Golden Tigers’ season ends after falling to West Point, 81-68
Russellville traveled to West Point on Feb. 5 and fell to the Warriors, 81-68, ending the 2014-15 basketball season for the Golden Tigers.
A strong first quarter for the Warriors was too much for Russellville (8-19) to overcome in the 5A Area 14 tournament. West Point jumped out to a 26-11 lead in the opening period of the high-scoring game.
“The first quarter really did us in. That was a senior-led ball club that came out ready to play,” Russellville head coach Michael Smith said.
The performance of Russellville’s Adonis Bailey was a bright spot for the Golden Tigers. Bailey had 7 of his team’s 11 first quarter points and 13 of Russellville’s 24 points in the first half and finished the night tied for a game-high with 23 points.
West Point showed good ball movement along with good shooting from the field and free-throw line during the game.
“They shot the ball extremely well. Anytime you get 30 points at the free-throw line, you’re going to win ball games and that’s what they did tonight,” Smith said. “We fought to the end and I’m just proud of our team for just not giving up and coming out and competing throughout the ball game.”
The Warriors were led in scoring by Will Wrenn’s 23 points. Tanner Rusk (20), Levi Laney (16) and Bryant Farley (10) also scored in double-figures for West Point.
Russellville had 9 players score in the game. Adonis Bailey had 23 points on the night. Taylor Vincent (12), Avery Sears (12) and Tyler Willis (10) scored in double digits. Colby Tompkins (3), Joshua Seal (3), Austin Stidham (2), Kamar Baugh (2) and Cedric Freeman (1) also scored for the Golden Tigers.
The season may not have gone like Russellville wanted at times but there is hope for the future, according to Smith.
“I think our post players really matured as the season went on and got better. That really helped us as a team because early in the year, we really depended on our guards to lead us, but late in the year our big men stepped up and started playing extremely well,” Smith said.
Smith said the future for the Golden Tigers looks bright.
“That allowed us to grow and get better. Now, for next season, we have got good quality people returning with game experience and hopefully, that should carry over.”