In Feb. 12 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
Rebounding from a 20-point loss to rival Casey County earlier in the week, the Russell County Lakers showed their toughness by defeating the visiting Clinton County Bulldogs 49-46 in a tough district matchup last Thursday at Laker Gym.
The win puts the Lakers’ record at 18-3 on the season.
“We’ll definitely take the outcome,” said Laker coach Willie Feldhaus.
“I told our kids we could play them 200 more times this year and it’ not ever going to be pretty.”
Feldhaus said the Bulldog team was filled of physical, strong players that were difficult to guard.
“We just had to grind it out,” he said. “For us to not particularity shoot the ball well and end up with the win, we feel very fortunate.”
The Laker coach said a win like this was just what his team needed after the Casey County defeat.
“When you get beat the way we did (against Casey County), as a coach you look to see if there is another win on the schedule when you play that bad, so to come out, not shoot the ball well, and outrebound a very strong team and find another way to win is very important for us.”
Russell County shot just 31 percent from the field for the game. Clinton County didn’t manage much better, coming in at 34 percent on the night. The Lakers also only managed to make 2-22 three-point shots on the night, but their defense stepped up.
The Lakers were led in scoring by junior Bryson McFall with 18 points.
Zach Carney also had a huge night for Russell County, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 rebounds for a double-double. He also blocked four Bulldog shots on the night.
Laker Robbie Bell added nine points and two blocks for the Lakers while Bryon Ellis scored five points. Lucas Justice scored four points while Adam Justice scored two points for Russell County.
“We’ve won 18 ballgames, after tonight, by having good balance on the offensive end,” Feldhaus said.
“I told them I can’t take their confidence away, that they can only take it away themselves.”
He said he expects his players to look to shoot and have enough confidence every time to believe it will go through the hoop.
The Lakers scored 17 second chance points and scored 11 points off of Bulldog turnovers to help them seal the victory.
Two Clinton County players scored 14 apiece to lead their team in Dillon Flowers and Brent Durham.