The Herald Bulletin

December 28, 2013

Prep basketball that commands attention


The Herald Bulletin

---- — In case there are some who haven't yet experienced it, there is high school basketball being played at a very high level this season.

You should make a New Year's resolution to go out and see what is going on.

There is the Frankton boys basketball team. The Eagles have won their first six games of the season going into Saturday night's contest at Wes-Del. Not only have the Eagles won them all, only one game has had a winning margin less than 19 points.

That was all supposed to change on Friday when Frankton hosted Wapahani. The Raiders went into the game ranked No. 2 in 2A by The Associated Press and No. 20 in the entire state by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Those rankings will change this week.

Frankton flattened the visitors. I never believed the margin of victory would be so severe, but I thought Frankton would win. When I spoke with a couple of the players earlier in the season about Wapahani, they didn't say much, but there was that steely glint in their eyes that said a payback was coming.

The Raiders put one on the Eagles last year in Selma when Frankton had several players under the weather. Then in the Lapel Sectional, Wapahani eliminated Frankton in double overtime.

The Eagles are an intelligent team. One of the squad's strengths is that it can dictate the tempo. Frankton can play at any speed and they have players who can be inserted to create the desired tempo. That is a very strong coaching tool.

Frankton is a team more than worth the price of a ticket for any of their games.

Not to be outdone, from the same school system, plenty of plaudits can be assigned to the Lapel girls basketball team.

The Bulldogs have lost but once in 11 games counting a 77-15 thrashing of University on Saturday afternoon. Lapel is just four points from being unbeaten. Only a cold free throw shooting night against Ritter stands between them and perfection.

Mental and physical toughness plays a role in the team's success.Plus the Bulldogs have leadership, experience and depth. They play the game the right way and are enjoyable to watch.

They aren't the only teams worth a venture out into the elements to see a game.

For the boys, Pendleton Heights, Liberty Christian and Lapel are talented teams that have displayed some high quality performances. For the girls, Anderson and Pendleton Heights bear watching. The Indians shut out a defending state champion for seven minutes and are 5-3. The three teams that have defeated the Lady Tribe have combined to lose five games.

For those who prefer to remain at home and pine for the old days, there is a program coming up of interest. Highland graduate Brian Hammons continues his Hoosier Legends series for Fox Sports Indiana with a program on the Wigwam.

The first showing is at 5 p.m. on Monday. The replay dates and times are: Tuesday at 2 p.m., Thursday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Brian asked me for a few comments about the gym and the games that had been played there. I look forward to viewing the program.

Sports Editor Rick Teverbaugh can be reached at: (765) 640-4886 or at rick.teverbaugh@heraldbulletin.com