In Dec. 17 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
Shooting a blistering 64 percent from the field for the game and whopping 91 percent in the third quarter, the 5-0 Russell County Lakers defeated the visiting 0-4 Warren East Raiders 82-41 in their first home game of the season last Friday at Laker Gym.
Four Russell County players finished in double figures for the game, led by senior Robbie Bell's 21 points, while six other Lakers scored as well.
Laker coach Willie Feldhaus said after the game he couldn't remember a time in his 23 years as a coach where a team shot as well as his team did in the second and third quarters of the Warren East ballgame.
“We had a good inside-outside mix so we'll enjoy it when it happens,” he said.
Russell County's Adam Justice scored 13 points and both Zach Carney and Bryson McFall scored 10 points each. Carney slammed home his first-career dunk in the second half as well, a move that brought the large Laker crowd in attendance to their feet.
Lucas Justice scored eight points while both Tyler Robertson and Hunter Best scored six points in the game. Taylor Hutchison tallied four points, Martin Cross and Kyle Burchett both had two points each. Burchett also snagged six rebounds to lead the Lakers and garnered rave reviews from Feldhaus on his improved play.
The Lakers started sluggish, but that soon changed completely.
“I called an early timeout because I didn't think our defensive intensity was where it needed to be the first three or four possessions,” he said. “But after that we caused them some problems and take nothing away from (Warren East's) kids, they're playing a lot of young, perimeter-oriented kids.”
Feldhaus said his team took advantage of the offensive opportunities the Raiders gave them.
“We finally did find the passing lanes out on the court which created a lot of easy shots for us,” he said.
Off to a great start, Feldhaus said his team was as unselfish as they come.
“The best thing about it is, I think all our kids are happy for each other,” he said.
“I don't think at the end of the game anybody is looking just at their points and if they don't score that they're unhappy, I think they're happy with their teammates and any success they might have and ultimately they know that is the type of attitude they're going to have to have to win.”
Warren East shot just 41 percent from the field for the game and only hit one three-point shot.