Mitchell’s clutch shooting sends Lanett to the area championship

Published 10:01 pm Monday, February 5, 2024

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The Lanett Panthers have had their backs against the wall at several different moments this season, but the team has consistently found a way to punch their way out of a corner. That continued on Monday as the Panthers downed Reeltown 59-56 to advance to the area 2A-Area 6 championship and clinch a playoff berth. 

Eddie Mitchell hit some of the biggest shots of his young career on Monday. Mitchell’s biggest shot came after Reeltown tied the game with 25 seconds left. The ball found Mitchell’s hands on the next possession and he connected on the go-ahead three with less than 10 seconds left. 

“I think he’s still trying to prove himself right now because a lot of people have been doubting him,” Lanett coach Tay McCants said. 

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“He’s in the doghouse with me right now, but he stepped up and made some big shots in the first half and in the second half. I’m just proud of that moment there for him, and I just hope he builds off of that and the team builds off of that.” 

Mitchell’s shooting from behind the arc kept Lanett in the game as he led the way with 23 points, with 21 of those points coming from three. 

Lanett controlled the first half, leading at the end of each of the first two periods. The Rebels rallied in the second half and held a 44-39 lead heading into the final frame before Lanett took over in the final eight minutes. 

“They’re not looking at the record right now, it’s a new season,” McCants said. “We made a lot of mistakes in the first half and the second half, but they just want it bad right now because people have been doubting them.” 

Nakia Bynum added 17 points for the Panthers while Jeremiah McGilberry added eight points. Up next for Lanett is the 2A-Area 6 area championship game against LaFayette on Tuesday.