Basketball season overview: Russellville
The Russellville varsity boys’ basketball team returns a large group of experienced players that had key roles during the Golden Tigers’ run to the Class 5A Northwest Regional at Wallace State a year ago.
Head coach Patrick Odom enters his ninth season leading the program. RHS has six seniors and three juniors on the roster.
“I’ve been at Russellville now a long time, and this is probably the most experienced group that we’ve ever brought back,” Odom said. “We really have eight guys that played a lot of minutes for us a year ago. It’s a group that we have high expectations for, and we’re excited about. They’ve been with us and played a lot of varsity basketball, and they have played in a lot of big games.”
A third of the roster consists of athletes that experienced success on the football field, including a second round playoff appearance. With the football season finished, the group is working to develop the chemistry needed to win at a high level on the court.
“Obviously, we’re trying to transition quickly and get ourselves ready to play,” Odom explained. “We know that it’s always a process early to get us ready for how we play and the style of basketball that we play. Sometimes it’s a little ugly early, and you’ve got to play your way into that. We’re excited about this group. I love this group of guys, and it’s a fun group.”
Russellville will compete in Class 5A, Area 15 along with Brewer, Lawrence County and West Point.
1 Amir Williams Senior
2 Mike Young Senior
4 Jah Williams Junior
5 KJ Murray Senior
10 Gavin Hyde Senior
12 Bralynn Vincent Senior
14 EJ King Junior
20 Rylan Pratt Junior
21 Malachi Duncan Senior
Russellville’s varsity girls’ team features a mixture of experienced players along with a group of young athletes.
The Lady Golden Tigers have a couple of senior leaders that head coach Jermaine Groce is looking for big things from on the court.
“We have a lot of senior leadership this year,” Groce said. “We have Jacey Moore and Avery Watts returning, and they have been on the varsity for four consecutive years, since they were ninth graders. With their skill set offensively and defensively, we’re looking for them to grow and take some leadership roles and responsibility to lead our team.”
A top player to watch is a freshman guard that has already shown outstanding play-making ability at the varsity level for RHS. “Ella Copeland is returning now as a ninth-grader, and she’s already in her third year on varsity, so she’s almost like a junior,” Groce noted. “We’re looking for her to also make some leadership growth and help control our offense and defense.”
Also returning this season with varsity playing experience will be Laila Hill, Aleah Bonman and Desiree Medina. The team has a group of freshmen that have a chance to add depth to the team, and they are Jemma Moore, Alexia Groce and Kaylee Suggs.
Groce said he is excited about the season and is hopeful that the team will compete for the area title.
Russellville will play in Class 5A, Area 15 along with Brewer, Lawrence County and West Point.
1 Ella Copeland Freshman
3 Avery Watts Senior
11 Laila Hill Sophomore
15 Kaylee Suggs Freshman
21 Lexie O’Neal Senior
24 Desiree Medina Senior
30 Andrea Quinones Junior
33 Alexia Groce Freshman
34 Jacey Moore Senior
35 Jemma Moore Freshman
45 Aleah Bonman Junior
Kaylee Hamilton Junior
Gracelyn McCulloch Freshman