LAPEL — The Lapel girls basketball team played its last official home game of the 2013-14 season Tuesday night and made the most of it with a 60-29 win over district rival Frankton.
Tuesday was originally supposed to be Senior Night for Lapel, but with the impending weather situation, the Bulldogs moved the ceremony to a night earlier against Wapahani.
The decision also was made Tuesday to play a varsity-only game against the Eagles.
The Bulldogs started slowly, which was a concern going in for coach Kevin Brattain.
“We were really worried about our intensity and focus after (Monday) night (an emotional win over Wapahani),” Brattain said. “It’s always a big game when you play Frankton, and the girls were up for it.”
It was a big night for Lapel senior forward Mackenzie Boles as she surpassed the 1,000-point mark in her career. Boles was the high scorer for the game and keyed an important second-quarter stretch as Lapel pulled away from Frankton.
Marissa Stephens scored the first bucket of the second quarter to trim the lead to three before Kirsten Rich scored back-to-back baskets to give Lapel its largest lead of the night. Boles took over from there, scoring nine points as Lapel outscored Frankton 21-9 to take a 33-16 halftime lead.
Boles opened the second half with two straight baskets to up the lead to 21.
The Eagles scored four points in the third and trailed 45-20 heading into the final stanza.
Boles and fellow seniors Daniele Burnell and Kaitlin Dobbins were on the court in the fourth quarter when Brattain started taking them out one by one. First up was Boles, and it was announced that she had become the fifth player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point mark.
“I was very shocked,” Boles said of the milestone. “I had no idea how close I was.”
Brattain felt the honor was well deserved.
“She’s a kid that deserves it because she’s been through a lot,” Brattain said, referring to a broken leg suffered by Boles in a softball game. “We’re excited for her to get it because she really deserves it. She’s definitely one of the top five players to ever play in our program. She’s an all-around player, she’s been a joy to coach and I can’t say anything but nice things about her.”
After Boles came out of the game, Dobbins and Burnell were not far behind as Lapel was well on its way to a blowout win.
For Frankton coach Dean Riddle, it was a frustrating night.
“They’re better than us, and they showed it,” said Riddle, who also lamented a lack of fight in the Eagles. “It showed on the scoreboard, showed in every way you could imagine. Not to take anything away from Lapel, they are a good team and well-coached.”
Lapel (16-3) will finish the regular season today at Elwood before tipping off sectional play Tuesday against Winchester, the team that ended Lapel’s season a year ago. For Brattain’s squad, it is the beginning of what has been the main focus this season: win the sectional title.
“Sectional has been our goal since we walked out of the dressing room last year against Winchester at Shenandoah,” he said.
If the Bulldogs can win the Shenandoah sectional title, they will get at least one more shot to play on their home floor as Lapel hosts the regional.
Rich finished in double figures for the Lady Bulldogs with 13 while Dobbins and Natalia Campbell had eight points apiece.
Frankton was led by Ashtyn Rastetter’s 11 points, and Katie Key had 8. Frankton (3-12) is scheduled to host Mississinewa today and Madison-Grant on Saturday.
Weather has already forced three cancellations for Frankton, including games against Blackford, Tipton and Tri-Central. The Eagles open sectional play Tuesday against Wapahani at Shenandoah.