RHS splits with LCHSPublished 6:00am Saturday, December 8, 2012
RUSSELLVILLE — Last week the Russellville Golden Tigers boys’ varsity team played a close game with the Colbert County Indians but came out on the losing side.
Tuesday night’s game against area rival Lawrence County had much of the same, except this time the Golden Tigers came away with a victory to the tune of 71-64.
“It feels good to get a win,” Russellville head coach Michael Smith said. “You take a win any way you can, and we did enough tonight to win the ball game.”
Lawrence County opened up the scoring in the game, but Russellville soon had a 5-3 advantage.
That was just the first of 11 lead changes that ocurred throughout the contest.
The Golden Tigers and Red Devils swapped advantages four more times before the end of the first, with Lawrence County leading 14-13.
The Red Devils were ahead early on in the second before Russellville took the lead again, but only for one possession as Lawrence County immediately answered.
The Red Devils had a 27-24 lead when a sweet move by senior Kaelan Bonds shifted the momentum in Russellville’s favor.
Bonds went up for a layup but was well-defended.
Instead of throwing up a shot that was likely to be blocked, Bonds moved the ball from his left hand to his right, underneath the outstretched hand of the Red Devil defender, and put the layup into the basket, all in mid-air.
Bonds drew a foul in the process and drained the and-one free throw, knotting the game yet again at 27 all.
Lawrence County kept the lead a while longer, but the Golden Tigers surged late in the second, outscoring the Red Devils 21-13 after the play by Bonds to the end of the third.
Russellville, after another four lead changes, took a 48-40 lead into the fourth and final quarter
The Golden Tigers would stay on top for the rest of the night.
Lawrence County got within three points of the lead in one last push at 56-52, but the Golden Tigers finished the fourth quarter on a 15-12 run to take the seven-point victory.
A major factor that helped the Golden Tigers finish the game strong was hitting 31 of 55 free throws in the game, or 56 percent.
“At the end of the game we had some big runs,” Smith said. “We had some defensive stops and we hit our layups. We also hit our free throws tonight, which was big because in the past we’ve had trouble hitting them.”
Jackson Smith led the Golden Tigers in points with 20. Bonds came in with 16 points and 5 rebounds.
Jacob Seal added 10 points, and Leslie Dunstan totaled 7 points and 10 rebounds.
Also scoring for Russellville were: Drew Malone (6), Caleb Robison (5), Christopher Owens (4), Colby Tompkins (2) and Joseph Butts (1).
The Lady Golden Tigers did not fare so well in the previous match.
Lawrence County got out to a 26-8 lead early on and never looked back.
The Lady Red Devils went on to win 52-19 over their area foe.
— stats kept by Jeremy Reed