LaFayette plays host to 10-team playdate

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

LaFayette played host to one of the bigger playdates of the summer as the Bulldogs hosted 10 basketball teams from the state of Alabama for the first taste of live action this summer. 

It was an up-and-down day for the Bulldogs as LaFayette went 1-2. The Bulldogs lost a matchup to Handley to start the day before beating Chambers Academy and losing to Auburn to wrap up their three matchups. 

LaFayette lost a lot of talent last season with Deaundra Vines, Tae Story and Branaviyun Story graduating. Tuesday’s matchups gave head coach Chase Lewis the opportunity to mess around with different lineups and see which guys can actually suit up on varsity. 

Email newsletter signup

“Trying to do a whole combination of guys because our varsity team is not complete yet,” Lewis said. “I have a lot of guys, so I’m trying to figure out which guys are going to be full-time varsity and which guys aren’t. We’re doing a whole bunch of different rotations and trying to see who’s mentally tough, mentally strong, who can pay attention and who can learn… We’ve got a long way to go, but when you lose Dra Vines, Tae Story and Bebe Story, you lose a lot.” 

LaFayette went through its fair share of struggles, but the Bulldogs also found some younger players who can contribute next season. 

Amilleon Huguley is a rising junior who announced his presence on Tuesday. Huguley led the Bulldogs with eight points in the team’s first matchup against Handley and added five points against Chambers Academy. 

It was more than just Huguley’s offense that made an impact. Huguley was the first player to every loose ball and showed a lot of intensity on defense. 

“He’s going to be a big part of what we have going on this year,” Lewis said. “He’s a good kid, a good listener, probably top three in his class as far as academics. He’s always asking questions, he’s always willing to learn.” 

Kemare Harrington spent the entirety of last season on the junior varsity squad, but he is expected to play a large role in the team’s future. Harrington had his best showing against Chambers Academy, finishing with six points. 

“He’s that other sophomore with Jaden [Thomason] where in the future coming up, them two could be like your Ant-Man and KAT,” Lewis said. “They’re so opposite, but they’re equally good. They’re my sophomores, they might be the guys up front all season.” 

Cameron Thomas is one of the few returning starters for LaFayette. Thomas finished with six points in each of LaFayette’s first two matchups. 

Thomas is expected to be the point guard of the future for the Bulldogs after coming off the bench some last season and eventually carving out a starting role. 

“Cam Thomas is still young, but he still does a good job,” Lewis said. “Last game I was talking to Cam about how his role has changed this year compared to last year. I think he’s ready for the challenge.” 

Lewis called the 2023-24 team the “team of adversity” all season, and he has looked to push the current squad through some adversity. The Bulldogs played part of Tuesday’s matchups with weighted vests on after having workouts earlier that morning. 

“I put them in different situations to see if we can overcome them,” Lewis said. “One thing I like about last year’s group … there was adversity. This group right now is having a very hard time dealing with adversity. We’re dealing with adversity in the summer, so when the season hits it can be the same way as last year.”