Lanett downs St. Luke's to win the State Title & 3-peat

posted by Mason Black - 

CLASS 2A BOYS’ CHAMPIONSHIP Lanett 41, St. Luke’s Episcopal 38 

BIRMINGHAM – Lanett  High School won its third straight Class 2A boys’ state basketball  championship Friday with a 41-38 win over St. Luke’s Episcopal of Mobile. The third one, however, was not in tow  until the final second as the Wildcats pushed the Panthers to the limit  in the 2A finals of the 96th AHSAA State Basketball Finals Championships at the BJCC Legacy Arena. The state tourney is in its 25th year at the BJCC.      

The lead changed 11 times in the contest including five times in  the final quarter.  Senior Anquavious Pollard’s inside bucket with 4:29  remaining put Coach Richard Carter’s Panthers (26-5) ahead for good –  but not ahead by much. The game see-sawed the rest of the way with any a separation of no more than one made shot.     Lanett’s Emmanuel Littles, a 6-foot-7 senior, earned Class 2A state  tourney MVP with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the finals. Pollard has 12  points and eight rebounds, and Kristian Story had five points – all on  as 5-of-6 free-shooting performance.     

St. Luke’s Episcopal (22-9), coached by Kantonio Davis,  out-rebounded the Panthers 34-32 and had five less turnovers. Mark  Wilcox had 13 points, 14 rebounds and six steals in a superb defensive  effort. Jermaine Brown had eight points and five rebounds.     

Lanett won the school’s first state basketball title in 2016, followed up in 2017 and became just the 11th  school in the state tournament’s 96-year history to win three boys’ state titles in a row. Two schools (Francis Marion and  Sacred Heart) have won four and nine have won three (Wenonah, Pickens  County, R.C. Hatch, Madison Academy, Brantley, Austinville, Geraldine  and Simpson).     

Lanett also became just the seventh school to win football and boys’  basketball championships in the same school year. Hoover was the last  team to accomplish that feat (2016-17).  The first was Sidney Lanier in  1965-67.  Six more schools have won state titles in the same calendar year including the first, Colbert County, in  1972.     

CLASS 2A BOYS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM Emmanuel  Littles, Lanett (MVP); Anquavious Pollard, Lanett; Mark Wilcox, St.  Luke’s Episcopal; Jermaine Brown, St. Luke’s Episcopal; C.J. Yarbrough,  Tanner; Jaquan Lee, Aliceville. 


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