Bulldogs take down Reeltown to advance to area championship against Lanett

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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With both teams facing elimination, it was the LaFayette Bulldogs who got off to an early lead and controlled the game in a 69-44 win over the Reeltown Rebels on Tuesday.

The first quarter was an offensive slugfest for both teams as neither the Bulldogs or Rebels could make many shots.

LaFayette head coach Chase Lewis explained what happened in the first quarter.

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“We just attacked,” Lewis said.

“We started out slow. We weren’t pushing the tempo. Once we started pushing the tempo, we forced some turnovers and got some threes. They turned it on and made me proud.”

Martavian Dunn was the only Bulldog who could make shots in the first quarter, and his seven points helped the Bulldogs take a 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Both offenses got going in the second quarter, but LaFayette established themselves as the better team late in the second.

LaFayette opened on a 6-0 run thanks to baskets from Dunn, Tamarion Harrington and DeAundra Vines.

Vines was a menace in the final minute and a half of the quarter as he amassed eight points in a minute, including a buzzer beater three to give the Bulldogs a 32-17 lead at halftime.

Dunn and Vines were the leading scorers for the Bulldogs with 10 points each in the first half.

The second half was all about control for the Bulldogs as they were able to slow down the pace of the game and make the necessary baskets to keep their big lead.

The scoring was evenly spread for the Bulldogs in the third quarter, but Vaderrian Story’s eight points helped the Bulldogs take a 51-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs controlled possession in the fourth quarter, and LaFayette hit eight of their 12 free throws to secure the win.

The Bulldogs also made a statement with a Branaviyun Story one-handed jam to seal the win.

LaFayette had four players with more than 10 points, but Dunn was the leading scorer with 14.

Lewis explained how his team was able to control the game in the second half.

“We made sure that we could control the tempo of the game,” Lewis said.

“The key to that is making sure we do what we need to do on our half court set on offense. Defensively, we caused havoc and created turnovers. Once we created turnovers, we made sure we had a good possession. We just chipped up to where we could get where we needed to be.”

The Bulldogs will now prepare for a date with the Lanett Panthers, and LaFayette will look for revenge against the Panthers.

“The name Lanett is full of pride,” Lewis said.

“There’s an expectation to win. They’re tournament and battle tested. I look forward to playing them. We’re ready for revenge. It was a tight game at their place when they won in double overtime. I think my guys are ready for it. I know coach [McCants] will have his guys prepared.”

Not only does the win put the Bulldogs in the area championship, LaFayette clinched a spot in the sub-regional round.

“My guys are in playoff mode,” Lewis said.

“I know we’ll either play Ranburne or Woodland. Everybody is 0-0. Whoever we play is going to be hungry to get to Jacksonville. Our guys are locked in completely.”