For the first 10 minutes, Class 4-A No. 4 Bedford North Lawrence could not shake stubborn New Albany.
For the next 14 minutes, the Lady Stars unleashed their fury, burying the Bulldogs with a 35-6 burst that led to a 63-28 victory Saturday afternoon at BNL Fieldhouse.
Dominque McBryde scored 18 points, Jenna Allen had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Alexa Bailey added 12 points. That trio combined to hit 19 of 22 shots.
The Stars (5-0, 2-0 Hoosier Hills Conference) were expected to dominate, but the route there was not typical. New Albany (3-2, 0-1) trailed 18-15, and had not committed a team foul, early in the second quarter.
And then the roof caved in.
BNL exploded for 20 straight points, then closed the third quarter with 13 consecutive points. The 3-point battle was a 32-point blowout, and the Bulldogs didn’t even get the license plate of the truck that ran over them.
“They’re better than we are right now,” said New Albany coach Tammy Geron, a little shellshocked by the end. “The bottom line, they’re better than a lot of people right now. They walk with a little swag to them, they play with a little swag. We’re just not there.”
The decisive BNL burst had something from everyone. McBryde swooped through the lane for a layup, Allen scored three times from close range, and reserve guard Kennedy Wall — seeing her first action since recovering from a concussion — hit two 3-pointers.
Just in case the Bulldogs weren’t convinced, BNL clinched its collective fist and hammered away in the third quarter. McBryde ripped through the lane for two layups, Bailey converted a steal into a layup, and Sammy Dillman darted to the basket for two scores.
Case closed. Game over.
“We kind of froze up offensively,” Geron said. “It took the wind out of our sails and put our kids back on their heels. We have to learn to fight through that, to fight through runs. You have to have the willpower to battle.”
McBryde, called the “X factor” by BNL coach Kurt Godlevske, was particularly impressive. She made life miserable for New Albany during two BNL wins last season, and the Bulldogs could not stop her athletic moves through the paint.
“I think she’s capable of that whenever she wants to,” Godlevske said.
BNL’s defense was also a key. Tanner Marcum, New Albany’s leading scorer at 20 points per game, was limited to 11, and she had no field goals after the first quarter as Bailey did most of the sweaty work.
“I thought she did a wonderful job,” Godlevske said. “She made Tanner — a talented athlete — work for it and wouldn’t let her get around and turn the corner. I’m impressed with only giving up two field goals in the second half. When we ask things out of the kids, they do them. As a coach, that makes you happy.”
Geron, on the other hand, started four sophomores and paid for the learning experience. Her team hit only 9 of 30 shots, only 2 of 8 in the second half, only 4 of 20 after the solid start.
“We have a lot to learn, a lot,” Geron said. “We didn’t take what they were giving us. We’ve got to be willing to step up and take the shots they give us. We just have to learn.
“It’s hard to ask your kids to battle. In those situations, it’s about learning to play the game. Even though inside it’s out of reach, it’s about getting better every possession. We’re getting there. They’re just more experienced at the game of basketball in general. We have a lot to learn about basketball IQ. It’s a long way to go before February.”
BNL extended its winning streak against New Albany to 10 straight games.
New Albany (3-2, 0-1) – Shine 2, Marcum 11, Camm 2, Nixon 7, Hirsch 4, McLean 2.
Bedford North Lawrence (5-0, 2-0) – McBryde 18, Allen 12, Bailey 12, Dillman 4, Wall 8, Fields 1, Wilson 6, Boshears 2.
3-point goals – Marcum 1, Wilson 2, Wall 2.