Golden Tiger teams fall in basketball area openers at West Point
Russellville opened Class 5A, Area 15, regular season play with a trip to West Point Jan. 14 and fell to the Warriors in both boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball action.
The RHS boys had a six-point lead at the half and were ahead 55-48 after three quarters, but foul trouble and a rally by West Point down the stretch were too much to overcome. The Warriors got a 66-64 victory.
Two made free-throws by WPHS tied the score at 57-57 with about four minutes remaining in the contest.
Later in the period, Russellville grabbed a 62-59 advantage when Eli Gipson made the first of two free-throws and Conner Warhurst got the rebound on the missed second shot. He put the ball in the basket for two more points with just over two minutes left in the game.
With RHS having to battle without starters who fouled out of the game, Malachi Duncan made a basket to tie the score at 64-64 with 30 seconds on the clock. The Russellville defense then made a big steal to get the ball back, but two missed free throws with 7.7 seconds remaining in the game proved to be costly.
A West Point quick drive to the basket drew a foul with 1.7 seconds to go, and the Warriors made both free throws to take the victory.
Gipson led Russellville in scoring with 20 points. Amir Williams and Duncan followed with 12 each. Nathan Brockway scored eight, and Boots McCulloch and Warhurst finished with six points apiece.
With the loss, the RHS record fell to 9-8 on the season and 0-1 in area play.
In other recent action, Jan. 11 the Golden Tigers hosted the Jasper Vikings, and RHS got a hard-fought 49-46 win. Russellville led 20-13 at the half, and the game was tied 31-31 after three quarters of action.
Brockway led RHS with 14 points, and Gipson had 11. Williams and Duncan scored six each, Warhurst added five and McCulloch scored three. Ashton Boyd and Bralynn Vincent had two points apiece to round out the scoring.
Russellville’s girls fell to West Point by a 62-34 final score in the Class 5A, Area 15, matchup. The Lady Warriors led 33-18 at the half and by 20 points after three quarters of action.
RHS (6-10, 0-1) was led in scoring by seventh-grader Ella Copeland’s 10 points. Jenna Whitfield scored eight, Jacey Moore had six, Avery Watts added five, Leah Rushing scored three and Jayna Poss had two.
The Jasper girls visited Russellville Jan. 11, and the Lady Vikings got a 50-41 victory for their second win over RHS this season. The Lady Golden Tigers trailed 32-16 at the half and by eight points going into the final period of play.
Moore was tops in scoring for Russellville with 17 points, and Copeland finished with eight. Whitfield and Watts scored six each, and they were followed by Rushing and Poss with two points apiece.