Lafayette sweeps Red Bay in Commodore Classic

Published 10:17 pm Saturday, January 14, 2017

With region play really heating up for Lafayette’s basketball teams these next couple weeks, Saturday provided a test to see if the girls were as good as they look and if the boys’ team is starting to put things together at the right time. Turns out the answer to both questions could be yes. Lafayette hosted the Commodore Classic with six games being played inside the LHS gym and the host teams played one of Alabama’s premier teams in Class 2A in the Red Bay Tigers. The Commodores swept their pair of games with the boys winning in the afternoon while the girls closed out the day’s schedule with a dominant 44-37 victory.

It was a slow start, offensively, for Lafayette who fell behind 11-5 after the first eight minutes of play. That trend did not last for long as the Commodores (16-1) used a monster 17-2 second quarter for a 22-13 halftime lead. Lafayette standout Shaniyah Buford put the Commodores on her back, scoring 13 of her game-high 28 points in the second quarter.

“I hate to say it like this but we’ve been a little more up and down offensively and I don’t like it,” Lafayette head coach Shayne Linzy said. “That’s some stuff that we’re going to have to work on. I think some of it could be a confidence issue. I think some of it could be maybe we just need to shoot the ball more at practice. Shaniyah was on tonight and obviously when she does that we’re tough to beat, but we need those other girls to finish those shots.”

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With Buford accounting for 63 percent of Lafayette’s points, her teammates struggled to put together the other 16. Only five other Commodores found their way into the scorebook with Mariah Holland scoring six points while Xhiir Burgess added four and Chelsea Allen and Azariah Buford each chipped in two points.

“Defensively we played exactly the way I wanted to do it,” Linzy said. “We gave up some outsides shots but we were able to keep (Red Bay) out of the paint for the most part and that was huge for us. We were able to get out of transition and finish there.”

Family affair
There was some familiarity between coaches during the boys game as Lafayette head coach John Sherman went up against his nephew-in-law and Red Bay head coach Matt Noah. Sherman got the better of his in-law as Lafayette won 44-26 to get back to .500 at 7-7 on the season.

The Commodores never trailed the entire game and were able to hold mini rallies from the Tigers (1-13). The offense was able to work for Lafayette as ball movement helped open up points in the paint.

“We worked on being patient with the basketball, so we had put that in this week,” Sherman said. “It was mostly some motion offense and (Red Bay) didn’t really pressure us out on the perimeter, so we were able to pass it around and move it around. I told them we did a good job with it. The second half we just went back to playing an open motion where we were driving the basketball and looking for other opportunities.”

Hogan Linzy was the only Commodore in double figures with 11 points. Stephon Isom scored nine points off three three-pointers while Atarious Owens and Jonah Matlock added seven and six points respectively.