LAPEL — On a night when the Lapel girls basketball team turned the ball over 22 times, the Bulldogs still found themselves with a shot at knocking off rival Frankton on Monday, Dec. 4, but fell short in a 49-47 loss.
Lapel spent most of the game trailing but within striking distance.
Frankton’s largest lead in the fourth quarter was four points, but the Bulldogs battled back to tie it twice in the closing minutes. Down by four with 11 seconds to play, Lapel scrambled and let too much time tick away before senior Breanna Boles scored a deep 2-pointer to cut the deficit to two.
With 1.6 seconds left, the ensuing Frankton inbound pass was tipped, which started the clock, but the ball didn’t bounce to a Lapel player, and time expired.
The loss dropped Lapel’s record to 3-3. Frankton is now 9-1.
The Bulldogs got off to a slow start and went into the second quarter down 18-9. They closed the gap to 26-19 by halftime, but nine turnovers were costly. Even as they staged a comeback in the second half, turnovers continued to be a problem.
“I don’t fault our kids’ effort tonight at all,” Lapel head coach John Willis said. “You just can’t turn the ball over 22 times and put a good-shooting free throw team like that at the line 16 times.”
Frankton connected on 13 of those 16 free throws, and senior Sydney Tucker went 4 for 4 in the final half-minute to keep the game out of reach.
When Lapel scored a quarter-high 15 points in the fourth quarter, Willis credited better cutting off the ball and getting easier baskets as a cause. It’s something the Bulldogs weren’t doing earlier.
“I think we have a tendency to stand,” said Willis, who added that Frankton’s defensive pressure was making it difficult to operate.
Much of Lapel’s ability to stick with Frankton had to do with the play of Boles and sophomore Makynlee Taylor. Boles finished the game with 26 points to lead all scorers. She also added 11 rebounds.
“We got her the ball against the press, and she was able to hit some open looks,” Willis said.
Taylor scored all 10 of her points in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter.
“She’s non-stop effort,” Willis said.
Defensively, the Bulldogs spent most of the night trying to hold Tucker in check and keep senior Destyne Knight off the offensive glass. But Tucker scored 21 points, and 10 of Knight’s 18 rebounds came on the offensive end. She finished with 13 points.
Lapel will play host to Eastern Hancock on Tuesday, Dec. 12.