Lanett falls at home against Columbus

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

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The Lanett Panthers struggled to find consistency on Tuesday as the team hosted Columbus. The Blue Devils came in and defeated Lanett 55-38. 

After a tightly contested first half, the Panthers trailed 29-21 at halftime. Lanett went cold in the third period and was outscored 14-6. 

In the fourth period, the Panthers came out firing and went on a 6-0 run in the first four minutes to cut the lead to just 10. Then, Columbus quickly doused the flame and put the Panthers away with free throws and shots from behind the arc. 

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“I think we’re getting better,” Lanett coach Tay McCants said. “I’ve got some young guys on my team. The core of my group is 10th graders. I’m putting a lot of pressure on them right now, but I think, over time, we’re going to be ok.” 

Eddie Mitchell came up from the JV squad and hit some big shots for Lanett early in the game. Mitchell was the leading scorer with 12 points. All 12 of his points came as Mitchell hit each of his first four three-point attempts. All of Mitchell’s points came in the first half, but he also finished with six rebounds.
Shamar Patterson followed Mitchell in the scoring column with 11 points to go along with 10 rebounds and one steal. 

Jeremiah McGillberry followed Mitchell and Patterson with eight points along with seven rebounds and one steal. 

“Eddie Mitchell stepped up from JV and helped me out a lot,” McCants said. “Takembra Holloway, he’s been doing a great job of handling the offense. Jeremiah McGillberry, he’s been doing a great job of just staying in the whole game and fighting no matter if we’re up or down. He just shows so much heart.” 

Columbus used stall ball tactics on offense once the team got a lead. The Blue Devils held the ball for the final two minutes of the second period, even though the team usually plays in Georgia where there is a shot clock. 

“They really wanted us to come out of man, but we had some gimmick defenses that made them move the ball,” McCants said. “It doesn’t really matter to us because, when we get in our field of play, people aren’t going to be able to stall. They’re going to have to run and go with us.” 

Lanett finished the game with 19 turnovers. The Panthers also struggled from the charity stripe, connecting on just 10 of their 28 attempts. 

McCants hopes to see some improvements from his team as the players get more experience on the court. Up next for Lanett is the Reindeer Classic in Auburn on Friday and Saturday. 

“Just handling the ball and then showing a little more maturity,” McCants said about which improvements he wanted to see.