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LaFayette boys complete season sweep

LANETT— After leading by 25 more than halfway through the fourth quarter, the LaFayette Bulldogs were in a fight against their rival Lanett.

The Panthers went on a 16-4 run in about two minutes to make it a close game, but the Bulldogs’ lead was too much to overcome, as they won 96-73. It was the first Bulldog sweep since LaFayette head coach Obadiah Threadgill took over the program nine years ago.

“It’s amazing. It doesn’t happen very often that we win the season series,” Threadgill said. “These guys are the epitome of a basketball team. They are the epitome of a family. It’s huge for me. It’s huge for them. It’s huge for our program, and it’s huge for our community.”

The Panthers struggled to start the game, as they had some uncharacteristic turnovers. Lanett went up four to start the game, but the Bulldogs started to heat up by the four-minute mark. They took a two-point lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs senior leaders Corey Boston and Tae Burton were held scoreless in the opening quarter. The pair erupted in the second, as they scored 18 of the team’s 25 points in the quarter. The Bulldogs increased their lead to eight by halftime.

Burton’s hot streak continued after the 10-minute break as he shouldered the load offensively scoring 13 points in the third. He was able to do most of his damage from the free-throw line, making five of his six shots.

“He’s a hell of a basketball player,” Threadgill said. “He works so hard. You’re brightest stars shine on the brightest stage, and that’s what I expect from him. He lives for these kinds of moments. Tonight he was able to explode.”

The Bulldogs, who normally come out of halftime hot, were all over the Panthers, as they were able to knock down easy shots while gathering loose balls and offensive rebounds for second chance opportunities.

On the other side, the Panthers struggled to beat the Bulldogs 2-2-1 full-court zone. They struggled to shoot on the inside, missing layups and 3-point opportunities.

“Our guys are just really poised and really experienced,” Threadgill said. “The difference was in our conditioning. We have guys that can run and shoot the ball. It’s hard against Lanett because they’re so strong and so physical that they beat you up and take it out of you.”

The slow stretch continued into the fourth quarter for the Panthers, as halfway through the quarter, they had scored just seven points.

Then point guard Kintavious Dozier put the Panthers on his back. The junior, who had scored 20 points in the first three quarters, nearly doubled his total in the final four minutes. He was able to drive to the basket and either finish or get fouled. He converted five of his six attempts at the free-throw line in the quarter.

For the Bulldogs, Burton finished with 30 points, while Boston and Markevious Moore combined for 31, scoring 13 and 18 respectively. Jordan Wallace and Je’Mathus Reese also finished in double figures finishing with 12 and 11 points respectively.

Dozier led the Panthers with 39 points. Kristian Story finished with 11 points.