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Golden Tigers hang on for hard-fought win versus Pirates

By Brannon King for the FCT

The Russellville boys and girls basketball teams got back into action Thursday night at Winfield after having their games at Haleyville postponed due to bad weather Nov. 29.

In the boys’ game, the Golden Tigers used a strong second and third quarter performance to claim a 62-54 win over the Pirates. Winfield jumped out to a 14-9 lead in the first quarter with hot shooting in the fast-paced game. Russellville (3-0) then turned up the defensive intensity and got on a roll offensively to take a 27-20 lead into the half.

RHS kept things going their way in the third period and outscored the Pirates 16-10 to claim a 13-point advantage going into the final quarter. However, Winfield would not give up easily and fought back to get within four points with a minute to go in the game. The Golden Tigers added some late free-throws to seal the victory.

“We had a lot of different guys step up tonight and make not only offensive plays but defensive plays,” Russellville Head Coach Patrick Odom said. “It was the ultimate team effort, and that’s what our team can be; we’re not where we need to be, but I love where we’re going with these guys.”

Four Golden Tigers scored in double figures, led by Judd Ward’s game-high 19 points. Austin Stidham had 16, while Taylor Vincent and Devin Buckhalter added 12 and 11 respectively. Lucas McNutt had four points, while the Winfield defense held Bailey Motes scoreless.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Pirates defeated the Lady Golden Tigers by a 41-31 score. Russellville (1-5) outscored Winfield 10-8 in the first quarter and 10-9 in the fourth, but it was the middle of the game where the Lady Pirates gained the advantage by holding RHS to only five points in the second period and six in the third.

“The layups that we missed, open looks from the perimeter and free-throws essentially sealed our fate tonight,” Russellville Head Coach Corey Thomaston said. “Our kids are going to work hard. They are great young ladies. They’re going to work hard every night, but they’ve got to combine a great focus and great intensity in that focus to get the job done night in and night out.”

Russellville’s Kallie Allen led all scorers with 15 points. Madison Murray (6), Treyvia Pruitt (5), Lexie Glass (3) and Jamie Hill (2) also scored for RHS.