The Herald Bulletin

February 14, 2014

Bulldogs pull away from Raiders

By Bill Cross For The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — LAPEL — The Lapel Bulldogs hosted Senior Night Thursday night and came away with a 65-41win over their former White River Athletic Conference rival Shenandoah.

The Bulldogs grabbed an early lead and never trailed as they won their sixth game in a row and 12th on the season. “Give a lot of credit to Lapel,” Shenandoah coach Aaron Cain said afterward. “We gave up too many second chance points.”

Lapel seized control early in the second quarter, scoring the first nine points to take a 26-12 lead. With Lapel leading 28-14, Kyle Demick was fouled as he hit a 3-pointer and converted the free throw for a rare four-point play to draw Shenandoah within 10 points. But the Bulldogs outscored Shenandoah 9-2 to lead 37-20 at halftime. Bobby Steele led the Bulldogs in the first half with 12 of his 14 points for the game.

Lapel opened the lead more in the third with steady play and balanced scoring while Shenandoah continued to struggle with missed shots and turnovers. Through the middle two quarters, the Raiders turned the ball over 12 times and went just 6-19 from the field.

“We had too many turnovers. We had two straight games with less than 10,” Cain said. “We need to do a better job of protecting the ball.” The Raiders finished with 18 turnovers. The Bulldogs opened a 29-point lead in the third and led 57-31 going into the fourth.

Prior to the game, Lapel honored seniors Mitchell Richardson, Bailey Partington, Josh Erwin, Bobby Steele and Dalton Busch.

As the fourth quarter wore on, the seniors came out of the game one by one. Richardson was first as his brother JonRoss replaced him with 4:40 to go in the contest. Steele and Partington followed while Busch finished the game after entering in the fourth quarter. Erwin was injured during the tennis season in the fall and has been unable to play this season.

Lapel coach Jimmie Howell had praise for all of his seniors and their improvement over the four years as Bulldogs. “This senior class coming through, they have all gotten better,” said Howell. “It was a shame Josh Erwin had two ACL tears so he couldn’t contribute these last two years. Bobby Steele has come a long way, I never dreamed he would be able to score and defend the way he’s doing. Mitchell is a great shooter and he has added a lot to his game. Bailey is just our glue, he defends, rebounds, he does whatever we need him to do.”

Steele shared team-high honors with junior Noah Hendershot with 14 points apiece while Partington had 12 and Richardson finished with three.

Shenandoah (8-8) was led by Gavin Griggs’ game-high 19 points. “He’s becoming a real constant effort player for us,” Cain said of his sophomore guard. “He just continues to do a real good job. He’s a good talent, we’re going to keep working him and he’s going to be a real bright spot for us.” Demick and Mason Griggs added seven apiece for Shenandoah.

The Raiders travel to Yorktown on the 19th while Lapel (12-5) is set for a rematch with a visit to Frankton on the 18th.