Lady Panthers dominate Horseshoe Bend to win 10th game in a row

Published 4:58 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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During an in-school game where the Lady Panthers were able to play in front of the student base, the Lanett varsity girls came out with energy in Lanett’s dominant 71-30 win over the Horseshoe Bend Generals.

With the win, the Lady Panthers extended their win streak to 10 and will finish undefeated in 2A area 6.

Lanett head coach Charlie Williams is pleased to secure the one seed for the area tournament.

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“It feels great,” Williams said.

“You always want to have home court advantage for the area tournament. That’s what you play for.”

It was clear from the start that Lanett was the superior team as the Lady Panthers clogged passing lanes and were more physical in the paint, which led to Lanett leading 27-3 at the end of the first quarter.

The second half was more about Lanett’s offense than defense as the Lady Panthers put up another 27 points to take a 54-14 lead at halftime.

Freshman point guard Nakeriona Heard led Lanett in scoring with 15 points.

The Lady Panthers were able to put their bench in f0r the remainder of the game, and Williams is pleased with how his younger girls played.

“It’s always nice,” Williams said.

“You don’t want to get too comfortable with barely playing your starters. In the tournament, they’re going to have to play extended minutes. I like getting my young girls some playing time, but I also like how my stars were looking sharp today. It felt good taking them out. As long as my starters in a rhythm, I’m OK with them not playing extended minutes.”

The Lady Panthers have established a dominant defense as Lanett has now gone 10 straight games without allowing more than 33 points, but the offense showed up as well.

Williams is pleased to see his team’s growth on offense, especially since the Lady Panthers have scored 141 points over the last two games.

“I’m pleased with the effort,” Williams said.

“My girls play really hard. We know we’re not the most talented team in some areas, but they always play hard. They take pride in that. The student body was outstanding today. They came out. They cheered. They supported the girls and made it really easy to play.”

The Lady Panthers have dominated their last eight opponents, but Williams wants his girls to always be working on something during the game.

“We just have to let them know there’s something else they can be working on,” Williams said.

“There’s always something to work on in basketball. I just try to push the younger girls to get better. We can still get better. Don’t look at the scoreboard. Play the opponent.”

Williams is proud of his girls who came off the bench and put in effort.

“Nakeriona Heard had another great game,” Williams said.

“Jakiya Little had a good game. A ninth grader, Armani Langdon, played well. Zaniah Davidson, another ninth grader, had a good game. They all played well.”

Langdon had nine points, all in the third quarter.

Williams knows there’s still plenty of area for improvement.

“We need to work on offensive execution,” Williams said.

“We need to work on inbounding and late game situations. We’re playing really well defensively right now.”