Lanett boys run of three consecutive championships ends in loss to Georgiana

Published 10:20 pm Thursday, February 14, 2019

MONTGOMERY — The Lanett boys basketball team’s quest for a fourth consecutive state championship ended on Thursday evening in a 55-50 regional loss to Georgiana.

The Panthers (18-9) trailed Georgiana by as much as 10 in the fourth quarter before cutting the deficit to three in the final minutes of the contest. Lanett’s comeback wasn’t enough to preserve the Panthers’ season.

“I thought we gave a great effort at the end,” Lanett boys head basketball coach Richard Carter said. “One thing that I think I did wrong was staying in the zone too long. I probably should’ve come back out and played man sooner than we did, and put a little pressure up court, but we didn’t do it. That’s one of those that we have to take on the chin.”

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Although Lanett outrebounded 43-32  on the night, the Panthers came up short in grabbing many critical rebounds when the team was trying to build momentum.

“They were outworking us,” Carter said. “We just didn’t play hard enough on the defensive glass. They outworked us, and we told them that at halftime.”

Senior Jayshon Burton led the Panthers with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Senior Dee Dobbs finished with 8 points and six rebounds. Kristian Story, Quae Houston, Trey Abner, Kaylen Dunn, Zameron Boozer, Larontavious Hurston and Cameron Boozer also got on the board for Lanett in the effort. Cameron Boozer led the team with 9 rebounds.

The loss marked the end of Burton, Dunn and Dobbs’ high school careers. Thursday was also Story’s last high school basketball game, as the top football recruit is going to enroll early into college in the spring of 2020.

“I feel sorry for them,” Carter said of the outgoing class. “Most of them have been around for three years now. Two of them have a ring and one of them has three. Tonight just wasn’t our night.”

The loss also might have marked the end of Carter’s coaching career. He has previously said that he expects to retire sooner than later. Carter, who has been a coach for over 48 years now, said that he will “probably” make his decision on whether to return or not in mid-April.