Golden Tigers extend regular-season unbeaten streak with 61-39 victory against Trojans
MUSCLE SHOALS – The Russellville varsity boys basketball team opened its area schedule Monday night at a severe disadvantage – the team had only played one game.
That was apparently enough as the Golden Tigers cruised to a 61-39 win on the road at Muscle Shoals.
"I was worried," said Russellville coach Michael Smith. "That was the earliest I have had to play an area game in my career. This team is still trying to find its identity."
Muscle Shoals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but a 3-pointer from Will Bostick and a free throw by Micah McColloch cut the deficit to one point.
Both teams continued to trade baskets and Russellville was able to build a 13-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Trojans battled back and briefly held a 20-19 lead, but the Golden Tigers went on a 6-2 run to take a 25-22 advantage into halftime.
At the break, Smith challenged his team to play with more urgency during the second half.
"We pressed a little more (in the second half)," Smith said. "We tried to get the tempo to go a little faster."
The Trojans were able to keep the game close until Russellville closed out the third quarter by scoring six unanswered points to pull ahead 42-32 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Golden Tiger defense played strong in the fourth, limiting Muscle Shoals to only seven points in the quarter.
"There were a lot of questions before this area game," Smith said. "This was a good sign for us."
Jermaine Bates led all scorers with 17 points while Terence Smith added 16 for Russellville.
Scoring was not a problem for Russellville as all 10 players that dressed out scored at least one point, which made Michael Smith happy.
"The advantage we have on a lot of teams is that we have two or three people that can score," Smith said.
Also scoring for Russellville was Chase Johnson (7), Mark Davis (6), Nate Dunstan (5), Bostick (3), Nathan McAlister (2), Darrian Graham (2), Tucker Hammock (2) and McColloch (1).
Muscle Shoals girls 66,
Tasha West scored 27 points for the Lady Golden Tigers, but it was not enough as they lost their first area game to Muscle Shoals 66-46.
Erin Reynolds added 11 points for Russellville while Halie Harvey scored six. Ayanna McCollough had two points for the Lady Golden Tigers.
Russellville boys 78,
The Russellville varsity boys basketball team opened its season Saturday with a 78-74 victory against Tanner.
Will Bostick and Bates scored 21 points each to lead the Golden Tiger offense.
Terence Smith added 16 points and McColloch scored 10 for Russellville.
Dunstan had eight points and Hammock rounded out the scoring with two points.
Russellville girls 59
Reynolds scored 29 points to lead Russellville to a 59-58 win at Tanner.
West added 20 points while Harvey scored six. McCollough also had two points.