LaFayette seniors poised for last run

Published 9:00 am Thursday, December 26, 2019

For most teams, a state championship is a dream that it wants to accomplish. The LaFayette boy’s basketball team isn’t most teams. 

For the 2019-20 Bulldogs, it’s championship or bust.

Lafayette is 10-0 on the season and ranked No. 1 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association 2A rankings.

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The Bulldogs’ roster is loaded with talent and the experience needed to make the run they’ve sought after the last four years. 

“Their job is to run this race and right now they have the baton. Their job is to finish it strong,” LaFayette boys head coach Obadiah Threadgill said. “Championship or not, it’s their job to finish strong. If they do that, then they’ve done all I could ever ask them to do for this program.”

LaFayette has made the state tournament the last three years, reaching the elite eight twice in that time. In those two years, the final four was a combined eight points away. 

The Bulldogs believe this year is different. Their roster is almost completely made up of seniors (10-of-13 players), and their leadership is further along than it has been in past years.

“Corey and I are more vocal this year,” guard Matavis Burton said. “We had everything else last year.” 

Alongside the vocal leadership the two display, they also lead by example. “For the guys who don’t play as much as me and Matavis, we have to show those guys what we have to do to get there,” point guard Corey Boston said. “In the ninth grade, we were three points away from the final four, but we didn’t have that extra push. As ninth graders, we didn’t have the leadership skills to get us over the top.”

One of those ways is their practice habits. For example, the Bulldogs held a practice on Christmas Eve at 7 a.m. CT. Boston and Je’Mattheus Reese were in the gym an hour before practice working on their craft. 

“They’re two of the hardest workers that I’ve had in this program in my nine years,” Threadgill said. “You have a good shot when your best two players are also the hardest workers.”

Those 10 seniors have been through almost everything together. They grew up and started playing basketball together. Some have been together since the fifth grade. 

“We got all love for each other,” Boston said. “We’ll all go to someone’s house and just hang out or we’ll get something to eat together. Nothing gets between our relationship. It’s bigger than basketball.