Bulldogs battle back late for 73-71 win over Stars in sectional preview

NEW ALBANY – BNL’s Patric Matson rises for a jumper over a defender. Matson scored a career-high 39 points, but New Albany rallied in the final two minutes for a 73-71 win over the Stars on Wednesday night.

By Justin Sokeland


NEW ALBANY – Urgency is defined as importance requiring swift action, and New Albany’s predicament definitely qualified. Bedford North Lawrence, threatening to spoil Senior Night, was a rebound or smart possession away from a signature road victory.

Do it quick, do it urgent. In less than two minutes, spurred by the gravity of the moment, the Bulldogs growled, the Stars cowered a little, and that win slipped away as New Albany rallied for a stunning triumph.

With a defense that finally made an appearance to force four key turnovers, with rebounding ferocity from late hero Chris Lampkins, the Bulldogs chomped down for a thrilling 73-71 victory on Wednesday night, setting the tone for the sectional rematch next week. New Albany (15-6) survived a sensational shooting performance by BNL’s Patric Matson – a career-high 39 points that was ultimately wasted – to finish the Hoosier Hills Conference clashes with the advantage for the postseason battle to come.

New Albany trailed 66-60 inside of two minutes, and the Stars (13-7, 3-3 in the league) were on the verge. But they never got there. Turnovers cost them, and the Bulldogs converted the mistakes into a comeback.

Lampkins had his fingerprints on most of it. His steal off a baseline inbound led to a free throw, and a double-team trap caused another steal that Lampkins converted with an offensive rebound. Then he claimed a missed free throw for another second-chance bucket and a 66-66 deadlock.

Yet another BNL turnover – notice the theme – set up New Albany for a go-ahead baseline bucket by Rylan Schrink with 35 seconds left. BNL’s next chance ended with an illegal screen for an offensive foul, and Lampkins hit Tre’von Redd for a breakaway layup and a two-possession advantage.

Dax Short’s layup cut the NA lead to 70-68, but Treat converted two free throws with 5.9 left. Matson buried a deep bomb with 1.7 remaining. New Albany’s James Knox made a foul shot, and the Stars got one final chance with a sideline inbound set with 0.3 seconds left, enough time for a catch and shoot. That never happened as the pass was deflected away.

BNL was left to rue its six turnovers in the fourth quarter.

“We beat ourselves by mental mistakes,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “The last three minutes, we had three mistakes that we can’t afford against a team that’s opportunistic like they are, with the havoc they create. We have to be smarter than that.”

NEW ALBANY – BNL’s Trace Rynders dribbles past New Albany’s trapping defense.

New Albany spent most of the night with the lead. The Bulldogs roared to a 42-32 edge early in the third quarter, but BNL went ballistic over the next six minutes. Matson and Noah Godleske combined for five treys, and Logan Miracle’s post basket gave the Stars their first lead at 52-51.

The Stars owned the first five minutes of the fourth. Matson turned a steal into a breakout layup, then stroked a trey. His next bomb bounced in for a 64-58 lead, and his two free throws gave the Stars the 66-60 advantage.

That’s when New Albany flicked the urgency switch.

“Luckily we got our hands on a few balls, and Chris was a monster on the glass,” New Albany coach Jason Jones said. “You have to make plays when they are presented, and our guys did that in the crunch time.

“Chris kind of set the tone. He was going to get every rebound, and that lifted everyone’s energy. We played urgent, and that’s what’s missing when we’re up. We get a little loose with it, we definitely lose our defensive intensity when we have the lead. It has bitten us and it easily could have tonight.“

NEW ALBANY – BNL’s Quincy Pickett fires a 3-pointer from the corner. Pickett had 5 points.

Lampkins finished with a huge double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Schrink added 16 points, Redd totaled 13 and Treat had 12. Lampkins had five offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter.

“The way I play, I don’t think anyone can stop me,” Lampkins said. “I just have to get to the board, get what I can get.”

“When they wanted to go get the ball at the end, they got it,” Godlevske said. “You have to make winning plays. It’s about technique, position and wanting the ball.”

Matson was amazing. He hit seven treys and made 15 of 18 shots. BNL hit 16 of 20 shots in the second half and still couldn’t escape with the win.

“He was tremendous and carried us,” Godlevske said. “He was unbelievable,” Jones added. “That’s back-to-back nights we’ve given up 39-point games (after Brownstown’s Jack Benter torched New Albany on Tuesday night).”

Noah Godlevske finished with 12 points, and the Stars made a dozen from long range. New Albany countered that with a 26-18 rebounding margin and by forcing 14 total turnovers. Now the question becomes what will be different when the teams collide in the first round of the Class 4A sectional at Seymour on Tuesday.

“It was the wild, wild west for a little bit,” Godlevske said. “You want to win, because you want that confidence. It puts a curiosity thought in your head as a coach. Is he holding back, am I holding back?”

BNL will now go back on the road again, visiting Jasper to finish the regular season on Thursday night.

NEW ALBANY – BNL’s Noah Godlevske looks for a way past New Albany’s Tre’von Redd. Godlevske scored 12 points.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

10 Patric Matson, f 7-8 15-18 2-2 2 0 39

40 Kline Woodward, f 0-0 0-1 1-2 0 3 5

11 Noah Godlevske, g 4-11 4-12 0-0 2 1 12

1 Trace Rynders, g 0-1 1-2 0-0 1 0 2

12 Maddox Ray, g 0-0 1-2 0-0 3 3 2

22 Isaiah Sasser 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 3 0

3 Quincy Pickett 1-2 2-3 0-0 1 0 5

31 Logan Miracle 0-0 2-2 1-2 6 2 5

5 Dax Short 0-0 2-2 1-2 0 3 5

Totals 12-22 27-43 5-8 18 13 71


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

22 Chris Lampkins, f 2-5 7-12 3-6 11 1 19

25 Ben Siegel, g 0-1 0-3 0-0 2 1 0

4 Tre’von Redd, g 1-2 6-9 0-0 1 0 13

30 Landen Kirk, g 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

3 Jordan Treat, g 1-3 4-8 3-4 4 0 12

13 Rylan Schrink 2-5 6-12 2-3 1 3 16

2 T.J. Washington 1-2 3-5 0-0 1 2 7

15 Braden Brewer 1-4 1-4 1-2 1 1 4

5 James Knox 0-0 0-1 2-2 0 1 2

23 Braxton Mayfield 0-1 0-1 0-0 3 0 0

Totals 8-23 27-55 11-17 26 9 73

Bedford NL 15 14 23 19 – 71

New Albany 20 18 15 20 – 73

Turnovers – BNL 14, New Albany 9

Field goal percentage – BNL 27-43 (.628); New Albany 27-55 (.491)

Free throw percentage – BNL 5-8 (.625); New Albany 11-17 (.647)