Stars face instant rematch with New Albany in first round of 4A sectional

BNL coach Kurt Godlevske and the Stars will meet New Albany in the first round of Class 4A’s Sectional 15 at Seymour. BNL will also visit New Albany for the rescheduled regular-season game on Wednesday.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – Bedford North Lawrence will get an instant preview of its first-round sectional opponent.

The Stars (13-6) will face New Albany (14-5) in the second game of the Class 4A Sectional 15 tournament at Seymour on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Seymour (16-4) and Jeffersonville (13-7), the co-champions of the Hoosier Hills Conference, will collide in the first game.

Floyd Central (8-13) will await the Seymour-Jeffersonville winner in the semifinal on Friday, March 1, while Jennings County (10-12) will face the BNL-New Albany survivor in the second semifinal. The championship is set for Saturday, March 2.

BNL and New Albany were originally scheduled to collide last week, but that game was postponed by weather and road conditions. Now they will clash on Wednesday night, which adds a new level of urgency and intrigue, with a rematch looming the next week.

“It doesn’t bother me to play teams back-to back,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “I get that from my days in Michigan, when we had to play everyone in the sectional three times. So playing teams twice doesn’t bother me at all.”

Even though the conference race has been decided, Godlevske will not hold back any cards for the first New Albany encounter. His only issue was the date selected. BNL, facing a busy conclusion to the 2023-24 campaign, will close the regular season at Jasper on Thursday.

“We’re going down to play to win,” he said. “That’s our nature, that’s what we do. When sectional time comes, we’ll go with that intent as well. Because of the way the schedule worked out, it puts a lot of pressure on them. They have the home-court advantage for the first game but it’s a neutral court after that. So for them to have any type of bragging rights, or making us concerned about the sectional, they’ll have to play well. So everything lines up for us to have the advantage. Our stuff will just have to be better than their stuff, and that’s how it works.

“I didn’t like the date we decided to play. I respect the fact it’s New Albany’s Senior Night and their seniors should get their due recognition. But we have two road games, long trips, on a weeknight, with the sectional right around the corner. But you have to go Friday-Saturday to win the sectional, so it’s a good little precursor.”

In the other first-round matchup, the Owls already posted a 40-39 home win over the Red Devils on Dec. 8. Seymour is chasing its first sectional title since 1992.

“Seymour probably got the short end of the stick on the draw,” Godlevske said. “There’s just no easy games. I think our sectional is one of the more interesting ones in the state, just how even everyone is. It will be one of the more exciting sectionals to watch.”

BNL has not won a sectional championship since 2001.

BNL-New Albany preview