The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

March 10, 2014

Last year's loss continues to fuel Lions

ANDERSON — Reminders are everywhere.

On a summer trip to a shopping mall in Indianapolis, Jason Chapell caught sight of a Lafayette Central Catholic basketball player. The boy was wearing his letterman jacket, and on the back was a patch celebrating the Knights' 2013 Class 1A regional championship.

Just like that, the memories came rushing back.

Chappell, the boys basketball coach and athletic director at Liberty Christian, still hasn't let go of the day last March when his Lions squandered a fourth-quarter lead against Lafayette Central Catholic and dropped a 77-68 decision in the regional championship game.

"That game against LCC last year broke my heart," Chappell said, "and I know it broke the kids' hearts, too."

The 10th-ranked Lions (18-6) used the memories to fuel a third straight trip to the regional round this spring and will face Seton Catholic (15-7) in the semifinals Saturday at Frankfort. On the other side of the bracket, No. 7 Lafayette Central Catholic (15-8) battles Rossville (16-8).

A win in the morning session would send the Lions to the regional final for the third straight year, and the team has more than revenge on its mind.

"Everything we have done this year, we don't coach game-to-game during the season," Chappell said. "We coach toward a common goal at the end of the year, and that common goal is Bankers Life Fieldhouse. To get to that goal, we have to look at ourselves and focus on ourselves.

"The only thing we're really worried about is playing to the best of our abilities and using our God-given talent to the best of our abilities."

That approach worked well over the weekend when host Monroe Central sprinted to a 14-point lead in the second quarter of the sectional championship game. The Lions didn't panic, instead going to work to whittle down the deficit.

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