Road-weary Stars get buffaloed as Jasper rumbles to 58-41 win in regular-season finale

JASPER – BNL’s Patric Matson slips past a Jasper defender for a shot. Matson had 16 points, but the Wildcats rolled to a 58-41 win over the Stars in the regular-season finale on Thursday night.

By Justin Sokeland

JASPER – When a storm approaches, buffalo charge headfirst into its wrath. The theory suggests that confronting it minimizes the discomfort and frustration endured. Get to the other side as quickly as possible.

That didn’t work for Bedford North Lawrence. The Stars faced a whirlwind of adversarial factors in the regular-season finale and got swept away, overrun by bison in Jasper uniforms.

On the road for consecutive weeknight adventures, party crashers for another Senior Night, without any time to prepare for the quality opponent, BNL was set up for a hard fall. And when the Wildcats opened with an emotion-charged burst, the Stars hit the floor with a dull thud.

Spurred by early offensive excellence and a big-body power advantage, Jasper rumbled to a 58-41 victory over BNL on Thursday night. Andrew Noblitt scored 16 points as the Wildcats (13-9) blasted to a double-digit lead in 10 minutes and thundered away from there. The Stars were buffaloed, unable to counter Jasper’s superior size and toughness.

The Wildcats hit their first six shots, setting the tone for a stampede. BNL (13-8) had neither the energy or the ability to create concern and come back after Jasper roared to a 24-11 lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter.

“We were set up for this, after going to New Albany (on Wednesday night), we get back and nobody gets to bed until midnight,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “You get a taste of the NBA life. And I didn’t like it.”

Take nothing away from the Wildcats. They caused as much BNL dismay as the schedule issue. With the interior power of Will Wallace (14 points) and inside work of Brayden Giesler (9 points), with the unexpected perimeter pop of Logan Day (13 points with four treys), with Noblitt twice ratting the rims with soaring slams, Jasper was just too much.

“They shot the ball better than I saw in six games on film,” Godlevske said. “Credit to them. They played hard, played aggressive. They’ve got more skill than I thought from watching on film.“

Jasper’s fast start featured a Day trey, a Giesler post-up in the paint, a bucket by 6-5 big man Griffin Hile (on his way to play football at Indiana State), a second Hile score when Giesler rebounded the missed free throw on Hile’s and-one chance, Noblitt’s baseline cut for his first dunk, and Noblitt’s corner bomb. Six for six. And after BNL’s Noah Godlevske temporarily stopped that surge with a trey, Jasper went on a 10-0 run to that 24-11 lead.

JASPER – BNL’s Logan Miracle looks to loft a shot over Jasper’s Brayden Giesler.

“We shot the ball well, we defended well,” Jasper coach John Goebel said. “We caught them on a good night.”

BNL made brief inquiries into single-digit deficits after that, but never got too serious about taking a lead. Jasper made sure with a 26-13 rebounding edge, with smart execution against the various traps and presses BNL attempted, with a defense that didn’t allow the Stars to snipe away too freely from long range.

“We were locked in defensively,” Goebel said. “We knew we were going up against one of the better shooting teams on our schedule. They have the potential to throw up a lot of points. Our guys were zeroed in. And so many times, when you’re focused on the defensive end, the shots go down on the other end.”

Patric Matson and Godlevske paced the Stars with 16 points each. Everyone else contributed only three baskets combined. Matson was limited by foul trouble, getting his third with 1:27 left in the first half, his fourth with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter.

“We battled and had a lot of adversity to get through, just to compete in this game, from preparation and travel, fatigue,” Godlevske said. “So I’m proud of how hard our kids played.”

Now the postseason looms. The Stars, after dropping three of their last four games, will seek a restart when they face New Albany in the rematch during the first round of the Class 4A sectional at Seymour on Tuesday night.

JASPER – BNL’s Quincy Pickett tracks down Jasper’s Max Bueltel. Pickett had 5 points.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

10 Patric Matson, f 2-4 6-10 2-2 4 4 16

31 Logan Miracle, f 0-0 1-3 0-0 3 2 2

11 Noah Godlevske, g 3-8 6-13 1-2 1 1 16

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

12 Maddox Ray, g 0-0 0-1 0-0 2 4 0

22 Isaiah Sasser 0-0 1-2 0-0 0 0 2

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

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

20 Jonah Bailey 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 6-16 15-34 5-6 13 19 41


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

51 Will Wallace, f 1-2 4-7 5-8 7 1 14

31 Andrew Noblitt, f 2-4 7-13 0-0 4 3 16

55 Griffin Hile, c 0-0 2-4 0-1 2 1 4

35 Brayden Giesler, g 0-2 4-6 1-2 6 2 9

5 Logan Day, g 4-7 4-8 1-2 3 0 13

13 Max Bueltel 0-0 0-1 2-2 1 0 2

33 Caden Erny 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

23 Jace Foy 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 7-15 21-39 9-15 26 7 58

Bedford NL 11 10 13 7 – 41

Jasper 19 12 15 12 – 58

Turnovers – BNL 10, Jasper 6

Field goal percentage – BNL 15-34 (.442); Jasper 21-39 (.538)

Free throw percentage – BNL 5-6 (.833); Jasper 9-15 (.600)