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CLAIMING THE AREA: The LaFayette boys basketball team won the area tournament championship on Thursday night with a 69-45 win over Ranburne. The Bulldogs will host the first round of the state tournament next Tuessday night. Photo by Rashad Milligan

LaFayette boys claim area title

LaFAYETTE — It was another runaway win for the LaFayette boys basketball team in Thursday’s area tournament championship game. The Bulldogs defeated Ranburne 69-46.

“Our kids are playing really well,” LaFayette boys head basketball coach Obadiah Threadgill said. “I’ve been waiting on these guys to play with conviction and passion offensively to share the ball one or two more passes.”

Sharing the ball as opposed to isolating a lot on offense is what Threadgill said he believes will be the key to having a deep run this postseason. Depth will also be vital for the Bulldogs moving forward.

“Tonight, we played 14 guys,” Threadgill said. “We played everybody in the first half. Most teams in 2A are playing seven or eight guys. I’m always looking for opportunities to use our depth as a weapon.”

Ranburne came out giving LaFayette its best shot in the first quarter, leading at the beginning of the night before trailing by only a handful of points. 

Near the end of the first half, the visitors ran out of gas and the Bulldogs’ full-court defense took over. The single digit lead grew to a 35-16 margin in LaFayette’s favor by halftime.

Juniors Corey Boston and Matavias Burton led the Bulldogs’ surge on both ends of the floor, but two other starters from LaFayette enjoyed stand out nights as well. Freshman center Antavais Woody finished with his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Markevious Moore was named to the all-area tournament team. 

“There are guys on our team who go unheralded and unnoticed largely due to the talent of Matavias and Corey,” Threadgill said. “Markevious is one of those guys who is so talented. I’ve been saying this since he was a freshman, he’s been in this corps. I have five guys on varsity in the 11th grade who have played all three years since the ninth grade, Markevious is one of them. He does so many things for us. Since he’s been in ninth grade, he’s won Mr. Basketball for us because he makes the most intelligent basketball plays every time it touches his hands. Very rarely does he throw the ball away, very rarely does he take a bad shot. Very rarely he does anything that screams ‘Markevious.’ Everything he does is always ‘we before me.’”

The status for senior JaQuavian Boston-Gaines is unknown for LaFayette’s opening round of the state tournament next Tuesday at home. In the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s area semifinal against Woodland, Boston-Gaines threw down the first in-game dunk of his high school career. He then hung on the rim, pulled his feet above the rim before pointing to his teammates on the bench while coming down. The clip has gone viral on the Internet with over 2 million views as of Thursday night, and was even on “SportsCenter.” Threadgill said that while he’s not mad at Boston-Gaines for showing his excitement, he wants the senior to understand how the decision may hold the team back moving forward in the postseason.