The Herald Bulletin

February 27, 2014

Lapel closes with win

By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin

INDIANAPOLIS — The Lapel boys basketball team closed out the regular season portion of its schedule with a 69-45 win over host Indianapolis Ritter on Wednesday night.

The Bulldogs played their fourth game in eight days, and the fatigue showed in their play. Lapel built an early lead then withstood a third-quarter rally by Ritter before settling down and wrapping up the win in the fourth quarter.

“We’re a tired team,” Lapel coach Jimmie Howell said. “Four games in eight days. We got up 15 or 16, mentally lost it, and they (Ritter) got back into it after halftime.”

The teams traded buckets, leads and turnovers early before Lapel put together a 12-2 run to end the first quarter with a 19-11 lead. Lapel went 7-for-11 from the field in the first quarter while Ritter struggled, missing 15 of 19 attempts.

Brady Cherry scored seven of his game-high 19 points in the quarter.

Lapel was able to extend the lead in the second, as JonRoss Richardson came off of the bench to score eight points.

“He is playing better the last three or four games,” Howell said of the freshman forward. “Hopefully he’ll help us in the tournament.”

Lapel took a 38-26 lead in to the locker room, but Ritter made its run in the third as Lapel struggled with turnovers. The Bulldogs gave the ball up six times in the period, and Ritter cut the lead to 43-38 midway through.

Mitchell Richardson scored all nine of his points in the third, hitting 3 of 6 3-point attempts, including two late 3s to expand Lapel’s lead to 52-40 and end Ritter’s run. Noah Hendershot hit a late runner to give Lapel a 14-point lead going into the final frame.

Cherry was aggressive in the fourth, attacking the basket and scoring eight points as Lapel pulled away.

“Brady got to the bucket early, then we posted him up and got a lot of points inside,” Howell said. “He played strong and did a nice job.”

Cherry scored the first three Lapel baskets of the quarter and came out with about three minutes to go and the Bulldogs up 66-42.

The win improved Lapel to 13-8 and stopped a three-game losing streak.

Lapel made trips to Frankton, Speedway, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and to the west side of Indy during the stretch. The Bulldogs get a break now with six days off before facing Shenandoah in the first game of the IHSAA tournament.

Howell and the team are ready for a break.

“We’ve not been able to have a good practice in about a month or so,” Howell said, citing the weather and the schedule of games that had dates shifted.

In addition to Cherry’s 19, Bailey Partington scored 13 and Bobby Steele added seven for Lapel. Ritter was led in scoring by Zach Hoereth’s 13 points. The Raiders are now 5-14 and finish 0-7 in the Indiana Crossroads Conference.

The Bulldogs also wrapped up play in the ICC with a 4-3 record on the season. Lapel was 5-0 against Ritter during their time in the ICC.