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franklin county times

Basketball season overview: Russellville

BOYS

The Russellville varsity boys’ basketball team returns a large group of experienced players that had key roles during the Golden Tigers’ run to the Class 5A Northwest Regional at Wallace State a year ago.

Head coach Patrick Odom enters his ninth season leading the program. RHS has six seniors and three juniors on the roster.

“I’ve been at Russellville now a long time, and this is probably the most experienced group that we’ve ever brought back,” Odom said. “We really have eight guys that played a lot of minutes for us a year ago. It’s a group that we have high expectations for, and we’re excited about. They’ve been with us and played a lot of varsity basketball, and they have played in a lot of big games.”

A third of the roster consists of athletes that experienced success on the football field, including a second round playoff appearance. With the football season finished, the group is working to develop the chemistry needed to win at a high level on the court.

“Obviously, we’re trying to transition quickly and get ourselves ready to play,” Odom explained. “We know that it’s always a process early to get us ready for how we play and the style of basketball that we play. Sometimes it’s a little ugly early, and you’ve got to play your way into that. We’re excited about this group. I love this group of guys, and it’s a fun group.”

Russellville will compete in Class 5A, Area 15 along with Brewer, Lawrence County and West Point.

ROSTER

1                      Amir Williams              Senior

2                      Mike Young                 Senior

4                      Jah Williams               Junior

5                      KJ Murray                   Senior

10                    Gavin Hyde                 Senior

12                    Bralynn Vincent          Senior

14                    EJ King                       Junior

20                    Rylan Pratt                  Junior

21                    Malachi Duncan          Senior

GIRLS

Russellville’s varsity girls’ team features a mixture of experienced players along with a group of young athletes.

The Lady Golden Tigers have a couple of senior leaders that head coach Jermaine Groce is looking for big things from on the court.

“We have a lot of senior leadership this year,” Groce said. “We have Jacey Moore and Avery Watts returning, and they have been on the varsity for four consecutive years, since they were ninth graders. With their skill set offensively and defensively, we’re looking for them to grow and take some leadership roles and responsibility to lead our team.”

A top player to watch is a freshman guard that has already shown outstanding play-making ability at the varsity level for RHS. “Ella Copeland is returning now as a ninth-grader, and she’s already in her third year on varsity, so she’s almost like a junior,” Groce noted. “We’re looking for her to also make some leadership growth and help control our offense and defense.”

Also returning this season with varsity playing experience will be Laila Hill, Aleah Bonman and Desiree Medina. The team has a group of freshmen that have a chance to add depth to the team, and they are Jemma Moore, Alexia Groce and Kaylee Suggs.

Groce said he is excited about the season and is hopeful that the team will compete for the area title.

Russellville will play in Class 5A, Area 15 along with Brewer, Lawrence County and West Point.

ROSTER

1                      Ella Copeland                         Freshman

3                      Avery Watts                            Senior

11                    Laila Hill                                  Sophomore

15                    Kaylee Suggs                         Freshman

21                    Lexie O’Neal                           Senior

24                    Desiree Medina                      Senior

30                    Andrea Quinones                    Junior

33                    Alexia Groce                           Freshman

34                    Jacey Moore                           Senior

35                    Jemma Moore                         Freshman

45                    Aleah Bonman                        Junior

Kaylee Hamilton                     Junior

Gracelyn McCulloch               Freshman

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