Girls' basketball | New Albany, Bedford North Lawrence advance in sectional



New Albany bid a good Knight to Seymour in the opening game of the Class 4-A girls basketball sectional at Jennings County on Tuesday night.

Senior point guard Brittany Knight scored 20 points and little sister Jessica popped four 3-pointers, as the Bulldogs avenged a regular-season loss with a 59-50 victory over the Owls. New Albany (8-12) advanced to meet rival Jeffersonville (16-5) in the first semifinal on Friday night.

No. 2 Bedford North Lawrence, the defending state champion, cracked Floyd Central 65-39 in the second game and will face Jennings County (9-10) in the other semifinal. The championship is Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Brittany Knight exploded for 17 second-half points, including eight during a key third-quarter spurt. New Albany, which suffered a 63-55 home loss to Seymour on Jan. 30, took control with a 9-2 run, built a double-digit lead and held off the Owls (11-9) with 15 fourth-quarter free throws.

Knight converted nine free throws in the final 2½ minutes.

“She’s our senior and has taken the team on her back as the season has gone on,” New Albany coach Tammy Geron said. “She’s more comfortable with her leadership role. I thought she did a great job of handling the pressure and taking control of the situations.”

New Albany bolted to a 12-2 lead after eight minutes, then went silent for the next five. Emilee Pollmann sparked a 12-0 run with a three-point play and Maci Lubker drained a three for a 14-12 Seymour lead.

But New Albany steadied. Lubker’s rebound basket gave the Owls their last lead at 16-15. The Bulldogs took over from there.

“We’ve had a lot to learn from, what we can and can’t do in those situations,” Geron said. “It’s a lack of experience.”

The younger Knight, a freshman, was the coolest under fire. She hit two 3-pointers as the Bulldogs took a 20-16 lead at the half, setting up New Albany’s breakaway.

“She’s been battling the adversity of a freshman; it’s a long season for them, and she had hit a wall,” Geron said “She hit some major threes.”

Pollmann paced Seymour with 20 points, Kayla Griffin added 11 and Lubker finished with 10. Lauren Camm had nine points and nine rebounds for New Albany, which will seek to avenge a 47-38 loss to the Red Devils on Jan. 24.

“We felt like we played well against them for three-and-a-half quarters,” Geron said. “It will come down to competing and keeping composure through the stretch.”

* Jenna Allen scored 21 points as the Stars (21-1) overpowered the Highlanders (9-11).BNL 65, Floyd Central 39:

BNL ripped to a 12-1 lead as Brittani Rizzi and Sammy Dillman both hit two 3-pointers. The Stars methodically pulled away after that opening burst, powering the ball to the 6-foot-3 Allen, an Indiana University recruit, in the post.

“We were kind of passive,” Floyd Central coach Kirk Hamsley said. “We needed to attack.”

Madison Kaiser scored 17 points for the Highlanders, who were hampered by 22 turnovers.

Rizzi finished with 12 points, all 3-pointers, while Alexa Bailey scored all 10 of her points in the second half. The Stars, the two-time sectional champions, cruised to a 30-point lead (56-26) early in the fourth quarter. Allen was 10 of 14 from the field.

“I really thought we played well,” BNL coach Damon Bailey said. “Floyd Central is a good basketball team, a very physical team. They try to take a lot of things away. I thought our kids really controlled the tempo, which is very important for us.”

Floyd Central had only three first-half field goals.

Seymour 2 14 12 22 50
New Albany 12 8 19 20 59

– Ritz 2, Griffin 11, Fee 6, Lubker 10, Pollmann 20, Benefiel 1.Seymour (11-9)

– Nixon 6, Camm 9, Knight 20, Bell 2, Jones 8, Knight 12, Lyninger 2.New Albany (8-12)

– Griffin 1, Lubker 2, Pollmann 3, B. Knight 2, Jones 1, J. Knight 4.3-point goals

Bedford North Lawrence 17 13 21 14 65
Floyd Central 5 7 14 13 39

– McBryde 7, Allen 21, Bailey 10, Rizzi 12, Dillman 8, Wilson 5, Bailey 2.Bedford North Lawrence (21-1)

– Kaiser 17, Kaiser 1, Engle 9, Hinton 5, Roth 2, Prince 5.Floyd Central (9-11)

– Rizzi 4, Dillman 2, M. Kaiser 1, Price 1.3-point goals

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