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Basketball season overview: Russellville Golden Tigers

BOYS

The Russellville Golden Tigers are working hard to prepare for the 2022-23 season under head coach Patrick Odom.

This year will be Odom’s eighth as the leader of the program, and his teams have been regular participants in the sub-regional round of the Class 5A playoffs. RHS has won the area tournament two straight seasons – and with super-talented squads like Mae Jemison and Lee-Huntsville moving to 6A this year, Odom said the Golden Tigers hope to advance even further into the playoffs.

“We’re very proud and feel like we’ve built a very consistent program since we’ve been here, but we’re hungry for more,” Odom said. “Our cross-area is always difficult, and that’s the step. It starts with an area championship, and that’s the first goal. I think this team is really hungry to take the next step.”

RHS has a roster that features a mixture of experience and newcomers to the varsity team. Players with varsity experience include Conner Warhurst, Amir Williams, Malachi Duncan, Bralynn Vincent and Tilmon Baker.

Odom’s teams have historically played with strong effort and quickness, and this season’s squad should be no different. “We like this group,” Odom said. “We feel like we’ve got a lot of guys who can contribute, and this might be the deepest group since I’ve been at Russellville.”

RHS will be participating in Class 5A, Area 15, along with Brewer, Lawrence County and West Point.

GIRLS

Russellville’s girls are looking to take the next steps in the process of building a consistent winning program.

Head coach Jermaine Groce has a squad this year that has been working hard to make their mark. The 2022-23 team includes two seniors, both of whom have a lot of playing experience. Jenna Whitfield is back at the guard position; Groce said she plays with tremendous effort and is able to help on both ends of the floor. Anna Beth Oliver has shown the ability to shoot from beyond the three-point line and can get open, Groce added.

“We’re looking for them to help carry us some offensively and allow them this year to step up their leadership roles,” Groce added.

Ella Copeland is another guard, and Groce said she has unlimited potential. The eighth-grader got varsity playing time a year ago, and don’t be surprised if she has a breakout season for the Lady Golden Tigers.

Two additional experienced varsity athletes are Jacey Moore and Avery Watts. Both are juniors, and each has the ability to defend, rebound and score in the paint or from the outside.

“We’ve got a real competitive, feisty group,” Groce said. “Practices have been hard and really physical. We’ve got some new additions to the roster, and we’re returning a lot of offensive firepower and a lot of our starters from last year.”

A goal for Russellville is to be competitive and to pick up the ability to put away teams in games that are close. “This year, I’m looking for more consistency in closing out games,” Groce added.

The RHS girls will also compete in Class 5A, Area 15 with Brewer, Lawrence County and West Point.

RHS BOYS ROSTER

Conner Warhurst, Senior

Tillman Baker, Senior

EJ Jones, Senior

Malachi Gholston, Senior

Malachi Duncan, Junior

Amir Williams, Junior

Braylnn Vincent, Junior

KJ Murray, Junior

Mike Young, Junior

Gavin Hyde, Junior

Jah Williams, Sophomore

RHS GIRLS ROSTER

1 Ella Copeland, Eighth grade

3 Jenna Whitfield, Senior

4 Avery Watts, Junior

5 Kaylee Hamilton, Sophomore

10 Samia Bell, Junior

11 Laila Hill, Freshman

23 Anna Beth Oliver, Senior

24 Desiree Medina, Junior

34 Jacey Moore, Junior

45 Aleah Bonman, Sophomore

SCHEDULE

Nov. 12 Tharptown Tournament (Girls) – Away

Nov. 18 Central-Florence – Home

Nov. 21 Colbert County – Away

Nov. 22 Jasper – Away

Nov. 23 Belgreen (Girls) – Home

Nov. 28 Deshler – Away

Nov. 29 Florence – Home

Dec. 2 Hamilton – Away

Dec. 5 Deshler – Home

Dec. 6 Haleyville – Away

Dec. 9 Brewer – Away

Dec. 10 Red Bay – Away

Dec. 13 Hamilton – Home

Dec. 16-20 TimesDaily Classic (Boys) – Away

Dec. 26-28 Bracy Invitational (Boys) – Away

Dec. 26-28 West Morgan Tournament (Girls) – Away

Jan. 3 Colbert County – Home

Jan. 6 West Point – Home

Jan. 10 Brewer – Home

Jan. 13 Lawrence County – Away

Jan. 16 Jasper – Home

Jan. 20 West Point – Away

Jan. 24 Haleyville – Home

Jan. 27 Lawrence County – Home

Jan. 30 Red Bay – Home

Jan. 31 Belgreen (Girls) – Away

Feb. 2 Central-Florence – Away

Feb. 3 Florence – Away

Feb. 6-10 Girls Area

Feb. 7-11 Boys Area

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