No.7 Stars refuse the easy road while blasting to 86-30 victory at New Albany

NEW ALBANY – BNL freshman Miley Sherrill launches a shot over a defender during Saturday’s matinee clash with New Albany. Sherrill scored 13 points the Stars cruised to an 86-30 win.

By Justin Sokeland

NEW ALBANY – Take nothing for granted. Bedford North Lawrence taught a master class in that mental approach.

Easy would have been overlooking New Albany, which is struggling with inexplicable low roster numbers and rising numbers of losses. Easy would have been relaxing and getting a little sloppy, a little lackadaisical. The No.7 Stars refused to take the broad way down a destructive path.

Playing to their expected level of excellence, the Stars raced to an 86-30 triumph over the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. Chloe Spreen scored 23 points and Madisyn Bailey added a career-high 21 as BNL (8-1) continued its dominance of New Albany and its march toward another Hoosier Hills Conference title.

BNL was sharp in every phase. Shooting? Check. Turnovers? Check. Defending? Check. Those are all areas where any slippage of focus would have surfaced. Just the opposite, the Stars exploded for their highest point total since torching Indianapolis Riverside for 86 during a hastily-arranged Senior Day performance to finish the 2018-19 season. That was prior to the running-clock era, which BNL triggered for the entire second half against the Bulldogs.

“I was really happy, offensively for us,” BNL coach Jeff Allen said. “We shared the basketball and we saw the ball go in the basket – for a change.”

Indeed, BNL had a little fire flying from the fingertips, and didn’t have to go to Georgia, nor was there any evil hisses. Just very few misses. The Stars shot a crisp 62 percent, made 11 treys, had three starters in double figures (with Miley Sherrill adding 13).

BNL ran away quickly. Bailey hit two bombs as the Stars blasted to a 25-12 lead in the first quarter, then Spreen connected twice from deep range during an 18-2 run to conclude the half with a 53-18 advantage. Even more impressive was the supporting cast. Katie Godlevske, making her second start, swished a pair in the first half while contributing 8 points. Sherrill missed only one shot and Tori Nikirk converted two transition layups as BNL attacked from every angle.

NEW ALBANY – BNL’s Madisyn Bailey glides toward the basket in the open court. Bailey scored a career-high 21 points.

“We made shots and got other people involved,” Allen said. “Chloe and Madisyn really looked to share the ball when they were drawing a crowd. And we made shots. We’ve struggled with that. This will be a big release for us, hopefully a springboard to shooting the ball a little better in the near future. If we start shooting the ball well, we’ll be hard to handle.”

BNL did not waver in the second half, scoring 17 consecutive points to close the third quarter with a 74-23 lead. Trinidy Bailey had 5 of those points, Sherrill ripped a trey, and Spreen added a sharp step-back bomb during that run.

“We played hard, did it well, did it with class,” Allen said. “That’s what I expect. We’re not where we need to be, and the kids realize that. They stayed focused and worked at it.”

The Stars were guilty of only four turnovers. Spreen, showing why she’s a Miss Basketball candidate, hit 10 of 19 shots and had a game-high 6 rebounds. Bailey was 8 of 11 from the floor.

NEW ALBANY – BNL’s Chloe Spreen elevates for a jumper. Spreen scored 23 points.

On the other side, the Bulldogs (1-9 after dropping their league opener) must be commended for their courage and commitment. There’s only nine names on the roster (with no junior varsity) and two players are out with injuries. New Albany coach Shelby Gliebe played only five until the final minutes.

The big-money question is why a program with New Albany’s tradition (the state champion in 1999) and potential talent pool has so few on the court. Perhaps there are small multiple reasons that add up to the big-picture problem. New Albany had 25 athletes at the preseason meeting, 13 at tryouts, and now only a handful.

There was no evidence of quit in those who have remained. There’s just not enough.

“We have kids that can play,” Gliebe said. “It’s hard, especially in practice, when you want to run through things. Shockingly, they do show up every day and they are still competing. That’s a positive. We’re just not seeing results right now, which is a bummer. Hopefully we will see something positive and get some wind under their wings.”

Maizy Smith had 12 points and freshman Emily Spainhour added 10 for the Bulldogs, who dropped their seventh straight game. BNL has now won the last nine meetings in the series, the last eight by a whopping 35.1 points.

BNL will go back on the road, visiting league rival Seymour, on Thursday.

NEW ALBANY – BNL’s Bella Jackson powers her way to a close-range bucket. Jackson totaled 6 points.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

2 Chloe Spreen, f 3-6 10-19 0-0 6 0 23

20 Bella Jackson, f 0-1 3-5 0-0 5 0 6

22 Miley Sherrill, f 1-1 5-6 2-2 4 2 13

24 Madisyn Bailey, g 3-5 8-11 2-6 4 0 21

23 Katie Godlevske, g 2-4 3-5 0-0 2 0 8

32 Trinidy Bailey 1-1 1-1 2-2 3 1 5

12 Tori Nikirk 0-1 2-3 1-2 1 1 2 5

11 Haleigh Canada 1-1 1-1 0-2 0 1 3

50 Harryson Hayes 0-0 1-3 0-0 3 0 2

30 Makaya Jackson 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 11-20 34-55 7-12 29 7 86


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

5 Maizy Smith, f 2-6 4-13 2-4 5 0 12

33 Emily Spainhour, f 0-0 3-6 4-4 6 1 10

3 Tori Bailey, g 0-1 0-2 0-0 0 1 0

12 Reese Stiles, g 0-0 1-2 0-0 2 4 2

21 Sophia Corley, g 0-3 2-8 0-0 1 2 4

4 Donnisha Williams 0-0 1-1 0-0 0 0 2

44 Rihanna Marshall 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 0

Totals 2-10 11-32 6-8 19 8 30

Bedford NL 25 28 21 12 – 86

New Albany 12 6 5 7 – 30

Turnovers – BNL 4, New Albany 20

Field goal percentage – BNL 34-55 (.618); New Albany 11-32 (.344)

Free throw percentage – BNL 7-12 (.583); New Albany 6-8 (.750)

NEW ALBANY – BNL’s Katie Godlevske made her second start and scored 8 points.