Vines shines as LaFayette tops Lanett

Published 10:46 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

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Lanett and LaFayette took the Battle for Highway 50 to the hardwood as the Bulldogs handled the Panthers 62-48 on the road. 

It was an important game for each team, beyond just the rivalry aspect. Both teams compete in 2A-Area 6, and the two played in the area championship last season. 

“Area win, that’s the cool part,” LaFayette coach Chase Lewis said. “We’re 1-0 in the area. To do it on the road, that’s very helpful for our program. We needed a big road win. They played hard, they worked hard. I’m proud of them.” 

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The Bulldogs controlled the game in the first period, and the team took an 18-10 lead into the second period. The scrappy Panthers hung around, the teams were dead even in scoring during the third period. 

After taking a nine-point lead out of the fourth period, the Bulldogs found a way to close the game out in the final frame. 

LaFayette camped out at the charity stripe in the final period, attempting 29 free throws in that period alone. 

Deaundra Vines is the unrivaled leader of the Bulldogs and he put together another dazzling performance on Friday. Vines finished the game with 27 points and six rebounds. 

“That’s been Dra Vines all year,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t cheat the game.” 

Lanett carried its own star into the game as Nakia Bynum led the charge with 20 points, five rebounds and three steals. 

Jordan Johnson came off the bench for the Bulldogs and finished with nine points. Branaviyun Story and Tae Story each added eight points. Branaviyun dominated the glass as well, finishing with 14 rebounds and two blocks. 

Takembra Holloway added seven points, four rebounds and two steals for Lanett, and Cameron Thomas added seven points for the Bulldogs. 

Three-point shooting kept Lanett in the game as the Panthers connected on seven of their 15 attempts from behind the arc. On the other side, the Bulldogs struggled, connecting on just six of their 27 attempts from behind the arc. 

The win improved LaFayette’s record to 10-5 on the season and 1-0 in area play. The Bulldogs face Reeltown on Jan. 9. Lanett faces off with Valley on Saturday.