|Laney's Donald Henley (25 points) is a veteran of local rivalries and important league games.|
Junior Donald Henley scored 25 points to lead Laney to a 67-64 overtime win at Butler that moves the Wildcats into a tie for second place in class AA, region 4. The road win over rival Butler is Laney's second straight over a region power after the Wildcats defeated Glenn Hills 59-55 Friday. The pair of key wins came immediately after losses to Josey and Westside appeared to be sending the Wildcats towards the dreaded fourth or fifth place position in the top heavy 8 team region. Laney now trails Butler, the region leader, by a single game in the standings.
The reason it is important to finish in the region's top three before the coming region tournament is because the top four tournament teams advance to the state tournament in a region that features five teams that have spent time in Georgia's top ten rankings. So the 4 vs 5 first round region tournament game will send a state title contender home early.
Glenn Hills (4 losses) and Josey (4 losses) play each other again, and Westside (3 losses) still has to play Josey, Glenn Hills, and Butler. So Laney, which has 3 losses but has only one regular season game left (against Josey) against the powers listed above, will control its own destiny not only in securing a top three spot, but in making a run at the leader Butler in the regular season's final days.
Laney junior D'juan Griffin scored 12 points Tuesday to add to Henley's 25. Four Butler players scored in double figures: Deandre Barton (15), Will Lambert (15), Keith Littles (12), and Drez McBride (10).