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Golden Tigers rally, stumble, win

By Staff
Scot Beard
For the second consecutive game the Russellville varsity boys basketball team lost a convincing lead in the second half only to pull away for a late victory.
The Golden Tigers' victim this time was Class 5A, Area 15 foe Hartselle. Russellville improved its record to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in area play with the 66-59 win.
"At halftime we wanted to extend our lead, but Hartselle did a good job of coming back," Russellville coach Michael Smith said. "That is something we can't continue to allow."
The teams traded the lead seven times during the first half before Russellville pulled away for a 32-24 lead at the break.
The Golden Tigers opened the second half on an 8-0 run before Hartselle answered with a 7-0 run.
Jermaine Bates scored to give Russellville a 42-31 lead midway through the third quarter, but Hartselle went on another run. With less than one minute remaining in the quarter, Hartselle had an opportunity to take the lead at the free throw line, but Sam Fleischman hit only one of his three attempts and Hartselle trailed 42-41.
Terence Smith hit the final shot of the quarter to put the Golden Tigers ahead by three.
Russellville came out firing in the fourth quarter as Will Bostick hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Nate Dunstan made an old-fashion 3-point play when he converted his free throw after scoring.
Russellville's lead was extended to 12 points and Hartselle never got closer than six points down the stretch.
Terence Smith led the Golden Tigers with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Bates struggled to score, recording only nine points, but Bostick was able to pick up the slack with his 18 points.
Bostick was 4-for-10 from behind the 3-point line during the game.
Also scoring for Russellville were Micah McCulloch (6), Nate Dunstan (5), Chase Johnson (2) and Nathan McAlister (2).
"Its been close (the last few games)," coach Smith said. "I am ready to see the real Russellville team play. I know we can play 10 times better than we did tonight."