The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports Columns

March 24, 2014

George Bremer: Hats off for local hoops

There will be at least one good memory from this endless winter — basketball.

Despite the weather challenges that caused many teams to be idle for more than a week at a time, the local high school players provided one of the more entertaining seasons in recent memory.

And from the frequent overflow regular-season crowds at Frankton to the stunning turnout for Liberty Christian at Saturday's Class 1A semistate in Lafayette, the fans responded.

Why not? There was plenty to cheer for.

Frankton's boys spent much of the season ranked in the top five in Class 2A, and the Eagles' three losses came by a total of four points. Anderson swept the boys and girls Madison County championships, and the Lady Tribe advanced to a Class 4A regional where it pushed eventual state runner-up Lawrence North to the brink in a 56-54 defeat.

Shenandoah's girls returned to prominence with a 16-5 season capped by the program's first sectional title since 2008. And the Pendleton Heights boys — fueled in part by the remarkable medical recovery of junior star Sean McDermott — advanced to the Class 4A sectional final at Richmond for the fifth consecutive year.

But the story of the season belongs to the Liberty Christian boys.

The Lions gained a measure of revenge against Lafayette Central Catholic and won the school's first Class 1A regional championship with a 65-55 victory two weeks ago in Frankfort. On Saturday, Liberty Christian made its semistate debut with a hard-fought 72-61 loss against Marquette Catholic.

Along the way, the team even found a way to teach a thing or two to its own head coach.

"The thing I'm most proud of with these kids is I've seen them grow up before my eyes," Jason Chappell said outside the locker room Saturday at Lafayette Jeff. "A lot of people think the prize is a trophy or the net. But the real prize is the journey."

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