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RHS boys, girls go 1-2 in basketball action

By Josh Prewitt for the FCT
Golden Tigers go winless against Florence in doubleheader Dec. 8
In Patrick Odom’s second week as head coach, the boys lost to the Class 6A Florence Falcons, 71-58. The Golden Tigers got off to a slow start, trailing 8-21 after the first quarter and 30-41 at the half. They would never recover and come back as they lose to the Falcons. Adonis Bailey led all scorers with 16 points. Taylor Vincent (11) and Joshua Seal (10) both also would finish in double figures for Russellville (1-2).
Russellville Lady Tigers (3-4) also lost to the Lady Falcons, 46-63. First-year head coach Brooke Long on the tough loss to Florence: “We played more intense and with urgency than we have in previous games,” Long said. The first half was low scoring but in reach for Russellville, as the team only trailed 19-23 at the half. The Lady Tigers would be outscored by the Falcons 40-27 in the second half and would go on to lose 46-63. “We were within a few points at times but couldn’t ever take the lead,” Long said. Aleshia Phillips led all scorers with 11 points. Eighth graders Madison Murray and Kallie Allen both scored nine points each.

Golden Tigers in Times Daily Classic
Russellville boys bounced back with a big 66-60 win against Deshler in the first round of the Times Daily Classic. The Golden Tigers raced out to an 11-point lead in the first quarter and took a comfortable 38-27 lead at the half in the Deshler Dome.
Deshler rallied in the second half, making it a three possession game, as they trailed Russellville by 7 going into the fourth quarter and continued their surge and momentum as they took a 58-57 lead in the final minutes.
“When we got down one, I felt we were in a position where we needed to be and needed somebody to step up and make a play,” Odom said.
After a key offensive rebound by senior guard Joshua Seal, Odom called a timeout to draw up a play he wanted. After the timeout, Russellville would look for 6’5 junior Austin Stidham, who was having a great game, especially from the foul line, where he got sent back to shoot two free throws. He hit both to give the Golden Tigers a 59-58 one-point lead that set them up for the 66-60 win against Deshler to earn a quarterfinal game against Brooks Saturday.
“Our guys did a great job executing a play at the end out of the timeout, and then Austin made the free throws – that was the big thing,” Odom said. “We’ve struggled at hitting our free throws lately, and it’s hurt us.”
Stidham had a huge night for Russellville (2-2), hitting 7-7 for the foul line and finishing with 21 points. Bailey finished with 18 points. Freshman Devin Buckhalter had a big third quarter, finishing with eight points. Seal and Vincent both finished with six points.
Russellville went on to face Brooks, which beat Mars Hill 65-63 in OT, with a semi-final berth on the line Saturday night. They lost a heartbreaker in overtime in the quarterfinals against Brooks, 71-65. Seal finished with 25 points, and Bailey (14) and Avery Sears (13) both finished in double figures. “We had every opportunity to win. Josh hit some big shots, including the shot to send it to overtime,” Odom said. “Our biggest problem was ball movement and execution against pressure. Our turnover levels continue to be a problem as we continue to play a lot of close games. I also did not feel like we competed as well as we are capable. We will continue to work to improve.”
Russellville Lady Tigers (3-5) would lose their second game in four days against Lauderdale County in the first round of the Times Daily Classic, where they got hammered, 69-27. Despite their blowout loss last game, they bounced back with a good win against Sheffield in a low-scoring defensive game where the Lady Tigers edged out a 40-31 win Dec. 12. Madison Murray led all scorers with 11 points. Carley Seal and Megan Brockway both had six points each. The Lady Tigers only had seven players because of injuries.

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