Stars still sifting during wins over Brownstown and Edgewood

BNL’s Jett Jones lofts a chip shot toward his target. Jones carded a 2-over 39 on the front nine at Otis Park on Thursday.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – Under normal circumstances, nine-hole matches on the home course are midweek schedule fillers, a quick tour to sharpen under-the-gun skills for the upcoming multi-team tournaments and cement the pecking order of the roster.

This was not the usual walk around the front nine at Otis Park. Bedford North Lawrence faces an upcoming challenge when the culling for team spots in the IHSAA state tournament series begins, and the sifting of the roster still hasn’t isolated the true BNL ingredients for success.

The Stars had something to prove on Thursday afternoon, facing sectional foes Brownstown and Edgewood. With Jett Jones posting an stress-free round of seven pars, BNL carded wins over both with a team total of 164. The Braves, coming off a higher finish than the Stars in their own BNL Invitational, finished with 170, while the Mustangs fired 176.

BNL’s message was sent, although this posturing and shuffling won’t matter until the sectional at Cascades in early June.

“It’s good to get a win over them,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “Hopefully we’re back on the rebound and can start playing some good golf.”

BNL’s Colton Staggs eyes the flight of his tee shot on the third hole. Staggs carded a 41.

Jones didn’t post a birdie on the par-37 front side, but he’ll take seven pars without complaint. His teammates were able to card some red numbers (Colton Staggs on 7 en route to 41, Houston Corbin on 5 and 9 to highlight his 41). Jones, the team leader in pars and birdies this season, was more consistent.

“I normally cannot get mad at myself for making a par,” he said. “I just need to get that little bit better.”

“He’s coming into his own, and he can go a little lower,” Hein said. “He has the capability. That’s another solid round.”

BNL’s scoring was capped by 43s from Tyler Bellush (birdie on 6) and Drew McKee (birdie on 9). The problem is figuring out which of the eight on the roster will decide to play well.

“I wish we could play eight every night,” Hein said. “Sometimes I don’t know which five we need to play that night, because we’re so even. I just have to choose the right one that day, and it’s kind of tough. Hopefully one or two step up and emerge.“

Edgewood’s Luke Garrett was the medalist with a 1-over 38 that included a birdie on 5. Brownstown’s Micah Scheffer fired a 39. BNL’s depth was the difference.

“It means a lot because we are sectional opponents,” Jones said. “We want to win every tournament we’re in. So even though it’s a nine-hole match, it means something.”

BNL will compete in the Bloomington North Invitational on Saturday at Cascades.

BNL’s Tyler Bellush fires an iron shot toward the green. Bellush finished with 43.

BNL 164, Brownstown 170, Edgewood 176

BNL – Jett Jones 39, Colton Staggs 41, Tyler Bellush 43, Carson Root 47, Drew McKee 43, Houston Corbin 41, Dillon Lewis 49, Parker Foddrill 46

Brownstown – Micah Scheffer 39, Matthew Reedy 44, Caiden Gwin 44, Chandler Stahl 47, Smith Hackman 43, Collin Downing 50, Carter Covert 49, Elix Preston 44

Edgewood – Luke Garrett 38, Carter Cheaney 47, Joe West 44, Calvin McDonald 47, Mitch Deckard 52, Ean Conners 51, Wes Cowden 57, Rhys Hatch 53