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Lanett boys take care of Columbus

The last time the Lanett boys basketball team was on the court, they were in an overtime fight against Troup. Lanett was up heading into the fourth quarter but gave the lead up, eventually winning by six in overtime.

In the Panthers’ 68-42 win against Columbus on Saturday, head coach Trentavious McCants wanted his team to come out quickly, build a lead and sustain its success throughout the entirety of the game. The Panthers built a lead and sustained it throughout the game, but struggled to find consistency in spurts during the second half.

“I need to get them playing at championship mode right now,” McCants said. “A lot of times, people wait until January to get it going, but we need to try and get it going right now. Whenever we get up a couple of points, we get complacent and we start making bad turnovers. I just tell them that we need to keep playing, never give people false hope.”

Lanett built a 10-point lead in the first quarter. Senior guard Kintavious Dozier dominated the first quarter, scoring 11 of the team’s 17 points. He was able to get into the paint and score through contact and on fast break opportunities.

In the second quarter, Dozier continued to light up the Blue Devils’ defense, knocking down three shots from beyond the arc, once again scoring most of the Panthers points in the quarter (finishing with 14 points in the quarter).

In the second quarter, Columbus doubled its first-quarter production, as Charles Stone scored 11 points, most of which were from inside the paint.

Though they added to their lead in the second quarter, the Panthers made a change in their defense in the second half, playing more zone to start the third quarter.

“We ran our man-to-man a lot in the first half, but then we needed more pressure on the ball because we weren’t guarding the perimeter that good,” McCants said. “We started running a little ¾ press, putting more pressure on the ball and forcing a couple of turnovers.”

The turnovers helped to spread out the Panthers’ scoring in the third quarter, as four different players hit a shot from the field. Seniors Trey Abner and Larontavious “Tae-Tae” Hurston benefited from the turnovers, as each finished with a fast-break score.

In the fourth quarter, the Panthers outscored Columbus 14-9, mostly because the Blue Devils struggled to knock down their free-throw opportunities, missing eight of their 10 attempts.

For the second straight game, Dozier finished with more than 30 points, finishing with 32 on Saturday. Abner also finished in double figures, scoring 12 points.

“Those two are in good shape right now. We still have to work on the others right now,” McCants said. “Those two did a great job of running the floor. Dozier did a great job of running the offense, and Trey did a good job of getting to the block and posting up. Overall, as a team, we need to get better on the defensive end.”

After watching his team play its first two games, McCants said that his team needs to get better about guarding the perimeter.

“There were too many times that we were getting beaten to the basket,” he said. “We need to work on our help-side [rotation]. Once we get that, I think we’ll be great defensively because we are so fast.”

Lanett will host Troup on Tuesday for its final home game until Dec. 23.