In March 8 Russell County News
By Derek Aaron, Russell County News Editor
The 16-13 Glasgow Scotties didn’t have much time to celebrate their first regional appearance in four years as they were knocked out of the 4th Region tournament, 62-50, by the 14-13 Russell County Lakers Wednesday night in Bowling Green.
The Lakers, who advance to the region semifinals, played in front of their largest crowd of the season at Diddle Arena with an official attendance of 2,730, many of them being Laker fans cheering on Coach Willie Feldhaus’ team.
Both teams traded baskets in the first quarter before the Lakers went on a 19-6 run in the second quarter to take a 28-16 halftime lead.
Behind big buckets from Junior guard Bryon Ellis and Senior big man Timmy Coffey and clutch free throw shooting by Sophomore guard Bryson McFall, the Lakers managed to control the tempo for rest of the game. Sophomores Adam Justice and Robbie Bell also had a superb game for the Lakers, combining for 17 points and eight rebounds.
“We’re very thrilled with the outcome,” said Laker coach Willie Feldhaus.
“I thought we were a little tight early but we were able to keep it close and kind of broke loose in the second quarter and was able to knock down some shots.”
Feldhaus lauded his team’s free throw shooting as he noted they made nine of nine free throws in the game’s first half.
Feldhaus again complimented the play of Coffey, saying the Senior center is playing at a different level than he was back in December. Coffey had his fourth consecutive double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.
“He was like a man on a mission … and I’m proud of him,” he said.
He said McFall, a rapidly improving sophomore, was instrumental in the win.
“He made 11 of 14 from the free throw line … and he did a real good job of not turning the ball over,” Feldhaus said.
He said the play of Bell, Ellis and Justice was pivotal. “We have to have those guys to be successful,” he said.
Ellis, the newest addition to the Laker 1,000 point club, missed a couple of free throws late, something Feldhaus said he wasn’t too worried about.
“He’ll beat himself up over it, I’m sure,” he said. “But there is not a player in the state of Kentucky I’d rather have on the free throw line than him.”
McFall led Russell County in scoring with 16 points, followed by Coffey’s 14 and 13 rebounds. Ellis had 12 points and eight rebounds. Adam Justice scored nine while Robbie Bell had eight points in the game.
Chris Krauss and Bryce Bailey also scored for the Lakers.
Josh Popplewell, Lucas Justice and Kyle Burchett played for the Lakers but did not score.
Feldhaus did say that one area his team needed to improve on was inbounding the basketball and not succumbing to turnovers.
“That is something we’ll have to work toward fixing come Monday night,” he said.
The Lakers play the Bowling Green Purples at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 10.
Bowling Green barely escaped an upset by Russellville on Wednesday.
The Purples won 49-47 with a buzzer beater over the Russellville Panthers.
Bowling Green is 22-9 on the season and boasts several players with adequate size, a potential problem for the undersized Lakers.
The Lakers, though, have a great winning streak going; they have won five straight games and six of their last seven.
Most recently, the Lakers have tallied victories over Barren County, Madison Southern, Allen County-Scottsville, Cumberland County and Metcalfe County to go along with Wednesday’s win over Glasgow.
The Russell County News and Times Journal wish the best of luck to the Lakers on Monday.