Golden Tigers host Senior Night, start area play
The Russellville High School varsity basketball teams recently wrapped up the regular season with senior night, and the girls’ squad took the court for first-round play in the area tournament this week.
Monday night, the Lady Golden Tigers went to West Point and fell in the opening round of the Class 5A, Area 14 tournament to the Lady Warriors – top seed and No. 9 in Class 5A – by a 58-33 score.
West Point improved its record to 25-5 on the year and will face Hamilton in the tournament championship game, while Russellville ended the season with a 4-22 record.
Russellville got off to a good start in the game against WPHS, and the two teams were tied at 13-13 at the end of the game’s first quarter. During the second period, the Lady Warriors began to show their strength and pulled away, outscoring RHS 20-4 in the quarter and taking a 33-17 lead into the half. West Point then backed that up with a 20-5 third period to take total control of the game.
Autumn Logan led Russellville in scoring with 12 points. Madison Murray had eight, and Krista Sikes followed with six. The two RHS seniors on the squad, Don’Kyiah Ramson and Lauren Hammond, finished their last game with two points each. Chalea Clemmons also scored two, and AJ Taylor had one.
“At the end of the day, I’m extremely proud of my team,” Russellville head coach Corey Thomaston said. “We’ll never be defined by wins and losses. I know that’s what everybody looks at, and it’s important, but look at the character and the heart of the team we put on the floor this year: you never saw them quit, and you never saw them give up or give in. Even when they were overmatched, they always fought, and they did what we asked them to do.
“They tried their best to execute the game plan that we put in play, and so for that, I’m extremely grateful for everything they’ve done for us.
“I’m really thankful for the two seniors, Lauren Hammond and Don’Kyiah Ramson, and what they mean to our program,” Thomaston added. “Opportunity to play on varsity this year for both of them, and they’ve worked hard, and they’ve been really good clubhouse leaders even though they were learning a lot themselves. They’re great personalities, and I wish them nothing but the best as they move forward.”
Senior night at RHS was held Jan. 31 to close out the regular season for the girls and boys. The Haleyville Lions came to Russellville and took on the Golden Tigers after Tuesday’s scheduled games for RHS at Colbert County were canceled because of the threat of winter weather.
The Russellville girls trailed HHS 44-26 going into the fourth quarter, but the Lady Golden Tigers battled back and were only down by four with just less than a minute to go in the contest. Haleyville then grabbed control of the game again and held on for a 57-47 victory.
The boys team, on the other hand, took a 64-52 win over Haleyville.
RHS was without one senior, Lucas McNutt, who missed the game with the flu along with teammates Chandler Dyas, Will Bonner and Collin Bonner. Juniors Nathaniel Trussell and Levi Gist were called up to the varsity team, and they fit right in, combining to score 20 points in the win.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve never had that many guys out on the same night,” Russellville head coach Patrick Odom said. “We went to work; we expected to get good results; and we had some guys step up.”
Seniors Devin Buckhalter (15) and Caden Parker (10) scored in double figures to lead RHS in scoring, along with Trussell who had 11 and Brooks Scott who also had 10.
Russellville finished the regular season with an 18-6 record and a No. 6 ranking in Class 5A. The Golden Tigers travel to Hamilton for the Area 14 tournament and were set to take on West Point in the first game Feb. 5.