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Golden Tigers split results in Moulton

By Brannon King for the FCT


The Russellville boys and girls basketball teams traveled to Moulton Friday night to take on the Lawrence County Red Devils in Class 5A, Area 14 play and came away with a win and a loss.

The Russellville boys defeated the Red Devils 60-51, while the Lady Golden Tigers fell 61-29 in head Coach Brooke Long’s return to Moulton, where she played for Lawrence County. Long was Lawrence County’s all-time girls’ scoring leader, until Friday night’s game, when Rachael Childress broke the record with a first quarter basket. Childress led all scorers in the game with 20 points.

“She’s a great player, and I’m so proud for her. Records get broken – that’s what it’s all about.  It’s about younger kids coming up, working hard, and they are motivated,” Long said after the game. “She’ll be back here in years down the road, and somebody will be beating her record, and that’s the fun part of it. It is people continuing to get better and little kids looking at you as role models and wanting to do what you’ve done.”

The night was an interesting one for the first-year head coach returning to coach against the school she played so well for. “This was my hometown, and it’s where I graduated, and I’ll always love it because of that,” Long said. “But in life, you grow up, and opportunities arise, and you pray about it, and you do what you feel like you’re led to do. You don’t look back; you just keep moving forward and trusting in the decisions you’ve made. You never fully stop loving your hometown, though; but at the same time, Russellville’s been really good to me, so I appreciate that.”

The Lady Golden Tigers got off to a slow start and trailed 17-5 at the end of the first quarter.  Russellville’s first point came on a Madison Murray free throw with just more than three minutes remaining in the opening period. The Lady Red Devils continued to impress in the second quarter, outscoring Russellville 22-5 to take a 39-10 lead into the half.

Russellville’s Patricia Borden got things going in the second half with her team-high 12 points.  Aleshia Phillips had five points for the Lady Golden Tigers, while Tia Smith (4), Madison Hargett (3), Madison Murray (3) and Kallie Allen (2) also scored.

In the boys’ game, the Golden Tigers improved their area record to 2-1 with the nine-point victory. Senior guard Joshua Seal continued his early-season hot shooting to lead the Golden Tigers with 22 points. Backcourt teammate Avery Sears also scored in double-figures with 14.

“It was a very slow start, but I thought once we got the game moving and got the game a little bit in transition, we had a solid second quarter,” Russellville head Coach Patrick Odom said.  “Late third quarter, early fourth we push it up and get a 15, 16-point lead. We’ve got to learn how to finish games better.  A lot of poor decisions down the stretch, some quick shots and some turnovers, but at the end of the night, it’s a good area win for us. We’re 2-1 in the area, and we’ve got to push forward.”

“I feel like we can control our own destiny from this point, so it was a big win for us moving into the holidays,” Odom added.

Russellville got things going in the second quarter by outscoring Lawrence County 19-8 after the Red Devils held a slim 9-7 lead at the end of the opening period. Lawrence County came on strong late in the contest to pull within five points of the Golden Tigers with a minute to go in the game, but late success at the free-throw line by both Seal and Sears clinched the win.

Adonnis Bailey (8), Devin Buckhalter (7), Austin Stidham (5) and Taylor Vincent (4) also scored points for Russellville. Chip Proctor and Austin Brewer each had 14 points for the Red Devils, while Mason Lee added 11 in the game.