MADISON COUNTY — Last week marked the annual early-January Madison County girls and boys basketball tournaments.
The tournaments were highlighted by back-to-back winners on both sides and for South Madison County, a hard-fought semifinal matchup between the Lapel and Pendleton Heights girls teams.
Here is a recap of how Lapel and Pendleton Heights fared in both tournaments.
Lapel claims second consecutive girls title
For the second straight season, the Lapel girls basketball team came out on top in the Madison County Tournament, while Pendleton Heights placed third.
Both the Bulldogs and Arabians won their opening-round games with ease. Lapel defeated Elwood 71-25, while Pendleton Heights knocked off Anderson 62-46 to set up a semifinal matchup between the two South Madison County teams.
In a rematch of last year’s hard-fought championship game, the Bulldogs came from behind to defeat the Arabians 63-59 to move on to this year’s championship.
A 16-point fourth-quarter performance by senior Maddy Poynter helped Lapel erase a 12-point deficit.
Up by 10 points, 47-37, entering the fourth, a 12-2 Lapel run over the opening three minutes of the quarter tied the game at 49.
Poynter began the run with a 3-pointer, AnnaLee Stow added a bucket, and Laniah Wills hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to three.
After a bucket by Pendleton’s Adah Hupfer, three more Poynter points and a Wills layup tied things up.
Kaycie Warfel, who led all scorers with 37 points, put the Arabians back ahead but another Poynter 3-pointer gave Lapel their first lead since 11-10.
A pair of Poynter free throws made things 56-54 late in the quarter, and the Bulldogs held onto the lead from that point on.
Along with her 22 points, Poynter pulled down 11 rebounds. Hupfer had 14 points and nine boards for the Arabians.
Lapel went on to defeat Alexandria-Monroe 48-31 in the championship game on Saturday, while the Arabians defeated Frankton 48-42 in the third-place game.
After a stressful semifinal game, the Bulldogs dominated in the championship beginning in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs erased an early 13-6 deficit with a 10-0 run beginning late in the first quarter and carrying over into the second led by Wills.
Wills scored 13 of the Bulldogs first 16 points.
The Bulldogs held the Tigers to zero second-quarter points to take a 19-13 lead into halftime, and from there they were in full control.
They grew the lead to 32-24 by the end of the third quarter, and by the four-minute mark of the final period were ahead by 16 points.
Wills finished the game with 25 points and 16 rebounds, while Poynter added 13 points.
In the third-place win over Frankton, Warfel scored 24 points and recorded four steals to lead the Arabians.
Arabians, Bulldogs both fall to eventual champs Anderson
In the boys tournament, both Lapel and Pendleton Heights were defeated by Anderson, which claimed its third consecutive title.
The Arabians gave the Indians their toughest game of the tournament with a 53-50 loss in the opening round.
Josiah Gustin scored 16 points, Cooper Sims had 15, and Evan Mozingo had eight in the loss.
Pendleton Heights went on to defeat Elwood 63-26 and Anderson Prep 75-38 to finish in fifth place.
Mozingo led the way in the win against Elwood with 16 points, while Gustin added eight points and six rebounds.
In the fifth-place victory, Gustin recorded a double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. He added five blocked shots as well. Seth Laravia was the Arabians other double-digit scorer in the game, adding 12 points.
Lapel’s loss to Anderson came in the semifinals after it defeated Elwood 68-34 in the opening round.
Brode Judge scored 22 in the opening game win, while his brother, Bode, followed him up with 14 points.
In the semifinals, Anderson came out on top in a rematch from earlier in the season with a 58-29 win.
Damien King led all scorers for the Indians with 19 points. For Lapel, Bode Judge and Luke Jones each scored six.
Lapel bounced back with a 59-42 win versus Frankton in the third-place game led by Brode Judge’s 23 points.