ALEXANDRIA, IN – The opening quarter of basketball action Friday night saw the Alexandria Tigers and Lapel Bulldogs play a very evenly matched game as the teams remained tied 18-18. Things began to turn for the worse for the Tigers in the second quarter as Lapel used a burst during about a three-minute stretch to build a 12-point lead. The Tigers never really challenged after that point as the visitors ran off to a 73-54 victory.
“Lapel is a very mature team,” said Alexandria Head Coach Chad Wetz. “The big difference was a period of about three-minutes in the second quarter where we were not very mature and we lost our game plan and our intensity. Early, we did a nice job matching their intensity, but during that stretch we didn’t and ‘pop’, we were down a dozen. I thought we did better in the second half and things kind of evened out a bit with the lead going from 12 to 19.”
Lapel started to increase their lead early in the second half, and then a three-pointer by Layton Carrol ended the Bulldog run and helped get the Tigers offense back on track. Trailing by about 20 for much of the third period, the Tigers did a nice job of playing Lapel evenly during the fourth quarter.
“At the start of the fourth, I was just looking for five guys that would play hard,” Wetz said. “It wasn’t probably our normal rotation, but I was testing us to see who would go hard and they did. I am very proud of the effort we got out of Corey Allen tonight. He is a senior that has been really working hard and stepping up, and if he keeps working hard like that, then he is going to get more time.”
The Tigers were led in scoring by Layton Carrol and Braden Warren each with 13 points. Other scorers for Alexandria included Blaize Kelly with 11, Landon Breese with six, CoreyAllen and Jonah Jerrils with four, Drew Johnson with two and Jake Thurston with one. Lapel had three players put on very nice offensive performances as Drew Norton scored 27 points, Mitchell Richardson finished with 15 points on five three-pointers and Brendon Hardwick had 10.
Breese pulled down a team-high five rebounds for Alexandria, followed closely by Allen who grabbed four boards and Jake Fox with three.
“As a team, we are still not playing 32 minutes the way we played the first eight minutes,” Wetz went on to say. “Until we do, we are going to continue to struggle against really good teams like Lapel.”
“Zone defenses have really hurt us all year,” Wetz said. “I have said that if we are playing a game of HORSE that our guys will probably beat anyone our there, but in a game situation, we just have not been shooting the ball well from the outside so far this season.”
“We need to strive to be a mature team, like the one we just played,” Wetz added. “We are getting better, we just need to keep working at it.”
Alexandria (1-7, 1-1 in CIC) will be in action Dec. 27th when they travel to Union-Modoc.