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franklin county times

Russellville varsity basketball teams get wins to open season

The 2022-23 varsity basketball season tipped off for the Russellville Golden Tigers with both the boys and girls taking the court.

Russellville’s boys opened the season on their home floor with a 73-51 win over the Central-Florence Wildcats Nov. 18. Nine players scored for RHS, with Amir Williams leading the way with 21.

“It’s what we expect. He’s an outstanding player,” said Russellville head coach Patrick Odom. “We need him to do that every night.

“It’s not surprising he’s one of our guys that we lean on. It was a good start for him, and I thought he played just as well defensively as he did on offense.”

With football season recently ending, the full squad of Golden Tigers had just a few days of practice together before the first basketball contest – but the lack of practice time didn’t seem to keep the team from getting off to a fast start.

RHS jumped out to a 22-9 first quarter advantage versus Central, and the Golden Tigers held a 38-26 halftime lead. The third quarter action was a bit closer, with Russellville outscoring the opponent by a 14-12 total before the home team finished strong with a 21-13 fourth period.

Bralynn Vincent also scored in double figures for RHS with 10 points, including eight in the first half. Tilmon Baker and Gavin Hyde followed with eight points apiece. Jah Williams had seven, and Malachi Duncan scored six. Conner Warhurst and Mike Young added five apiece, while KJ Murray rounded out the scoring with three points.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Odom said. “One thing this team has got to do is be relentless in how we play. I thought the energy in the defense was good. We’ve got to clean things up, but when you haven’t had guys in the gym very long, that’s to be expected.”

GIRLS

The Lady Golden Tigers opened their season by participating in the Tharptown Tournament. Russellville got a big win over Tharptown and came up just short against Hamilton, losing by one point.

The home opener for RHS was also a success, as the Golden Tiger girls controlled the game from start to finish and got a 58-39 victory over Central.

Russellville used a hot start to grab an 11-3 first quarter lead. The Lady Tigers kept the rout going in the second period with a 19-8 quarter to take a 30-11 advantage into the half. The two teams played more equally in the second half, with Central’s squad outscoring the home team 11-10 before the fourth quarter went Russellville’s way by an 18-17 total.

Eighth-grade guard Ella Copeland led the RHS varsity with 25 points, with 10 coming in the fourth quarter. Anna Beth Oliver added 17, and Jacey Moore also scored in double figures with 10. Avery Watts joined them in the scoring column with six points.

“We came out and started fast,” said RHS head coach Jermaine Groce. “We played good defensively and were really active. We also had a really good shooting night from three-point land. Our transition defense really helped us out.

“We talked about getting to our spots, pushing the pace and checking the trail three. Anna Beth Oliver and Ella Copeland both had a really good shooting night.”

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