LaFayette boys basketball falls to 0-2 early in the season

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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After losing to Valley by more than 30 points, LaFayette head coach Obadiah Threadgill talked about the importance of slowing down the pace of the game to get his players into a rhythm.

Even though the pace of the game was much slower, LaFayette dropped its second game of the season 40-27 against Russell County.

“In order for us to be competitive, we have to dictate pace,” Threadgill said. “We can’t allow somebody to else to dictate that. Those spots in the game are pivotal, how we deal with those jabs. How we deal with those will determine if we’re successful or not because everybody wants to do what they want to do. Everybody wants to dictate pace. Everybody wants to impact style. We knew that Russell County wanted to make the game ugly and sloppy. For bits and pieces of the game, they were able to do that. I thought our guys responded to it well.”

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The Bulldogs struggled out of the gate offensively, scoring just five points in the opening quarter. Three of those five points came on their last possession, as Ty Daniel hit the only three-point shot of the quarter.

Defensively, the Bulldogs were able to limit Russell County’s possessions with their slower pace. Their man-to-man defense was also more effective.

At the end of the first quarter, LaFayette trailer by just six. The second quarter was much like the first, as there were 16 combined points, with the Warriors edging out LaFayette 9-7 in the quarter.

In the third quarter, the Bulldogs, who were continuing to force the Warriors to make offensive plays, started to chip away at the deficit. The eight-point deficit dwindled down to just four points with a little less than 3:30 left in the quarter.

“I’m telling them in a timeout that we’re two or three plays away. You are within striking distance. You are doing what we are telling you to do,” Threadgill said. “It felt good for the other team to call a couple of timeouts.”

In the fourth, the Bulldogs just ran out of gas. The bigger and longer Russell County players were able to physically wear out the smaller LaFayette squad. In the final eight minutes of the game, LaFayette was held to just four points.

“We are not quite in shape for these numbers,” Threadgill said. “These guys are doing some heavy lifting and the teams that they are playing are just so much bigger, it’s taking so much out of them. That’s the challenge we’re going to accept.

Threadgill’s biggest take away was the small growth that the team showed on Tuesday.

“From a 35-point loss to a 12-point loss, that’s a little bit of growth. That’s a little bit of improvement, and I told the guys that they got a little better tonight,” Threadgill said. “We’ll see if we can get a little better on Friday and a little better on Saturday. We’re going to see if we can get them a little better every day and then we may be a team capable of squeezing out a couple of these games… We’re just going to stay positive. We’re going to continue to teach the game. We’re going to try to improve our basketball IQ as well as their character.”

Senior Jay Daniel finished with a team-high 12 points in the game. He also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out four assists. Ty Daniel finished with eight points and five assists.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to play Handley on Dec. 4 for their next game.