In Jan. 21 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Russell County Lakers hit nine of 12 three-point baskets and shot 47 percent in Friday night's big 52-50 district win over the visiting Clinton County Bulldogs at Laker Gym.
Coach Willie Feldhaus' Lakers advanced to 12-2 on the season and 4-0 in district play with the victory.
Seven Lakers scored on the night, led by senior Robbie Bell's 24 points. Bell hit six three-point shots in the game for Russell County and also had six blocks.
“Robbie was in a zone in the first half going 5-5,” Feldhaus said. “Against physical teams we do have to knock down the 3-point shots to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Senior Bryson McFall added 11 points while dishing five assists for the Lakers as well.
“We played with a lot more energy tonight,” Feldhaus said.
“I give our kids credit, we're finding ways to win close ballgames right now.”
Senior Zach Carney scored seven points for Russell County while senior Adam Justice scored four points.
Kyle Burchett, Lucas Justice and Tyler Robertson each added two points apiece for Russell County.
“When you have as many seniors as we do that can hit key free throws down the stretch you can win close games,” he said.
Russell County hit 13 of 16 free throws in the second half of play.
Despite being outrebounded 25-16 by the Bulldogs the Lakers hit enough key shots and free throws down the stretch to stay undefeated in district play.
Feldhaus commended Clinton County coach Todd Messer for the job he has done with his team this year.
“I think they'll be very successful in the All “A” tournament next week,” he said of Clinton County, who outscored the Lakers in the paint 24-8.
Clinton County was led in scoring by James Dyer with 15 points and nine rebounds. Bulldog Wayne Stearns also tallied 10 points for Clinton County. Feldhaus said looking forward, his team must play within their boundary's to continue their winning ways.
“If we play with energy we're going to give ourselves a chance to win,” he said.