Lady Panthers take down 7A Smiths Station

Published 7:53 pm Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Lady Panthers faced the challenge of playing 7A Smiths Station, but the Lanett varsity girls showed out in their 49-28 win over the Panthers.

Lanett head coach Charlie Williams was pleased to see his defense step up against one of their toughest opponents.

“Our defense was solid,” Williams said.

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“Our girls played hard and with energy. It got a little sloppy at times with the extra curricular stuff. I’m glad they locked back in and turned it into a basketball game.”

Although Smiths Station had players who could match Lanett’s height, Lanett played with more speed and was led by freshman point guard Nakeriona Heard, who put up 18 points.

The first quarter was all Lanett as the Lady Panthers used a full court press to create turnovers and win in transition.

After the Lady Panthers went up 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, things got a little chippy as the physicality of both teams led to several fouls and tie ups.

Toward the end of the first half, a Smiths Station fan was ejected after a chirping battle between two players.

Williams explained how the game got chippy.

“A lot of times these bigger schools look down on us smaller schools,” Williams said.

“They think we’re supposed to bow down, and we’re not going to do that. We’re not going to play dirty. They’re not going to run us over.”

Lanett’s full court press continued to give Smiths Station problems, and the Lady Panthers took a 22-16 lead at halftime.

Lanett started to pull away in the second half despite playing without Laila Lancaster.

Williams explained why she didn’t play in the second half.

“She needed to get her head together. That’s all,” Williams said.

“She’s going to be fine.”

Lanett was able to go deep in their bench and take a 36-22 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Lanett’s bench was able to play meaningful minutes in the fourth quarter and close out the game to give the Panthers their 11th straight win.

Williams was pleased with his team’s free throw shooting, which accounted for 12 of their 49 points.

“We’re going to need those down the road,” Williams said.

“Any time you play someone in a higher class, it prepares you for that.”

Lanett will finish their home schedule against Handley on Tuesday.