Russellville boys see winning week
By Brannon King for the FCT
Russellville 90, Lawrence County 80 (OT)
The Russellville Golden Tigers took an important home victory over the Lawrence County Red Devils Dec. 20 to start the season 2-0 in area play.
Bailey Motes hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 74-74 as time expired in regulation to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, it was all Russellville as the Golden Tigers outscored Lawrence County 16-6 to take the game.
The two teams battled to an even 16-16 score in the first quarter. In the second, the Red Devils outscored RHS by four to take a 37-33 lead into the half. The lead grew in the third period, and LCHS had a 56-50 advantage to begin the fourth quarter. Lucas McNutt hit a couple of key three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help get the game into OT.
“In the long run, that is a good character win,” Russellville head Coach Patrick Odom said. “We didn’t necessarily play well early. When you get behind the way that we got behind in the first half, it changes the complexion of how the entire game is played. It seemed like we just had to fight an uphill battle all night.
“Credit our guys; we found ways to obviously make some big shots. Bailey Motes made a tremendous shot to give us a chance to get into overtime. Defensively, it took us a while, but late in the game, we had some guys making some big plays. Taylor Vincent had a bigtime game. At times, he was just keeping us in it almost by himself.”
Motes led RHS in scoring with 28 points. Taylor Vincent had 22, and Austin Stidham pitched in 15 points. McNutt added 11, while Judd Ward (9), Devin Buckhalter (3) and Caden Parker (2) also scored for Russellville.
Russellville 63, Deshler 61
For the second consecutive game, Russellville had to fight hard to get a win, and the Golden Tigers came through Friday night at Deshler. Devin Buckhalter made a basket to break a 61-61 tie, and then later after a missed RHS free-throw, Deshler grabbed the rebound and called a time-out with three seconds remaining. DHS had to go the length of floor in the short amount of time, and a shot just before the buzzer failed to make it to the basket, and the Golden Tigers celebrated the victory.
Bailey Motes had 20 points for Russellville in the game. He was followed by Austin Stidham (13), Lucas McNutt (11), Taylor Vincent (9), Devin Buckhalter (6), Caden Parker (2), Nate Franklin (1) and Judd Ward (1) for RHS.
Lawrence County 45, Russellville 33
The Lady Golden Tigers fell to 0-2 in area play with a loss on their home floor Dec. 20 against the Lady Red Devils.
RHS struggled early on the offensive end and trailed 15-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Golden Tigers made one field goal in the first half and added four free-throws to trail 25-6 at the half. Russellville came out in the second half and outscored LCHS 8-7 in the third period and 19-13 in the fourth.
“We really dug ourselves in a hole early,” Russellville head Coach Corey Thomaston said. “I thought our intensity and our effort early on were not where they need to be, and we missed a couple of shots that were good looks. When those didn’t fall, I felt like our demeanor really kind of dropped a little bit.
“I challenged our girls about halfway through the second quarter and on into halftime to get back to playing the style that we want to play and play the level of aggression that we want to play at, and they battled hard, but when you put yourself in that kind of hole, and you hit one shot in the first half, it’s really tough to overcome.”
Kallie Allen led RHS with 15 points. She was followed by Madison Murray (7), Treyvia Pruitt (5), Jamie Hill (3), Makayla Phifer (2) and Lexie Glass (1).
Deshler 70, Russellville 26
The 11-0 and top-ranked in Class 4A Lady Tigers of Deshler were just too much for RHS Friday night.
Deshler led 24-2 at the end of the first quarter and never looked back with the help of tough full-court pressure defense. DHS led 47-7 at the half and cruised from there for the win.
Russellville was led in scoring by Madison Murray with 12 points. Kallie Allen (6), KK Harvey (5) and Krista Sikes (3) also had points for RHS.