Bulldogs fall to No. 5 Wapahani in semis


By Brady Extin | The Times-Post

PARKER CITY — To advance through IHSAA postseason basketball play, you’ve got to beat the top teams at some point. And sometimes, those top teams show up earlier than hoped for.

That was the case for Lapel on Friday night in the Sectional 40 semifinals at Monroe Central High School.

Standing in the Bulldogs’ way of a trip to the championship game on Saturday night were winners of 22 straight games, the 22-1 Wapahani Raiders. The Raiders only loss on the season came in their opening matchup, where they lost to Muncie Central 49-47.

The Raiders defeated Lapel 49-41 to advance to the title game, and would go on to defeat Muncie Burris 53-34 to win the sectional championship.

In a much closer game than the first matchup between the two teams — a 53-32 Wapahani win — the Bulldogs’ inability to take care of the ball was one of the main deciding factors.

After a 7-6 first quarter in favor of the Bulldogs, the turnovers began piling up, and the Lapel offense began to stutter, leading to the score swinging back in Wapahani’s favor.

Twelve Lapel first-half turnovers led to a second quarter in which the Bulldogs scored just three points, while the Raiders more than doubled their first-quarter output and entered the half up 19-10.

Behind 3-pointers from Jaden Cash and Brode Judge, the Bulldogs cut the lead back down to six midway through the third quarter, but from there the Raiders took over full control.

The Lapel deficit slowly increased the remainder of the quarter, before a buzzer-beating Nick Cook 3 sent Wapahani into the closing frame ahead 35-21.

Despite a 20-point fourth quarter from the Bulldogs, the deficit was too much to overcome against the No. 5 ranked team in class 2A.

A Devin Craig 3-pointer brought Lapel back within eight with a minute remaining, but that would be as close as they would get.

After an 0-4 start to the year, the Bulldogs improved and finished the season strong with a 12-13 record.

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