fire back defensively. But we made some good stands in the second half, we got some stops and separation.”

BNL’s Mallory Pride collects a rebound against Jeffersonville’s Cadence Singleton. Pride had 11 points.

Credit the Devils (14-10) for the game-plan change that worked. They fired up only 7 treys this time. Johnson totaled 12 points and Reese added 10. In addition to Jeff’s 21 turnovers, BNL’s other big advantage was 21 converted free throws (via a season-high 24 attempts). The Devils were 11 of 15 at the line.

“It was a tough night,” Jeff coach Cory Norman said. “Things didn’t go our way. The big difference in the game, as a whole, was free throws. We didn’t get many, they got a lot.

“The first game was a bump in the road, the stars lined up wrong. We’ve changed a lot since then. We wanted to get up and down, but not as fast as we did early in the season. We wanted more control. We talked about aggression, they had to be aggressive. Whatever we were doing, we had to do that.”

Silver Creek 45, Seymour 31 – Brooklyn Renn, a 6-2 freshman, scored 21 points as the Dragons (14-9) advanced to their first 4A sectional final after making the jump this season via the Success Factor rule.

Emma Schoen added 12 points as Silver Creek avenged a regular-season loss to the Owls (14-10).

“Brooklyn played great, came out of the gates like a monster,” Silver Creek coach Scott Schoen said. “We had to do that. She had to establish herself early. Get it to her and see what can happen.

”Defensively, we were really good. (Kendall) Sterling is such a great player, she killed us the first time (17 points during Seymour’s 38-35 win on Nov. 11). We tried to make her life hard, get the ball out of her hands. And we made big shots in big moments.”

Sterling had 9 points for Seymour.

BNL’s Madisyn Bailey scans the court for an opening. Bailey had 7 points.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

13 Myah Johnson, f 0-0 6-8 0-0 7 2 12

10 Cadence Singleton, f 0-0 1-4 0-0 8 4 2

3 Sophie Reese, g 0-2 2-5 6-6 5 4 10

4 Elle Marble, g 0-0 1-3 4-4 1 0 6

14 Brooklyn Carter, g 1-3 2-4 0-2 0 3 5

5 LaKyra Johnson 0-1 4-12 1-2 3 1 9

15 Maranda Mason 0-0 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2

23 LaQaya Gold 0-0 1-2 0-1 0 3 2

21 Averielle Baker 0-0 1-1 0-0 1 2 2

22 Allenae Booth 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

11 Makenzie Mason 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0

25 Emma Eaton 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 1-7 19-42 11-15 29 21 50


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

2 Chloe Spreen, f 1-5 4-12 6-8 6 4 15

22 Mallory Pride, f 1-2 4-8 2-2 8 1 11

24 Madisyn Bailey, g 1-2 1-6 4-4 3 3 7

20 Emma Brown, g 1-4 1-4 2-3 2 3 5

21 Karsyn Norman, g 2-6 7-16 7-7 3 3 23

12 Tori Nikirk 0-0 1-2 0-0 4 0 2

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

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

3 Katie Baumgart 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 6-18 19-50 21-24 31 15 65

Jeffersonville 12 13 9 16 – 50

Bedford NL 15 14 20 16 – 65

Turnovers – Jeffersonville 21, BNL 11

Field goal percentage – Jeffersonville 19-42 (.452); BNL 19-50 (.380)

Free throw percentage – Jeffersonville 11-15 (.733); BNL 21-24 (.875)


Seymour (14-10) – Jaidyn Nichols 2, Journee Brown 6, Brooke Trinkle 5, Kendall Sterling 9, Sophie Skidmore 2, Elizabeth Kirby 7

Silver Creek (14-9) – Emma Schoen 12, Katy Rooney 2, Kiara Grant 1, Brooklyn Renn 21, Ellie Falkenstein 1, Lydia Wright 7, Olivia Johnston 1.