For The Tribune
Class 4A No. 7 Bedford North Lawrence girls showed why they are one of the top teams in the Hoosier Hills Conference, and in the sectional, by defeating Seymour 72-41 on Thursday night in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
“They have a division one player (Jorie Allen) of her caliber that is able to score on the perimeter and in the paint,” Seymour coach Jason Longmeier said. “We don’t have the type of kid that can guard her one-on-one, so she draws so much attention that it allows some other kids to get some easy buckets.”
Allen a 6-1 junior, who topped the Stars in scoring with 18 points and had 6 rebounds, committed to Indiana University recently.
The Stars (8-2,2-1 HHC) took advantage of a cold start by the Owls to take a 5-0 lead and held an 8-6 lead before going on an 8-0 run to take control early.
Five different Stars scored during that rally. The Owls had two turnovers and missed their first two field goal attempts to fall behind 5-0 in the first 2:15 of the game.
Bedford held a 19-7 lead at the end of the quarter with Allen leading the way with six points.
The teams traded baskets for the first five minutes of the second quarter resulting in a 30-19 lead for the Stars.
Ashton Chase’s third 3-pointer left the Owls trailing 30-19 with 3:05 left in the first half.
The Stars then went on an 8-0 run and led 38-21 at the half.
“I thought the first half had to do just as much with us as it did with them,” Longmeier said. “They got a lot of buckets in the paint. We weren’t communicating very well defensively. We wanted to switch a lot on those handoffs, and we kept getting stuck in between them. Their shots chart in the first half was completely on the rim.”
The Owls had a cold shooting second quarter by making 4 of 17 shots. Chase was 3-for-5, but the remainder of the team shot only 1-for-12.
The Stars, led by three baskets each from McKenzie Messmore and Allen, shot 9 for 11 in the quarter and 16 of 27 for the half. Seymour was unable to score consecutive baskets during the first half.
The Owls started out strong in the third quarter on a basket by Megan Ritz, two free throws by Makenna Fee, and one free throw by Maddie Roark that cut Bedford’s lead to 40-26. The Stars turned right around and outscored the Owls 10-2 to boost their lead to 52-28.
Chloe McKnight made two 3-pointers and Allen added six points to help the Stars take a 56-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
Chase topped the Owls (5-5, 1-1 HHC) with 12 points and Makenna Fee added 10 points and had six rebounds.
“I think our biggest weakness as a team is our lack of communication,” Longmeier said. “We just don’t communicate very well defensively. We leave each other out to dry too much. With a young team that is going to happen. That’s really a point of emphasis for us right now.”
Seymour will host Madison on Saturday.