LaFayette boys pull out late 53-52 win over Lanett, improve to 21-3

Published 11:15 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

LaFAYETTE — After Thursday night’s win over Opelika, LaFayette boys head basketball coach Obadiah Threadgill said that Friday’s matchup against Lanett was going to come down to the final minutes. The prediction couldn’t have been more accurate in the Bulldogs’ 53-52 win over the crosstown rival.

“We talked about how in this atmosphere, these games are going to come down to one or two possessions,” Threadgill said. “Tonight it did. I’m so excited, I’m happy for our guys, I’m happy for our fans. We’re going to celebrate. We’re not always going to be on the short end of the stick. We understand that we can be beaten. We have to play hard the whole game, and tonight we did that.”

LaFayette finished the night with three juniors, Markevious Moore Matavais Burton and Corey Boston, scoring in double digits. Jordan Wallace, Antavious Woody, JaQuavian Boston-Gaines, Ja’Marie Daniel, JeMatheus Reese and Jordan Walker also got on the board for the Bulldogs.

Email newsletter signup

“I’ve got 12 guys on our team,” Threadgill said. “Consistently, we’re playing 10 or 11 guys. Tonight, we only played about eight or nine. They’re great team players who understand their roles. They’re not jealous of each other, they root for each other and they understand that at any moment, their number can be called. In any situation, they always have to be ready to play. For us to be able to get points, steals and rebounds out of JeMatheus Reese. For us to get quality minutes out of Jordan Walker, that’s awesome.”

Lanett senior forward Tifton Dobbs led the Panthers with 12 points on the night. Senior Jayshon Burton also reached double figures, while Quae Houston, Kristian Story, Kaylen Dunn, Trey Abner, Larontavious Hurston and Cameron Boozer also got on the board for Lanett.

In the waning minutes, LaFayette played a game that Lanett’s known for going down the stretch, which is running down the clock before running plays offensively. The Panthers countered the strategy by bringing more pressure on the ball and sending multiple defenders to whoever was holding the ball for LaFayette. 

The method allowed Lanett to cut the deficit down to two when Story was fouled on a floater with 1.2 seconds remaining. As the packed gym grew louder, Story missed the first free throw, while rattling in the second attempt, which he shot with the intention of it being an intentional miss. 

Lanett used its length to guard the inbound pass from LaFayette, but Burton successfully launched the ball to the other side of the floor to run the clock out for the Bulldogs. After losing to the Panthers in recent seasons, the Bulldogs have now won the season series against Lanett 2-1. 

“I have two seniors on the team,” Threadgill said. “This is the last time they’ll ever play Lanett in this type of environment, and I wanted them to embrace it.”

LaFayette is now 21-3 overall this season while Lanett falls to 9-7 on the year. Both teams are still undefeated in their respective areas, with LaFayette returning home to host Woodland next Thursday. Lanett will host 4A Booker T. Washington at home on Saturday.