Shorthanded Lanett girls lose to Central 59-39

Published 11:44 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2019

LANETT — Central-Phenix City took the lead from early in the second half and never looked back in Wednesday night’s 59-39 win over the 1A Panthers.

“It’s just mental,”  Lanett girls head basketball coach Charlie Williams said. “I think they got scared because they realized that they can actually beat Central. Central’s a 7A school, we’re a 1A school, at halftime we were beating them, I think they looked up at the scoreboard and said, ‘man, we can actually beat these girls.’”

In the matchup, Lanett missed senior Ambria Jackson, sophomore Erin Darden and eighth-grader Laila Lancaster. Jackson was dealing with an injury, while Darden and Lancaster caught the flu. Jackson will be a game-time decision for the Panthers matchup with LaFayette on Friday night.

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“I’m not going to make any excuses,” Williams said. “We shot ourselves in the foot a lot tonight. Give Central credit, though, they capitalized and beat us. They’re a good ball team over there.”

Breanna Glaze led all Panther scorers with 11 points on the night, while Makaiya Broughton finished with 8 points and Alyse Madden contributed 6 points. Amena Truitt, Ariel Hall, Crystalyn Sprayberry, Alicia Abner, Jayia Higgins and Jaci Howell also got on the board for the Panthers in the effort.

Lanett missed 19 free throws during the contest. Many of the missed shots from the line came from the front end of the pair each player had.

“Central loosened up, and we tightened up when it should’ve been the other way around,” Williams said. “We should’ve played looser, as we did in the first half, and we should’ve made them play tighter.”

The loss evened the Panthers record at 3-3 on the young season with 11-3 crosstown rival LaFayette coming into town on Friday night. LaFayette earned its last win of the season against Lanett 45-34 at the Panther Holiday Classic at Smiths Station High School on Dec. 22.

Williams, however, isn’t concerned about the team’s start.

“There are growing pains in basketball,” Williams said. “I’ve coached teams that have come out and won almost every game we’ve played in, then we get in the playoffs, lose one game and be out. I’ve coached teams that had up-and-down seasons, then you get in the playoffs and get hot. It works both ways.”