By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — LAPEL — The Lapel girls basketball team used a 14-2 run in the second quarter to break open a four-point game and easily put away visiting Sheridan 64-39 on Monday night.
Lapel, ranked sixth in Class 2A, completed a difficult four-game stretch with a 3-1 record and heads into the Christmas break with a 9-1 overall mark.
“I thought we played with great emotion,” said Lapel coach Kevin Brattain. “I thought our effort and our defensive awareness was solid.”
Lapel led 10-4 early, hitting all five field goal attempts, but turned the ball over five times. An adjustment by the coaching staff helped the Bulldogs cut down the turnovers from seven in the first quarter to just one in the second.
“They (Sheridan) did some things with their match-up zone that we had not seen before,” said Brattain. “We adjusted to what they were doing to us.”
Lapel's second-quarter run was led by junior guard Kirsten Rich. She finished the first half with 12 points as the Bulldogs led 32-17 at the break.
Sheridan did not have an answer for Rich in the second half either, and Lapel was able to get scoring in the post as the combo of Samantha Kern (four points) and Mary-Jewel Stohler (12 points) helped Lapel maintain a double-digit lead throughout the second half.
Sheridan hung tough in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs still led by the same 15-point margin at the end of three. Lapel steadily increased the lead in the fourth and gained its largest advantage at 64-37 with less than 30 seconds to go in the game.
Rich finished with 27 points to lead Lapel.
“Kirsten has really played well this year,” Brattain said. “She’s as good of a guard that we’ve had play here. Her ability to see the floor, shoot the ball and defend, she does a great job.”
Natalia Campbell and Mackenzie Boles each finished with seven points, and Kaitlin Dobbins had five. Sheridan (8-3) was led by Brittany Welch’s 16 points.
Lapel is off until Saturday when it travels to Class 1A University.
“It’s been tough, we played three ranked teams out of four, and Speedway away is no easy task,” said Brattain. “We’re very happy, and we’re going to enjoy our Christmas break.”