Golden Tiger teams celebrate senior night
The Russellville boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams had a busy week on the court. With the regular season winding down, the Golden Tigers are working for a strong finish. This week featured games against two area opponents, rivalry wins and senior night festivities.
Russellville 93, Lawrence County 45
RHS jumped out to a 20-10 first quarter lead in a home area win over the Red Devils Jan. 17. The Golden Tigers had a 53-24 advantage at the half and were ahead 73-38 after three quarters of action.
Malachi Duncan led Russellville in scoring with 20 points. Amir Williams scored 17, and Eli Gipson had 15. Also scoring in double figures were Nathan Brockway and Conner Warhurst with 11 points each. Boots McCulloch added eight, Bralynn Vincent scored six, Tilmon Baker had four, and Nicholas McSpadden scored one point.
Russellville 84, Colbert County 71
The Russellville boys completed the season sweep with a road win over their rival from Leighton Jan. 18.
CCHS led 21-19 after one quarter of play, but the Golden Tigers took control the rest of the way to get the victory. Leading RHS in scoring was Malachi Duncan with 18 points. He was followed by McCulloch with 17, Brockway and Williams with 15 apiece, Warhurst with 11 and Gipson with eight.
West Point 65, Russellville 61
The Golden Tigers dropped their second game of the season to the Warriors and fell to 11-9 on the season and 1-2 in Class 5A Area 15.
It was senior night at RHS Jan. 21, and Gipson led the Golden Tigers with 30 points. He had 18 in the first half, and Russellville led at the halftime break by a 39-29 score.
RHS was outscored 36-22 in the final two periods by the Warriors, including a 17-7 fourth quarter in favor of WPHS.
“We’ve got five seniors, and they are all special kids,” said Russellville head coach Patrick Odom said after the game, honoring Gipson, Ashton Boyd, McCulloch, Brockway and McSpadden. “This is a group of young men that have a lot of character and high integrity. I wish we could have finished it off tonight a little bit better from that standpoint. They are five guys you just love to coach, and that’s the joy of doing what I do for a living.”
Lawrence County 69, Russellville 44
RHS hosted the Lady Devils in an area contest and couldn’t overcome an early deficit. LCHS led 18-11 at the end of the first quarter and held a 45-28 advantage at the half.
Russellville outdid Lawrence Co. 12-8 in the third period, but the Devils answered with a 16-4 fourth quarter.
Jenna Whitfield led RHS with 13 points. She was followed by Jacey Moore with seven. Ella Copeland, Leah Rushing and Anna Beth Oliver had five points each, Maddy Green scored four, and Jayna Poss added three.
Russellville 48, Colbert County 40
The Lady Golden Tigers traveled to Colbert County and completed the season sweep of the Indians.
RHS jumped out to a 16-4 first quarter lead and held a 44-27 advantage over three quarters of action. Copeland led Russellville with 13 points.
West Point 62, Russellville 47
Russellville fell to 7-12 on the season and dropped to 0-3 in area play with a home loss to West Point on senior night at RHS. Three players make up the senior class for the team: Rushing, Poss and Green.
“We talked in the locker room about those three seniors, and we called them ‘Golden Tiger lifers’ because they’ve been in the program since seventh grade, and really you can take it all the way back to TVBA and second grade,” said Russellville head coach Jermaine Groce. “Those girls have come up a long way and stuck with the program, played multiple years, and that’s the type of stuff you’ve got to have out of your athletes.
“Their leadership is definitely evident,” Groce added.
“This season is not over, but they’re definitely going to be missed once we move on into next year. It’s tremendous that Leah, Jayna and Maddy could all stick around and play basketball for so long and inspire other girls to want to come out and do the same thing.”