Lanett boys fall to 2-4 on the season, lose to 7A Central 67-33

Published 11:45 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2019

LANETT — It wasn’t the normal atmosphere inside of the gym at Lanett High School during the boys’ 67-33 loss to 7A Central-Phenix City on Wednesday night.

The crowd, buzzing earlier in the night from spectators all over the community, went silent. After a few fans encouraged the players to remain aggressive offensively for a few minutes in the final quarter, the only sound heard came from the Lanett cheerleading squad and the coaches on the sidelines.

“We didn’t play very well at all,” Lanett boys head basketball coach Richard Carter said. “We laid down at the end of the ballgame. There’s a little adversity, and we just quit.”

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Central players continued to grab steals from the Panthers for open dunks and three-pointers as the lead continued to grow in the final minutes. Lanett took one final timeout before subbing out the starters and sending one final message to the team.

“We quit,” Carter said. “That’s not Lanett basketball. We quit.”

Lanett starting forward Trikweze Bridges didn’t play in the matchup, and Carter said that he was unsure if he would return to the team this season. Bridges recently signed his letter of intent early to play football this fall at the University of Oregon. Lanett starting guard Quae Houston was also taken out of the game in the second half after taking a hard fall on his side. Houston walked to the Lanett locker room on his own power before returning to the bench in the fourth quarter.

None of the remaining players for Lanett were starters for the Panthers on last season’s state championship team, which brought upon a finish that Carter hasn’t seen from one of his teams before.

“At the end of the ballgame, we got down by 20 and we kind of just laid down,” Carter said. “That’s not the way we do it. We’ve never done it that way, but it’s going to be a long season.”

Central won the battle of the boards down low, giving the Red Devils a handful of second opportunities on the offensive end throughout the night.

“We work on rebounding every day,” Carter said. “Every day, we work on rebounding, boxing out, and today we just didn’t do a good job of that. I’m not sure what the reason was. We played a whole lot better over the holidays, but tonight we did not show up.”

Wednesday marked Lanett’s second loss to Central this season. The first one came on opening night when the Red Devils pulled away with a 46-30 victory in a Panthers’ effort that Carter was more pleased with.

“[Wednesday] was nothing like we played the first game of the season,” Carter said. 

On Friday, Lanett plays host to 14-0 LaFayette. The Bulldogs defeated the Panthers last month 67-54 at the Handley Christmas Classic.

“We’re going to try to do what we can to get ready for LaFayette,” Carter said, “and hope for the best.”