BEDFORD — If Chicken Little said the sky was falling Thursday night at Bedford North-Lawrence, Floyd Central would have believed him.
The Highlanders watched their eight-point lead come crashing down in the final frame, as the Stars rallied for a 49-43 win in a showdown between Hoosier Hills Conference leaders.
Bedford (11-8, 5-1), which snapped a four-game losing skid to Floyd, forced eight turnovers and outscored the Green and Gold 17-3 in the fourth quarter.
“We had an eight-point lead in the second half, just right where we wanted to be, then we turned the ball over too much,” Floyd head coach Todd Sturgeon said. “We haven’t been that team at all this year. This team has turned the ball over the fewest of any team I’ve ever coached.”
The Stars’ senior guard Brayton Bailey led all scorers with 21 points. The son of the state’s all-time leading scorer, Damon Bailey, pumped in seven points in the final eight minutes as Bedford took over first-place in the HHC. Jeffersonville (12-5, 4-1), which didn’t play Thursday night, is currently alone in second.
“Heck, I thought we did a pretty fair job of guarding Bailey,” Sturgeon said. “He drives hard to the hoop, creates contact and then he’s a really good passer. He penetrates so well and then you help on him and you leave a shooter open.”
Bedford jumped out to a 13-6 lead midway through the first period before Grant Gohmann scored the last six points of the stanza to pull his team within one. Gohmann finished with 15 points, matching Jake Heidbreder’s total, for Floyd (12-5, 4-2).
“I thought Grant was fantastic in a lot of spots tonight,” Sturgeon said. “He brought some fire and I was really happy with the job he did. We showed some toughness in the first half because we could have easily been down double-digits to a team that is methodical on offense, and that is a place you don’t want to be.”
With the game tied at 22-22 at halftime, Floyd stormed out of the locker room and dominated the third quarter. The Highlander hit 7 of 8 shots and grabbed a 40-32 lead at the end of three. Heidbreder and Gohmann combined for 15 in the third.
“We got the ball into the post, and when you’re only shooting it from 3 feet they’re a little easier to make,” Sturgeon said. “Then we turned it over before we could throw it in the post the rest of the game. There was a mixed bag of things that happened there in the fourth and it just didn’t go our way.”
Floyd, which has now dropped back-to-back games for the first time all season, shot 56 percent from the field and outrebounded the home team, 21-17. However, those impressive numbers couldn’t overcome the glaring turnover deficit.
The Highlanders are back in action Tuesday night at Class 3A No. 1 Silver Creek.