All the cards on the table as Stars face high-stakes rematch with New Albany in sectional opener

BNL’s Patric Matson and the Stars (13-8) will face New Albany (15-7) in the first round of the Class 4A sectional at Seymour on Tuesday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – All the chips are in the middle, all the cards will be revealed. This is high-stakes basketball, the winner plays another hand, the loser is busted.

Less than a week after the heads-up confrontation in the regular season, Bedford North Lawrence will reshuffle for the postseason rematch against New Albany in the opening round of Class 4A Sectional 15 at Seymour. The Bulldogs finished with the best hand the first time, drawing a late ace for the winner.

The Stars (13-8) and Bulldogs (15-7) will meet in the second game on Tuesday night, following the opening clash between Hoosier Hills Conference co-champions Seymour (18-4) and Jeffersonville (15-7). Floyd Central (9-13) will await the Seymour-Jeffersonville survivor in the first semifinal on Friday, while defending champion Jennings County (11-13) will face the BNL-New Albany winner. The championship is set for Saturday night.

Last week at New Albany, the Bulldogs emerged with a thrilling 73-71 triumph, rallying from a 66-60 deficit in the final two minutes. New Albany had aces up its sleeves, forcing turnovers and crashing the offensive glass for key baskets during the frantic comeback. The Stars learned a tough lesson that night. The game’s not over until the last card is played. Now the question shifts. New Albany will be labeled the favorite, by virtue of that win, but did either team hold back a secret, knowing the second clash was imminent?

New Albany’s Jordan Treat scored 12 points in the first clash with Maddox Ray and the Stars.

“There were probably a few cards that weren’t played, that will be played on Tuesday,” New Albany coach Jason Jones said. “It was a little bit of a feel-it-out game. Now it’s all bets off and everything is coming out.”

Some facts could not be bluffed away. New Albany, one of the top scoring teams in the state, has multiple weapons. Five Bulldogs average in double figures, and four of them did damage the first time. Chris Lampkins was a force inside with 19 points and 11 rebounds (including seven offensive boards), Rylan Schrink had 16 points, while perimeter threats Tre’von Redd (13) and Jordan Treat (12) did major damage with mid-range jumpers and rim attacks.

On the flip side, BNL’s Patric Matson was a scoring sensation, exploding for a career-high 39 points. The Stars were doomed by the late mistakes (and 14 total turnovers) and New Albany’s 26-18 rebounding advantage.

“We have to make sure we take care of the basketball,” BNL coach Kurt Godlevske said. “And the other big thing is we have to defensive rebound. We gave them too many extra possessions. The turnovers were bad ones in the sense they got easy baskets out of them. We have to limit both of those areas.”

New Albany’s late rush to victory is the main edge. Neither team has real late-season momentum. The Bulldogs have lost three of their last four (with the BNL win), while the Stars have also lost three of their last four. But each team could look back on the previous battle as a positive experience.

BNL’s Trace Rynders is one of two Stars with extensive postseason experience.

“Being so close together, and how close of a game it was, it gives both teams confidence,” Godlevske said. “With New Albany scoring the points they did, it gives them confidence. With us being able to score against them, it gives us confidence. It will come down to who can get timely stops, which was the story of that game down the stretch.”

The wildcard is Matson. He was unstoppable against the Bulldogs, hitting seven treys and 15 of 18 total shots. He’s BNL’s scoring leader at 20.2, while senior guard Noah Godlevske (15.0) had 12 points (all from distance) against the Dogs. How will New Albany adjust? Matson will obviously be discussed a lot in the scouting report, and could demand extra attention.

“Patric had one of the more impressive performances I’ve seen,” Godlevske said. “The shots he made, he wasn’t just standing there and playing horse. Those were tough shots that it takes a skilled player to make. I’ve seen some things on film that they did not do in our game. We have to make sure we’re prepared for those scenarios.”

“We have to be tighter defensively,” Jones said. “Hopefully we don’t let another 39-point night turn loose on us. That’s phenomenal shooting. Some of them were our fault, but some of them were challenged shots that he just made.”

BNL has lost its last four away from home, and the Stars have surrendered 70 points per game in that quad set. New Albany had been over the 70 mark 11 times this year, but only once (again, against BNL) in the last four outings.

“Offensively, we’ve made a lot of strides,” Godlevske said. “I think defensively, we’ve not been as sound as what we should be, or could be, at this stage of the game. That’s something we have to continue to grow and get better.”

“It’s two very evenly matched teams,” Jones said. “I would expect nothing less than another game like that. It will probably come down to the last possession.”

Jason Jones had guided the Bulldogs to a 15-7 record in his first season with the program.

Jeffersonville at Seymour: The Owls won the regular-season clash on Dec. 8, pulling out a tense 40-39 home victory when Bret Perry hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer. That win propelled Seymour to a share of its first league title.

The Red Devils were short-handed that night, playing without 6-8 junior star Tre Singleton (13.8 points, 6.9 boards). They’ll be without a different starter in this rematch, with junior guard Shawn Boyd out with a stress fracture. Singleton, a Div. I recruiting target, will make a major impact, as will junior Michael Cooper (16.3) and P.J. Douglas (14.5).

This is the classic contrast in styles. Seymour is the ultimate in patience and deliberate offense, while Jeffersonville prefers the higher tempo and frenetic pace. The Owls average only 50.1 points per game, but has given up more than 50 only once in their last 10 games.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge,” Jeffersonville coach Sherron Wilkerson said. “They’re extremely disciplined and they’re tough. We’ll have to have a great defensive game, we’ll have to rebound, we’ll have to make shots. That’s what’s tournament play is all about.”

Both teams are hot. Seymour has won 12 of its last 13, the Devils have taken eight off their last nine.

“I feel like we’re playing pretty well,” Wilkerson said. “We’re on a high right now, we have a little bit of momentum going into the tournament.”

Jaylan Johnson paced the Owls with 21 points in the first encounter, while Cooper totaled 20 for the Devils.

Seymour coach Kirk Manns and the Owls are seeking the program’s first sectional title since 1992.


First round at Seymour


When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Records: Jeffersonville 15-7; Seymour 18-4

Sagarin ratings: Jeffersonville 90.19; Seymour 83.18

Last meeting: On Dec. 8 at Seymour, the Owls clipped the Red Devils 40-39 as Bret Perry hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer. Jaylan Johnson had 21 points for Seymour, while Michael Cooper had 20 points for Jeffersonville.

Game notes: Seymour is chasing its first sectional title since 1992. The Owls have won only two postseason games since 2007. Jeffersonville won its last sectional title in 2021. The Red Devils are 18-3 in tournament games against the Owls.

Jeffersonville statistics

Starting lineups

Jeffersonville Red Devils

F – P.J. Douglas 6-4 Jr.

F – Tre Singleton 6-8 Jr.

F – Ray Laird 6-4 Jr.

G – Michael Cooper 6-3 Jr.

G – Jeremy Rose 6-0 Sr.

Seymour Owls

F – Jaylan Johnson 6-2 Jr.

F – Michael Brooks 6-0 Jr.

G – Parker Thompson 5-10 Jr.

G – Bret Perry 6-0 Sr.

G – Brady Harpe 6-0 Jr.

Jeffersonville coach Sherron Wilkerson and the Red Devils are looking for revenge against the Owls.


When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Records: BNL 13-8; New Albany 15-7

Sagarin ratings: BNL 77.86; New Albany 80.57

Last meeting: On Feb. 21 at New Albany, the Bulldogs rallied in the final two minutes for a 73-71 win. Chris Lampkins paced New Albany with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Patric Matson scored a career-high 39 points for BNL.

Previous game story: Bulldogs battle back late

Game notes: BNL has not won a sectional title since 2001. New Albany’s last title came in 2018. BNL won the last tournament clash with New Albany, posting a 49-48 victory in 2021. New Albany ranks 11th in the state in scoring at 69.4 points per game.

BNL statistics

Starting lineups

Bedford NL Stars

F – Patric Matson 6-3 Jr.

F – Logan Miracle 6-3 Jr.

G – Noah Godlevske 5-11 Sr.

G – Trace Rynders 5-11 Sr.

G – Maddox Ray 5-11 Sr.

New Albany Bulldogs

F – Chris Lampkins 6-4 Jr.

F – Rylan Schrink 6-3 Jr.

G – T.J. Washington 5-10 So.

G – Jordan Treat 6-0 Jr.

G – Tre’von Redd 5-10 Sr.

Seymour’s Brady Harpe and the Owls earned a share of the HHC title this season.