It’s was the fourth time the LaFayette Bulldogs and the Lanett Panthers faced off on the hardwood this season, and this time it was for all the marbles.
A regional championship was at stake, and the right to go to the Birmingham for the state tournament. Jacksonville State University was the site of the biggest game of the year for both the Bulldogs and the Panthers.
It was pandemonium everywhere inside JSU. The Dogs and Panthers were ready to tie up and the fans were ecstatic.
The people of Chambers County were in the house as the two gladiators prepare to go to battle. It was like Leonard vs. Haggler, Ali vs. Foreman, Mayweather vs. Paciaou, as the two hit center court.
The first quarter was a little slow paced as the two teams tried to fill each other out. Both the dogs and Panthers would produce the lowest scoring quarters against each other this year, with the score 8-7 Dogs.
The pace would quicken a bit in the second, as both teams would exchange runs with the Panthers going in at the half with a advantage.
In the third quarter Lanett would have its best quarter of the night. The Panthers would stretch out seven point lead on the Dogs by the end of the third.
Probably the most damaging blow of the third quarter was a 20 plus foot 3-point basket made by Lanett freshman guard Kristian Story as the buzzer sounded. Lanett would enter the fourth quarter leading by a score 38-31.
The fourth quarter would tell it all, as both teams went all in and left everything on the court. It seemed like the Panthers were headed to a easy win, but the Bulldogs would have none of that.
The Dogs slowly closed the seven point gap in the fourth as senior duo My’Kale Trammell and Jatarvious Whitlow took over the game for the Bulldogs.
Trammell knocked down two big three pointers for the Dogs and Whitlow made some key drives for scores in the quarter.
Whitlow also had two big steals in the quarter for the Dogs, the last giving them a one point edge with only 30 plus seconds left to go in the game.
Lanett answered quickly as Terrion Truitt hit a big basket to give the Panthers back the lead with only 25 seconds on the clock.
In the last seconds of the game the Dogs made some crucial mistakes.
On their next possession, the Dogs guard Corey Boston heaved a long in bound pass to My’Kale Trammell that came up short and was stolen by a Lanett defender.
In an effort to stop the clock with a foul, Jatarvious Whitlow ran and grabbed a Lanett player, but the foul was called as an intentional foul giving the Panthers two shots and the ball.
This would end the game and season for the Bulldogs, as the Panthers narrowly escaped the Dogs by a score of 53-50.
LaFayette was led in scoring by the senior duo Jatarvious Whitlow and My’Kale Trammell.
Whitlow led all scorers with 22 points, while Trammell poured in 14 points.
Lanett was led by their big man duo of Pollard and Little with both players registering double doubles.
Pollard had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Little scored 10 points with 13 rebounds.
Players from both squads were named to the regional all-tournament team: My’Kale Trammell and Jatarvious Whitlow for LaFayette
Emanuel Little (MVP) and Anquavious Pollard for Lanett.
Lanett plays in Birmingham, Monday, February 27, 2017 at the BJCC arena.