Panthers fall in first matchup of Reindeer Classic

Published 8:15 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

Lanett’s boys basketball team’s trip to Auburn for the Reindeer Classic started on a sour note on Friday as the Panthers fell to Wilcox Central 67-54. 

The Panthers struggled early on with turnovers and were never able to take hold of the game from the opening tipoff. 

Lanett was down as much as 18 in the fourth period, but the Panthers cut it to a 10-point game with two minutes left. 

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So far this season, all of Lanett’s games have been against teams in a higher classification. The Panthers have played all but one of their games against teams in class 4A and above. 

With the tough competition early on, Lanett has definitely taken its fair share of bruises. However, Lanett coach Tay McCants believes this will make his team better as they head into area play. 

“We always play up in competition,” McCants said. “We never play people 2A or lower unless we have to. I schedule a tough schedule so our record is going to be kind of bad in the future, but all it’s doing is getting my guys ready for 2A ball.” 

Jeremiah McGillberry was a force to be reckoned with on the inside for the Panthers. McGillberry finished the game with 19 points. Shamar Patterson followed McGillberry with 11 points. 

Nakia Bynum returned from injury on Friday and added 10 points for Lanett. Bynum was also a force for the Panthers on defense. 

“He stepped up and gave me some big buckets,” McCants said. “He was the leader on defense.” 

Lanett has one more game left in the Reindeer Classic as the Panthers face Eufaula on Saturday.