LAPEL, Ind. — Class 2A, No. 10 Scecina invaded Lapel High School for an Indiana Crossroads Conference game Friday with intentions of wiping the floor with the undersized Bulldogs. It wasn’t meant to be for the Crusaders as they dropped a 66-61 decision to the home team.
In the first five minutes, it looked to be over for Lapel (3-1, 1-0 ICC). The Crusaders (4-1, 0-1) took a 13-1 lead, but the gritty Bulldogs inched their way back to narrow the margin to 18-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Lapel kept hanging around before taking its first lead midway through the second quarter, and then never relinquished it.
“Our kids didn’t give up. Our kids battled. I thought we were awfully tough,” said Bulldogs coach Jimmie Howell. “I told them before the game that we had to have a toughness game. We had to have toughness to win it, and I thought we were tough tonight.”
One of the toughest of the Dawgs was senior Bobby Steele. Against players up to six inches taller than him, Steele was able to contest every shot and rebound.
Steele banged underneath and was able to tie Mitchell Richardson for the team lead with 15 points.
“A career night for Bobby,” said Howell who admitted he would like to see Steele improve his free-throw shooting but aside from that was happy with his performance.
Seldom-used reserve Joe Hart came off the bench to give his team a boost by knocking down all three of his field goal attempts and lone free throw for seven points.
“I thought Joe Hart gave us a huge lift, huge lift. He played great,” said Howell. “He’s a kid that could’ve buried his head because he played less than a minute last game or so – last couple of games – and he battled all week. He played as hard as he’s played all week, and he deserved to get the playing time he did.”
Howell will give his kids a couple of well-deserved days off, and he wants his team to enjoy this win.
“We’ve got a week to wait before we play again,” he said. “I want them to enjoy it. I want them to be careful going home tonight. We’re not practicing tomorrow, obviously. So we’re going to give them a couple days’ rest. I just want them to enjoy it, and they deserved what they got.”
Brady Cherry followed Steele and Richardson’s 15 points with 13 and led the team with seven boards.