Stars silence the buzz, extend series streak to 38 straight with 64-55 win over Bluejackets

MITCHELL – BNL’s Patric Matson scans the defense for an opening. Matson scored 23 points as BNL conquered Mitchell 64-55 for its 38th straight win in the county rivalry.

By Justin Sokeland

MITCHELL – With The Hive buzzing at full throat, stingers prepped for a historic court swarm if a desperate rally could be completed, Bedford North Lawrence needed a silencer. Amidst all that noise, as his team shuddered a little, Quincy Pickett pulled the trigger.

Splash. Hush, y’all. Seconds later, Trace Rynders was tested, and he delivered two free throws of equal weight. Mitchell’s streak busting would have to wait another year as those clutch plays allowed the Stars to quiet the upset fervor that was swirling during the Bluejackets’ heroic comeback in the fourth quarter.

Pickett’s huge trey and the following Rynders free throws stopped Mitchell’s momentum as BNL escaped with a tenser-than-expected 64-55 victory on Friday night. Patric Matson scored 23 points as the Stars (8-2 with seven straight wins) extended their winning streak in the Lawrence County series – now one of the longest in state history – to 38 in a row.

BNL never trailed, but a fast start (a 16-4 beginning and a 34-17 lead in the first half) was almost wasted when Mitchell (8-7) slashed the margin to seven on a Dawson Irwin rebound bucket with 2:17 left. That’s when Pickett popped and dropped from long range, a metaphorical finger to the lips for the universal “shush” sign with 2:02 left. Talk about a buzz kill. Rynders and Noah Godlevske made four straight free throws in the final minute for another double-digit difference. That was enough to quell the brewing storm.

But on this night, this was a rivalry again. Mitchell didn’t fold when the BNL lead threatened to be overwhelming. The Bluejackets will not count this as a moral victory, because those don’t exist. They just refused to be run over by Big Brother this time. BNL dominated the opening minutes, and that was the ultimate difference.

“Everybody kept telling me they were looking forward to a big win,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “Everything I saw on film, with how Jackson (Ryan) has them playing, they can do some really good things. So I wasn’t surprised.”

BNL’s early burst was more Matson magic. He buried two treys, Logan Miracle got loose for a layup, and Rynders broke free for another. Matson’s mid-range baseline jumper made it 16-4, and a rare Isaiah Sasser bomb pushed it to 19-6. When Noah Godlevske made two treys in the second quarter, the Stars had their 17-point lead and could sense a runaway.

MITCHELL – BNL’s Noah Godlevske looks for an opening teammate. Godlevske had 14 points.

“That first quarter hurts,” Ryan said. “They hit some big shots.”

“Patric got us going,” Godlevske said. “Defensively we were more solid than we were in the second half. We got that lead and started gambling too much. That happens in this rivalry. Kids get excited to play, and they play outside their comfort zone. We didn’t play to our principles. We have to get back to our basics.”

BNL’s lead was still safe at 53-39 when the Jackets made their move. Irwin swished a deep jumper from the right wing, Austin Mosier scored via a sharp pass from Aiden Pridemore, and Irwin rebounded his own miss for another basket that got Mitchell to 53-46. That set up the Pickett response. The sense of relief on the BNL sideline was measurable.

“That was a big breath,” Godlevske said. “Nice to see that go in for him.”

Godlevske finished with 14 points while Miracle added 9 for BNL.

MITCHELL – Mitchell coach Jackson Ryan isn’t quite convinced during his conversation with two officials.

Irwin, a former member of the BNL program, had his best game, scoring 21 points and grabbing 7 boards off the bench. His individual performance did not soften the sting of the loss. His motivation was off the charts, but so was the disappointment.

“It means everything,” Irwin said. “Coming from BNL, and knowing we had a chance to beat them this year, losing is horrible. It’s heartbreaking. It was the most important game of the year for me.”

“That’s the best varsity basketball game he’s played,” said Ryan, a BNL alum from 2013. So there’s a lot of crossover in this clash. “Not just scoring. We know he’s a very capable scorer. His rebounding was the best, especially offensively when he crashed. He gave us extra opportunities that helped get us going.”

Mosier and Bryson Shoults added 10 each. Mitchell also outrebounded BNL by a 27-18 margin, but it could trace the early deficit to 8 turnovers in the first half. In the second half, Mitchell had only two miscues, another reason the BNL lead dwindled.

MITCHELL – Mitchell’s Gavin Robinson attacks BNL’s Dax Short. Robinson had 6 points.

“How we played, how hard we fought, how hard we played led into that,” Ryan said. “This could be a huge momentum swing for us and our season. We don’t want moral victories, but we can use this the rest of the way.

“That’s a difference for us from last year to this year. At times this season, we’ve not been playing well, not making shots, we could turn tail, relax and quit, throw in the towel. Instead, we rallied the troops. It’s good to see that growth.”

Mitchell will return to action against West Washington on Jan. 19. The Stars will go on the road Saturday night for a huge Hoosier Hills Conference test with Jennings County.

MITCHELL – BNL’s Trace Rynders dribbles through defensive traffic. Rynders had 5 points.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

10 Patric Matson, f 4-6 8-12 3-4 5 2 23

31 Logan Miracle, f 0-0 4-6 1-2 5 1 9

11 Noah Godlevske, g 2-6 4-9 4-6 0 3 14

1 Trace Rynders, g 0-0 1-3 3-4 2 0 5

12 Maddox Ray, g 0-0 1-2 0-0 2 5 2

22 Isaiah Sasser 1-1 2-4 2-4 1 2 7

3 Quincy Pickett 1-2 1-3 1-2 1 2 4

40 Kline Woodward 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

5 Dax Short 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 8-15 21-39 14-22 18 16 64


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

2 Austin Mosier, f 0-5 3-10 4-4 3 2 10

24 Ben Seitzinger, f 0-0 2-5 0-0 1 1 4

21 Kale England, f 0-1 0-1 0-0 3 2 0

22 Gavin Robinson, g 0-0 2-3 2-2 3 4 6

11 Bryson Shoults, g 1-4 4-10 1-2 4 2 10

40 Nate Robertson 0-0 1-3 2-2 3 0 4

3 Dawson Irwin 2-4 7-15 5-8 7 0 21

1 Aiden Pridemore 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 4 0

12 Carl Chenault 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 0

Totals 3-15 19-48 14-18 27 17 55

Bedford NL 19 16 14 15 – 64

Mitchell 8 15 12 20 – 55

Turnovers – BNL 9, Mitchell 10

Field goal percentage – BNL 21-39 (.538); Mitchell 19-48 (.396)

Free throw percentage – BNL 14-22 (.636); Mitchell 14-18 (.778)

MITCHELL – BNL’s Patric Matson hit 8 of 12 shots, including 4 treys.