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Bedford North Lawrence holds off Fishers for fifth crown

Lewis Bagley, Special to
Posted: February 25, 2023
2022-23 GBB 4A Bedford North Lawrence
Photo Credit: Double Edge Media @demllc

Bedford North Lawrence senior Emma Brown said she was so focused in the moment, she didn’t even realize what was happening.

With the Class 4A state championship game with Fishers tied at 42-42 in the final minute, Brown picked up the ball on the right wing and drove toward the basket. With Fishers defenders closing in, Brown let go of a shot that bounced in as a whistle blew, signaling she would have a three-point play opportunity.

The fact she missed that free throw with :19.5 left proved no matter; before the clock would expire, she would have two more free throws, which she made to give her team a 46-42 win and a state championship.

“It’s a feeling I can’t describe,” said Brown, a 4-point per game scorer who finished with six in the contest. “I wasn’t surprised when I hit the shots, it was just the stress was lifted. Even when my teammates came up to me, I was still so focused.”

Bedford North Lawrence's Karsyn Norman
Photo courtesy Double Edge Media @demllc


Brown and the rest of the Stars can now focus on the fact the school has five state championships which is tied for the third-most in state history. The Stars previously claimed titles in 1983, 1991, 2013 and 2014. In fact, coach Jeff Allen is the fourth different coach to lead BNL to those championships.

“What a game!” Allen sighed immediately after the contest, in which his team went 0-for-11 from 3-point range. “If you had told me that, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

The Stars led, 13-9, early in the second quarter only to see Fishers respond with a 17-6 spurt into the third quarter to take a 26-19 lead. Bedford (27-3) rallied at that point to tie the game at 30-30 and the contest seesawed until Brown’s heroics in the final 20 seconds.

After Brown’s basket gave the Stars the lead for good, Fishers had a possession to tie or take the lead. On the play, however, the Tigers were whistled for an offensive foul with 5.3 seconds left leading to Brown’s clinching free throws.

The loss proved a bitter pill for the third-ranked Tigers, who survived the Noblesville sectional -- which featured four of the state’s top five-ranked teams -- then beat Homestead for the school’s first regional title. In the semistate coach Lauren Votaw’s club took out No. 10 Fort Wayne Snider before thumping Lake Central in the title game – the same Lake Central which earlier in the day eliminated top-ranked and unbeaten South Bend Washington.

Chole Spreen led BNL with 20 points, including two crucial three-point plays to keep the Stars even in the fourth quarter. Mallory Pride added 11 points for the winners.

Talia Harris paced Fishers (26-3) with 15 points.

Final Box Score

Class 4A State Championship Records

Bedford’s Karsyn Norman named Roy Mental Attitude Award recipient
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Karsyn Norman of Bedford North Lawrence High School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A Girls Basketball.

The award is presented annually to a senior participant in each classification who was nominated by her principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.

Karsyn is highly involved in her local community outside of being a four year varsity basketball player. She is ranked 12th in her class of 284 students with a 4.14 GPA and is a part of the Beta and French Clubs. Karsyn is also a member of the National Honor Society, Student Athletic Leadership and Champions Together. In basketball, she has been named All-Hoosier Hills Conference for three years and the IBCA Supreme 15 Underclassmen All-State team in 2022.

She is the daughter of Tevin and Jamie Norman of Bedford, Indiana and plans to attend Butler University to study Business and Communication.
The Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers, the presenting sponsors of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to the general scholarship fund at Bedford North Lawrence High School in the name of Karsyn Norman.

The award is named in honor of the late former IHSAA assistant commissioner Patricia L. Roy, who oversaw the girls basketball state tournament from its inception in 1976 until her retirement in 1999.