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Lanett head coach Richard Carter reaches 700 wins with 74-33 road win

LOACHAPOKA—Seven Hundred. Only 16 boys basketball coaches had reached the milestone before Tuesday, but with a 74-33 win at Loachapoka, Lanett head coach Richard Carter added his name to the list.

He also passed former coach Ralph Sampson, who was one of his mentors early in his coaching career.

“I really didn’t realize I was that close until the state told me about it,” Carter said. “For me to win 700 ball games, that’s a tremendous accomplishment for a little guy like me that never played high school basketball, but the job is not done for us this season unless we win a class A State Championship.”

With the win, the Panthers improve to 5-7 on the season and 1-0 in their area. 

The outcome was never in doubt, as the Panthers built a double-digit lead early in the first quarter, which continued to grow throughout the game, reaching as much as 31 before halftime.

Lanett was able to build the lead by forcing turnovers and scoring in transition. It fluctuated between a full-court man-to-man press and a half-court trap.

“That’s our game plan every night,” Carter said. “We tried to push them into a corner so we could trap. That’s something we normally try to do, but we haven’t had an opportunity to practice it because we’ve been playing.”

In the half court, the Panthers were able to get the ball inside and impose their will on the smaller Indians. This allowed some opportunities that junior guard Kintavious Dozier was able to exploit.

At the end of the third quarter, the Panthers had their largest lead of the game, as they led by 41. 

Every Panther that dressed played in the game.

“We know down the line we’re going to need these guys,” Carter said. Hopefully, we will get a chance to play them again on Thursday because we have to build some depth.”

With three minutes left, Loachapoka held the ball to finish the game.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Lanett lost to Eufaula where they had more than 20 turnovers. The Panthers took care of the ball on Tuesday.

Junior forward Trevaunta Abner finished with a game-high 20 points, while Dozier scored 16. Only one player finished without a point in the win. 

The Panthers are back in action on Thursday when they travel to Wadley for their second area game of the year.