In Feb. 19 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Russell County Lakers and Lady Lakers were both defeated on the road Friday night at rival Adair County.
The Lakers lost 59-44 to the the 5th region’s top team, who used the home court to their advantage.
The Indians jumped out to a large lead in the game’s opening minutes and Russell County never seemed to fully recover. At the end of the first quarter, the Indians found themselves with a 24-6 lead.
Bryon Ellis led Russell County with 19 points in the game while Adair County’s Darren Ballou, who’s signed to play at Morehead St. next season, led all scorers with 23 points.
Adam Justice was the only other Laker in double figures with 10 points. Zach Carney had six points and eight rebounds as well.
Laker sophomore Taylor Hutchison had three points in the loss while Robbie Bell, Lucas Justice and Tyler Robertson all had two points each for Russell County.
The Indians forced 17 Laker turnovers and scored a dozen points off those turnovers in the game while only turning the ball over seven times themselves.
Where Russell County really found themselves hurting was in the paint where Adair County, led by Ballou, outscored them 36-8 for the game.
Russell County shot 46 percent from the field for the game while Adair County shot an even 50 percent.
The Lady Lakers were defeated 43-37 by Adair County in the night’s first game.
The ladies were led in scoring by LeeAnn Grider with 18 points while Adair County was paced by McKenzie Martin’s 16 points.
“Our team played a good game,” said Coach Craig Pippen. “The intensity level was there, we just played a poor second quarter due to foul trouble.”
He said his younger players stepped up and did an excellent job pulling them back to where we had a chance to win the game in the final minutes.
Russell County shot 39 percent from the field for the game while the Lady Indians shot just 35 percent.
Lindsay Ramage scored nine points for the Lady Lakers while junior Kyla Thomas scored six points, grabbed six rebounds and had three steals.
Julie Wethington also scored four points for the ladies.
Russell County outscored Adair County in the paint, 26-16, but was outscored 11-1 in the game’s second quarter to put them to playing catch up for the remainder of the game.
“Our focus has been to get better with each game leading up to the district tournament,” he said.
“I feel we have done that. I like where we are right now and I hope we are at our best come district tournament.”