Resilient South Knox seeking first win in series with BNL

BNL’s Trace Rynders and the Stars will visit South Knox on Saturday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – Resilience, the ability to overcome serious hardship, seems to be a common thread in sports. Remember the Jimmy Dugan quote from A League of Their Own: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” From that standpoint, South Knox basketball is having a great season.

Hard is dealing with a sudden coaching change just days before the start of official practice sessions in early November. Hard is adjusting to a familiar interim coach and searching for leadership after losing seven seniors from the previous year. It’s probably appropriate for the school nickname to be Spartans.

South Knox will seek its first win in the series with Bedford North Lawrence when the Stars make that journey on Saturday night. Conquering the Spartans (4-6 heading into Friday’s clash with Northeast Dubois) has not been easy either, with the last three meeting settled by single digits. And BNL’s last trip there was a tough 34-33 victory.

Adversity struck the Spartans when former coach David Burkett was suspended for two seasons, and his coaching credentials revoked, by the IHSAA for multiple violations. The South Knox school board voided his contract in November, and junior varsity coach Jim Farris, with 11 years of experience in the system, was elevated to interim coach.

“Our kids have been resilient to the coaching change,” Farris said. “I had most of these young men on my JV last year. The biggest adjustment for them, and me, has been adjusting to the speed of the varsity game.”

Even with all the turnover, South Knox has one familiar face in the starting lineup. Sam Singleton, a 6-7 junior, is averaging 16.1 points, capped by a 25-point performance against Terre Haute South.

“Sam has gotten stronger, mentally and physically, from last year,” Farris said. “He still struggles with foul trouble at times – primarily due to he is still growing into his body. Seems like he’s always been tall, but he still gets in his own way at times and gets silly fouls.”

The other South Knox weapons include 6-6 senior Brady Robinson (9.0 points) and senior guard Jayden McIntire (7.0).

BNL won last year’s clash 47-40 as Noah Godlevske totaled 14 points and Colten Leach added 10. Singleton paced the Spartans with 14.

“We look forward to the opportunity to play a quality opponent such as BNL,” said Farris, who was understandably focused on Dubois as a conference foe in his preparation this week. “I know they shoot the ball extremely well and don’t make many mistakes.”


When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 5-2 (vs. Reitz on Friday); South Knox 4-6 (vs. Northeast Dubois on Friday)

Sagarin ratings: BNL 82.19; South Knox 66.97

Last meeting: Last year at BNL, the Stars stopped the Spartans 47-40. Noah Godlevske had 14 points for BNL. Sam Singleton had 14 points for South Knox.

Previous game story: Godlevske is money as Stars cash in

Game notes: BNL leads the series 4-0. South Knox interim coach Jim Farris took over in November after former head coach David Burkett was suspended for two years by the IHSAA.

Starting lineups

Bedford NL Stars

F – Patric Matson 6-3 Jr.

F – Logan Miracle 6-4 Jr.

G – Maddox Ray 5-11 Sr.

G – Noah Godlevske 5-11 Sr.

G – Trace Rynders 5-11 Sr.

South Knox Spartans

F – Brady Robinson 6-6 Sr.

F – Sam Singleton 6-7 Jr.

F – Justin Siewers 6-0 Jr.

G – Jayden McIntire 5-11 Sr.

G – Kaiden Grumieaux 5-10 So.