RHS takes on Bracy Invitational
Just after Christmas, the annual Helen Keller Hospital Bracy Invitational got going with the Russellville Golden Tigers facing off against local competition at Deshler High School in varsity boys’ basketball.
RHS took on the Mars Hill Bible School Panthers Dec. 26, and the Golden Tigers got a 73-60 win in the second round. Russellville had a bye in round one, while Mars Hill defeated R.A. Hubbard earlier in the day.
The Golden Tigers trailed 28-23 at the half but came on strong in the second and finished the game up on a 17-4 run down the stretch. Lucas McNutt led the team with 30 points. Will Bonner finished with 15, while Caden Parker had nine. Jeb Bishop pitched in with eight, and Colin Bonner had four. Chandler Dyas was back on the floor with three points after suffering an ankle injury during a game at Haleyville Dec. 13. Devin Buckhalter and Brooks Scott finished up the scoring total with two points each.
It was a Franklin County matchup in one of the semifinals Thursday night at the Deshler Dome. Russellville went up against Belgreen and came away with a 75-44 win over the Bulldogs to advance to the finals.
Russellville outscored Belgreen 19-0 in the game’s final quarter to seal the victory. RHS jumped out to a 24-17 first quarter lead and held a 43-34 advantage at the half. The Russellville defense and Bulldog foul trouble slowed the usually potent BHS offense.
McNutt scored 21 points to lead RHS. The senior hit five of Russellville’s 11 three-pointers in the game. Dyas scored 17 points and also had five threes, while Buckhalter added the other basket from beyond the arc on his way to a 15-point performance. Scott had eight points for RHS, while Will Bonner had six. Bishop scored four, while Parker and Jamaal Hubbard scored two points each.
“We’ve been talking about consistency with our guys, and I told them in the locker room that it probably wasn’t the flashiest game, but I love it because it was the most consistent and workman-like game that we’ve played all year,” said Russellville head coach Patrick Odom. “Defensively we played 32 minutes tonight.”
Before coming to RHS, Odom served as head coach at Belgreen. “They’re a good team. They made some runs and pushed us in the first half, but I thought we wore them down as the game went on, and that was kind of what we thought could happen if we played well.”
Mason Bragwell had 15 points for Belgreen, all coming in the game’s first half. Brant Bragwell also scored 15 for BHS, and Gaven Taylor pitched in with nine. Isac Willingham and Tanner Warhurst scored two points each, and Scout Bragwell scored one point.
Russellville (10-3) will take on Lauderdale County in the finals of the tournament. LCHS defeated Deshler in their semifinal game by a 70-62 score. RHS and Lauderdale County also met in the TimesDaily Classic Dec. 17, with Lauderdale County taking the win on that night, 77-64.