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December 17, 2013

GIRLS' BASKETBALL: NO. 1 Stars handle Bulldogs

Allen leads defending champ BNL to 60-44 victory

NEW ALBANY —  New Albany faced its stiffest test of the season Tuesday when it met visiting Bedford North Lawrence.

The defending state champion and top-ranked Stars proved to be the better team in a one-sided 60-44 victory over the Bulldogs.

The Stars benefited all night from their length at the point of their aggressive press.

“We had trouble with their traps and gave up a lot of turnovers off of it,” Bulldog coach Tammy Geron said. “It was a big game against a big rival. Our girls were up for the game. We just needed to calm down.”  

Bedford got off to a fast start and outscored the Bulldogs 21-8 in the first quarter. The Stars caused eight turnovers, most leading to a Bedford basket.

Jenna Allen set the tone early scoring nine of her game-high 21 points in the opening quarter.

New Albany had a better second quarter offensively. Better ball control, and decision making made it easier for New Albany to get looks at the basket. Brianne Nixon had a good quarter grabbing five rebounds, three of which were on the offensive side, leading to two putbacks.

The Bulldogs continued to struggle defensively, however, allowing another 21 points in the second quarter. A 3 off the backboard at the buzzer for Whitney Wilson was the stamp on a half that was all Bedford. The Stars went into the locker room with a 42-18 lead.

New Albany came out of halftime and played better on both sides of the court. The Bulldogs began to find an offensive rhythm that allowed them to see more open looks at the rim, but Bedford went into the final quarter with a 58-31 lead.

In the fourth, Bedford took its foot off of the gas as Stars coach Damon Bailey removed his starters from the contest.

New Albany took advantage of the opportunity and dominated the quarter by completing the game on a 12-2 run, but Bedford's lead was too much to overcome.  

“Our girls battled and competed the whole game,” Geron said. “We went through adversity and did well as we went. I’m seeing improvements and we are growing and getting better.”

Jenna Shine led the Bulldogs with 12 points. Jessica Knight had 11 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Nixon finished with six points and a team-high eight rebounds for New Albany.

Dominique McBryde added 12 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Stars.

New Albany (1-6, 0-2 HHC) is back in action Thursday when they travel to Louisville Ballard.

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