Peyton Bledsoe, Silas Bauer and Luke Nonte combined for 41 of the Lions 56 total points as Class 1A, #4 ranked Loogootee (15-3, 5-0 in BCC) downed Orleans on Thursday night 56-44. While LHS was without the services of Jordan Wildman, the team made up for it by shooting 61% overall from the field, including 6 of 13 (46%) from 3-point range to down the Bulldogs.
The Lions grabbed an early 10-8 advantage to start the game, before OHS nailed home a three to take their first lead of the game at 11-10. Moments later, Peyton Bledsoe would hit one of a game-high, four 3-pointers to push Loogootee back ahead. Soon after, LHS would end the quarter up 17-11. The Lions scored the first four points of the second stanza to extend its lead to ten at 21-11, but Orleans (7-10, 3-1 in PLC) would eventually get it back to within single digits due to an 8-minute timespan that saw both offenses struggle to find the basket. Each team was limited to just seven points in the period as Loogootee managed to enter the half ahead 24-18.
LHS held on to its six-point lead in the early stages of the third with a 28-22 spread, but Tom Bradley and his Bulldogs went on to outscore the Lions 11-5 to tie the game at 33-all. Following a Loogootee free-throw, OHS closed out the quarter with a bucket to seize a 35-34 lead heading into the final frame. Much to the dismay of the Orleans crowd, it would be the last time they found their team in command of the game as Ryan Haywood’s team rallied for 13 of the first 15 points in the final quarter to gain possession of a 47-37 lead. The Bulldogs narrowed the gap to six, but Landon Harder capitalized on several easy scores underneath as a result of Lions spread offense. Nonte would secure the 56-44 victory for LHS by knocking down all four of his free-throw attempts.
Loogootee fosters a 53-15 all-time record versus Orleans. Even more impressive, the Lions were 44-3 against the Bulldogs during a 45-year span that stretched from 1960-2005.
* Peyton Bledsoe (16 pts)
* Silas Bauer (15 pts, 8 rebs)
* Luke Nonte (10 pts, 4 asts)
* Landon Harder (6 pts, 4 rebs)
* Jalen Wildman (6 pts, 4 asts)
* Jace Walton (2 pts)
* Nathaniel Hart (1 pt)
Winners of 7 straight, the Lions will travel to Bedford North Lawrence on Tuesday, Feb. 11 where they will meet a Stars team who is clicking on all cylinders. BNL is 12-8, but have won 5 games in a row and 6 of their last 7. Bedford’s two most recent victories came against 13-5 Jeffersonville on the road, and at home versus 12-5 Floyd Central. The Stars are led by senior Brayton Bailey, son of Indiana’s all-time scoring leader Damon, who amassed 3,134 points in his four-year playing career at Bedford North Lawrence. LHS has a 6-6 all-time record versus Bedford, but it’s been 32 years since Loogootee has faced BNL. The Lions hope for a better result against this current version of Bailey, but it won’t be easy on senior night at Bedford for Ryan Haywood and his Lions.