Vincent’s season ends in sub-regional loss to Lanett

By CODY ESTREMERA | Special to the Reporter 

LANETT – After delaying its sub-regional game by a day to Wednesday, Feb. 17 because of poor weather, the Lanett boys basketball team came out with the same energy it had on Saturday in the area championship against LaFayette.

The Panthers forced turnovers, leading to easy transition points and a 68-33 win.

The game plan coming into the game was to make Vincent try to score in the paint, as the Yellow Jackets excel in shooting from behind the arc. To do this, Lanett came out in a three-quarters press, which has been its best defensive set to force turnovers for most of the season.

Though all three of their made first-quarter shots were from behind the 3-point line, the Yellow Jackets struggled to break Lanett’s press and consistently get open looks behind the arc.

“We were trying to put pressure on them and make them get the ball to the basket and make them put it on the floor,” Lanett head coach Tay McCants said. “As you can see, they still have great shooters on the outside. Vincent is a very disciplined and well-coached team. This is a big win tonight.”

Throughout most of the first half, Lanett was forcing turnovers, which were leading to quick transition points. Lanett outscored Vincent 22-11 in the opening quarter. Only eight of the 22 points were scored from outside the paint.

“We just kept doing what we were doing,” McCants said. “Putting pressure on them at the beginning of the game. We don’t like a slow game. We like to play fast. Putting a three-quarter court press on them and pushing it in transition, that’s what gets us going.”

Vincent continued to struggle in the second quarter, as Lanett continued to force turnovers. Six of the Yellow Jackets’ 10 points were scored from behind the arc, while Lanett’s 16 points came inside the paint.

In the second half, Vincent struggled from behind the arc, as most shots fell short of the mark. On the other hand, Lanett continued to turn the tempo up, running in transition after a missed shot or turnover.

Lanett outscored Vincent 19-2 in the third, allowing the clock to run for pretty much the entire fourth quarter.

Three Panthers finished in double figures on Wednesday. Senior Kintavious Dozier finished with a game-high 17 points, while fellow senior Trey Abner finished with 16 points.

Junior Teo Cheeks rejoined the starting lineup on Wednesday, finishing with 13 points.

Vincent’s season came to an end, but the Yellow Jackets continued the team’s sub-regional streak by advancing that far in the postseason for 15 consecutive years.

The Jackets were led by nine from Blake Allums, eight from K.J. Youngbolld and six from Will Harris.