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Juniors fall to elder classmen in boys, girls matchups

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Ali Patberg had a chance to be the hero, Tayler Goodall experienced a win despite a bump on her head and Josh Speidel did his best to keep his team in the game.

Those were the takeaways from Wednesday night’s Indiana All-Star doubleheader at Columbus North. The trio of Bull Dogs all played significant roles for their respective teams before a crowd of about 3,500 in Memorial Gym.

“It was fun getting back in front of the home crowd again,” said Speidel, who led the Junior All-Star boys with 17 points in 18 minutes in a 124-104 loss to the Seniors. “It was great support. We played a great senior group, and it was an honor to be out here.”

In a sense, Patberg already was a hero, having led the Junior All-Star girls back from a five-point halftime deficit against the Seniors and then, after the Seniors had regained the lead, knocking down a game-tying 3-pointer with 42 seconds remaining on her home floor.

But trailing 73-71 with five seconds remaining after a missed free throw by the Seniors, Patberg took a pass from Bedford North Lawrence’s Alexa Bailey and pulled up at the top of the key for a 3-point attempt. The shot was blocked, and Patberg picked it up and got off another shot from the free-throw line just before the buzzer that didn’t go down, allowing the Seniors to escape with a win.

“I tried to pump fake, and I got it blocked,” said Patberg, who finished with 14 points, five rebounds and game highs of three assists and three steals. “Then, I got it again. I should have attacked it harder.”

Goodall played a role in the Seniors’ victory. She scored two points and had two rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot in 14 minutes of action as her team avenged an 82-61 loss to the Juniors on Monday in Logansport.

“Our team played great,” Goodall said. “This morning, we came out, and we had a good practice, and we came out ready to play. It was fun playing one more time in this gym and winning.”

The win didn’t come without a small price for Goodall. She bumped her head on the floor after deflecting a pass in the first half.

“I have a headache, but I’m fine,” Goodall said.

Goodall and Patberg had been travel-team teammates until their middle school years and then teamed at North the past three years to lead the Bull Dogs to 71-8 record, three Conference Indiana titles, three sectional titles and a Class 4A state runner-up finish.

“It was just like old times and at practice,” Goodall said. “She played well tonight.”

“She played good,” Patberg said of Goodall. “It was a great crowd, and it was a fun time.”

Patberg went 5-of-10 from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and 2-of-3 from the field. All 14 of her points came in the second half, the biggest three of which were on the game-tying 3-pointer.

“I got a good look and made it,” Patberg said. “Then, our goal was to play good ‘D’ at the end, and (Miss Basketball) Whitney (Jennings) got to the basket, and we didn’t rebound very well.”

Patberg helped the Junior All-Stars win three of four games in the past week. The team beat the Kentucky Juniors twice last weekend before its win against the Indiana Seniors on Monday.

“It was a great experience,” Patberg said. “I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot of new stuff and met some new people. The goal was to win all four games. But I had a great time and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“I’m frustrated because I always want to win,” she said. “But good for the seniors. We got them better, and they’re ready for Kentucky.”

The Seniors will play Kentucky Friday at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, and Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

“I think that if we play like we did tonight, we’ll be fine,” Goodall said. “We need to keep playing as a team and keep up the energy.”

“Tayler gives us everything we want,” said Indiana All-Stars coach Eric Thornton of Norwell. “She’s an outstanding team-oriented player. This offense, the dribble-drive, she’s ran with Pat McKee, and she’s a lockdown defender and a real physical kid out there. When she knocked her head today, it might have dazed her a little bit, but we love that kid, and she helps us.”

In the boys game, Speidel went 7-of-11 from the field, including 1-of-2 from 3-point range, and 2-of-4 from the free-throw line. He added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.

“I just tried to play my game, and the team allowed me to do that,” Speidel said. “They got the ball to me when I was open.”

Park Tudor’s Trevon Bluiett led the Seniors with 44 points. Mr. Basketball Trey Lyles of Indianapolis Tech did not play for the second consecutive game because of an illness.

Speidel helped the Junior All-Stars win a pair of games against Kentucky over the weekend. The Juniors fell to the Seniors 140-91 on Monday.

“It was a great experience,” Speidel said. “To play against the best rising seniors in Kentucky and come out with the wins was great, and to be out here with the future college stars was great. I loved it.”

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