In Dec. 10 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Russell County Lakers escaped Casey County High School with a victory last Thursday night, holding on to the lead late in the game to win 60-52, despite 25 fourth quarter points by the Rebels.
Coach Willie Feldhaus' team shot 39 percent from the field and hit 19 of 26 free throws to help secure the win, but Feldhaus wasn't pleased after the game.
“I'm going to be very honest and this is to take nothing away from Casey County, they played very hard and beat us to most loose balls but to have a group of seniors and have a lot of upperclassmen who have played a lot of varsity basketball for two games in a row I am very disappointed in how we've handled the tail-end of ballgames,” Feldhaus said.
The Laker coach said his team was doing things right to have the lead going into the fourth quarter but couldn't understand why his club couldn't close out a game.
“It is an absolute debacle from that point on,” Feldhaus said.
Russell County had similar struggles putting away Lincoln County in the season opening win on Dec. 1.
Feldhaus said his team would work on game-type situations in practice but that he didn't want to wear his team out with three ballgames the first week.
“We've just got to get better,” he said.
A big third quarter where the Lakers outscored the Rebels 22-9 helped add some cushion going into the lackluster fourth quarter where the Rebels, led by senior Jordan Spagnoletti, went on a 25-15 run.
Senior Robbie Bell led the Lakers in scoring with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists while senior Lucas Justice scored a dozen points.
Freshman Tyler Robertson provided a spark off the bench with 10 points, four steals and three assists.
Senior Adam Justice tallied seven points while senior Zach Carney had five points and nine rebounds.
Senior point guard Bryson McFall added four points. Laker senior Kyle Burchett and junior Martin Cross played for Russell County but did not score.
Casey County was led by Spagnoletti with 18 points. Tyler Johnson had a dozen and Kyle Jeffries scored 11 for the Rebels.
Casey County hit just five of 25 three-point shots but the five they did hit in the second half helped to keep Coach Todd Carman's club in the game until the final few minutes.
Then on Saturday, the Lakers traveled to Berea College to take on North Laurel in the Wierwille Classic. Russell County got the win, 69-65, and was led in scoring by Tyler Robertson and Zach Carney, both with 15 points. Adam Justice scored 14 points for the Lakers, who held a double-digit lead in the first half before North Laurel made it a game in the final two quarters.