By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Bedford North Lawrence will start the postseason with a lengthy road trip to Evansville Harrison for the first round of Class 4A’s Sectional 24.
The Stars (5-3) will tangle with the Warriors (1-7) in the top half of the eight-team bracket, while No.2 Evansville Reitz (8-0) will host Boonville (5-3). In the bottom half of the pairings, No.8 Evansville Memorial (6-2) will journey to Evansville Central (0-8), while Jasper (5-3) will visit Evansville Bosse (2-6).
Remember the old cliche about teams starting over in the postseason? That certainly applies to BNL’s late addition (the IHSAA switched the Stars to this sectional field in August) to this sectional. The Stars haven’t faced Harrison since the 1993 sectional.
“None of those teams are anybody we’ve played, so it’s all kind of new to us,” BNL coach Derrick Barker said. “You hear about a lot of programs down there and the tradition they have, but it really is all brand new to us. We don’t have any common opponents or anything we can fall back on. It will definitely be a new challenge. At the same time they don’t know anything about us. So it will be a new season.”
Harrison’s only win came against Central in Week 7. The Warriors were shut out four times the first six weeks (against opponents with 25 combined wins), and they’re allowing over 40 points per game. However, BNL has not won a road game in Evansville.
“That’s a pretty long bus trip,” Barker said. “If we can survive that trip and go down there ready to play, I think we have a good shot at competing and getting a win.
“The seniors were excited about the draw but they talked about focusing on Columbus East (to finish the regular season) first. Their heads are in the right spots. Hopefully we can get a big win this week, get some momentum going. At that point, it’s whoever is healthiest and whoever plays the best. Everyone is kind of starting over. We’ll go in to play our best games and get on a roll at the right time.”
BNL has won only 12 postseason games in program history and captured its only sectional title in 2011.
The first-round games are set for Oct. 20. Semifinals are scheduled for Oct. 27, with the sectional final to follow on Nov. 3