LaFayette comeback from double-digit deficit to win at 6A Opelika 58-55
Published 11:06 pm Friday, December 14, 2018
OPELIKA — There was never a doubt in their minds.
In the LaFayette boys basketball team’s 58-55 win over Opelika Friday night, the team never doubted themselves after trailing by double digits for a majority of the first half.
“I felt like we were always in the game,” LaFayette boys head basketball coach Obadiah Threadgill said. “If we could just close the gap, I felt like we had the experience we needed to get over the hump.”
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The win pushes LaFayette’s undefeated record to 10-0 on the season. In a battle of the Bulldogs, 2A LaFayette entered a hostile environment on the road against 6A Opelika. Students nearly rushed the court midgame twice in the first quarter after Opelika knocked down a three-pointer and then a defender blocked LaFayette forward Matavais Burton.
“We didn’t pay that much attention to the crowd,” Burton said. “We knew we had to focus, and get our job done to win.”
After LaFayette’s second unit got the team back in the game in the second half with intense full-court defense and aggressive attacks on the offensive end, the starting unit re-entered the game, and LaFayette’s comeback was sealed with a three-pointer from Burton to tie the game with 6:57 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“I felt like we needed the momentum,” Burton said. “As a team, we needed to step up. I just had the shot, so I took it.”
Burton finished the night as LaFayette’s leading scorer, contributing 15 points, 8 rebounds and an assist in the win.
LaFayette star guard Corey Boston also stepped up to give his team the lead coming down the stretch in the lane as well. He finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
“I knew we needed it. I had to step up,” Boston said. “My team feeds off of me and Matavais, but I had the ball more than him sometimes, and I had to make a shot.”
LaFayette starting guard Markevious Moore also had a nice all-around stat line of 9 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Moore also won a few hustle plays for LaFayette on defense during the team’s fourth-quarter comeback.
Junior point guard Jadarious Crim grabbed 8 crucial rebounds to go with his 6 points on the night. 10 players for LaFayette ended up getting on the board in the victory.
The road victory against 6A Opelika is one of the more impressive wins for LaFayette this season, a team that was left out of the first Alabama Sports Writers Association prep poll of the year earlier this week.
“Oddly, it makes me happy,” Threadgill said. “I can use it as motivation for our guys. I told them that they had Central-Coosa ranked No. 4. We just went to Central-Coosa, and beat them on their own home floor. If we’re not ranked next week, that’s fine. Eventually, somebody’s going to have to recognize what these guys are doing.”
LaFayette returns to the court today at home against Bullock County.