Russellville uses sharp shooting to get season-opening boys’ basketball victory over Red Bay
The Russellville Golden Tigers opened the varsity boys’ basketball season with a hard-fought 76-71 home win over the Red Bay Tigers.
Russellville’s EJ King led all scorers with 29 points as the two teams from Franklin County got balanced scoring from six players each.
RHS got off to a hot shooting start by scoring 24 first quarter points and led by six at the end of the period. Red Bay answered in the second by outpacing the Golden Tigers 18-14 to draw to within two at the half. The teams continued to battle in the third with RBHS evening the score to 51-51 heading into the fourth quarter with the help of a 21-19 period.
Coach John Torisky’s Red Bay team took a 69-67 lead with just under four minutes left in the game on a Cody Carnes three-pointer. Russellville’s King answered with his own three to give the Golden Tigers a one-point advantage. Red Bay took back the lead with a Lawson Glover bucket with 2:00 remaining. Russellville finished the game strong with a steal by Malachi Duncan followed by his three-point play that was the result of a made shot and free throw on the play with 47 seconds left in the game. The final RHS points of the contest came on two free throws by Amir Williams and one by KJ Murray.
Even after falling behind in the fourth quarter, Russellville head coach Patrick Odom said he believed in his team’s ability to come back and get the victory.
“This team is experienced, and there’s no panic,” Odom said. “We settled in, and Malachi made a great defensive play to come back and give us the lead, and we finished the game the way that we’re supposed to finish it.”
The season-opening win for RHS over a talented Red Bay squad marked a good beginning of the year for the Golden Tigers. “It’s a great start,” Odom said. “It’s good playing good people, and it’s always good to win. Now, we’ve played a game, and we’ve got to go and clean stuff up and start getting better.”
Following EJ King in the scoring column for RHS was Amir Williams with 17. Malachi Duncan added 14 and KJ Murray had 12. Mike Young and Bralynn Vincent had two points apiece.
Red Bay was led in scoring by Carnes and Glover each with 18 points. Ethan McCoy scored 11, Ty Reynolds and Holden Inmon had 10 apiece and Gage Edgmon scored four points.
The Russellville Lady Golden Tigers hosted the Mars Hill Bible School Lady Panthers to continue the varsity season. Mars Hill got the 73-54 win after leading 31-27 at the half and 53-34 after three quarters.
Ella Copeland’s 19 points led the scoring for Russellville (3-2). Avery Watts and Jacey Moore also scored in double figures with 10 points each. Desiree Medina added six, Jemma Moore scored four, Alexia Groce had three and Laila Hill pitched in with two points for RHS.