Royals pull away from Bulldogs in fourth quarter


LAPEL – Regardless of how strong their win-loss record is, Lapel is always a tough matchup. The two-time state champion boys basketball program is a staple atop the Class 2A standings year in and year out.

On Friday night, the Eastern Hancock Royals (10-4) were dealt a hefty challenge by traveling to Lapel (7-8) to meet the ever ready Bulldogs. By remaining methodical and patient, the Royals found success on both sides of the court and were able to prevail with a 58-46 victory.

Despite the Bulldogs’ now sub-.500 record (7-9 after a Saturday loss at Oak Hill), Royals head coach Aaron Spaulding knew his team was in for a dogfight.

“Until tonight, I don’t think we have won in this gym — that’s how tough it is,” Spaulding said. “Lapel is also a dangerous opponent. While they don’t have one standout guy this year, they have eight or nine that can make a real difference in the game. We knew we had a tough game ahead, and despite not shooting the ball really well early, we were able to get the job done late.”

Eight different Lapel players scored, led by freshman Brode Judge with 11 points. He had three 3-pointers as the Bulldogs had eight of their made 17 shots come from beyond the arc.

Nick Witte and Corbin Renihan had eight points each. Landon Bair chipped in six. Bode Judge scored four while Chase Landis, Tyler Dollar and Griffin Craig had three points apiece.

The Royals were able to pull away in the fourth quarter. Lapel trailed by only two points at the end of the first quarter (9-7) and halftime (22-20). The Bulldogs had a three-point deficit (40-37) heading into the final quarter.

Eastern Hancock’s Landon O’Neal and Jacob Spaulding led all scorers with 18 points apiece. The Royals hit nine 3-pointers.

Lapel is scheduled to be back in action tonight (Thursday, Feb. 3) with a home game against Madison County rival Alexandria.

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