Lanett boys use strong second half to beat Horseshoe Bend

Published 4:59 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Lanett varsity boys wrapped up their area schedule with a 68-42 win Friday over the Horseshoe Bend Generals to stay alive in the race to host the area tournament.

With the win, Lanett and LaFayette will flip a coin on Monday to determine who will host the 2A, area 6 tournament since the Panthers and Bulldogs are tied for first.

Lanett head coach Tay McCants is pleased that his team came out with intensity in the second half.

Email newsletter signup

“I think we really picked up the intensity,” McCants said.

“We caused a lot of turnovers. They couldn’t handle our pressure. Our 2-2-1 half court and zone gave them a lot of problems. We made them take some bad shots, and we capitalized on the fast break.”

The first quarter was a scrappy battle between two teams who play with a lot of speed.

The Generals hit a buzzer beater three to take an 18-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Panthers continued their brand of speedy defense to take a 27-22 lead at halftime.

McCants explained how the Generals created some issues in the first half.

“They were playing harder than us,” McCants said.

“Horseshoe Bend came out with a lot of energy at the beginning of the game, and they punched us in the mouth.”

The Panthers came out firing in the third quarter as the Generals couldn’t match Lanett’s speed.

The Panthers were able to create steals, and Lanett put up 20 points to take a 47-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Panthers slowed things down and were able to hold the ball in the fourth quarter to help drain the clock.

McCants feels like it was a complete team effort.

“All 11 played well,” McCants said.

“Junior Bynum did a great job. Elijah Whitfield did a great job at the point guard position. Keondae [Huhgley] did a great job on defense. Jaylen Hill, an eighth grader, is about 6-foot-6. He got a lot of quality minutes today and helped us on the boards.”

The Panthers will now wait to see who will host the area tournament, and McCants feels like a coin flip is the way to go.

“It’s fair,” McCants said. “That’s the only way you can really decide unless you want to go by point spread.”

The Panthers were able to set themselves up for a coin toss after a double overtime win over LaFayette on Jan. 20.

McCants knows how big that win was for area play.

“It put us in a position to be able to host the area tournament, and the coin flip is what we want,” McCants said.

“I pray that we win the coin toss.”

McCants wants to keep the momentum going into the area tournament.

“We’re coming off of two wins in a row, and we want to keep these wins rolling in,” McCants said.

“We’re ready to compete against some big schools next week. I feel like as long as we can compete, that’ll help us in the playoffs. We’re peaking at the right time. The team we have right now is still learning. Peaking at the end of January is exactly what I wanted.”

Lanett will face Smiths Station on Saturday.