In Feb. 4 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Russell County Lakers moved to 15-2 on the season after defeating the visiting Pulaski County Maroons on Tuesday by a score of 72-58.
Senior guard Robbie Bell also entered the Lakers' prestigious 1,000 point club with 3:48 to go in the first quarter of play when he connected on a three-point basket, his first bucket of the ballgame.
“I think we played well after getting out to a sluggish start,” said Laker coach Willie Feldhaus.
“We had a scouting report on them and stated they could shoot the ball extremely well.”
Pulaski kept it close through the first quarter but the the Laker offense and defense was too much for the Maroons.
With Bell scoring 26 points on the night and seniors Adam Justice scoring 11 and Zach Carney scoring 10, the Lakers saw a lot of point production from their veterans.
Seniors Bryson McFall and Lucas Justice and freshman Tyler Robertson all tallied seven points each. Senior Kyle Burchett and Jordan Best also scored two points each.
“I think for the first time in two or three games we actually won the rebound battle,” Feldhaus said. The Lakers outrebounded the Maroons 30-17.
“That showed that we were aggressive so I was happy about that,” he said.
The Lakers shot 43 percent from the field for the game and hit nine of 19 three-point shots as well.
“I feel very fortunate that since I've been here we've had three go in,” Feldhaus said of the 1,000 point club. “We had Brett Blankenship, Bryon Ellis and now Robbie, so obviously I've had some good kids to work with.”
Feldhaus said he was especially proud of Bell because of how much time and effort he has put into getting better during the past five seasons.
“He spends a lot of time working on his game and has for five years and don't get me wrong, he has that natural ability as well,” he said. “To see that hard work pay off for him I couldn't be happier for a kid.”
Russell County remains undefeated in district play and at home this season and stands firm with a 15-2 record.
So is this what Feldhaus expected at this point in the season?
“I'd have to say I'm surprised,” Feldhaus said.
“If you'd asked me before the season that through 17 games, would I take a 15-2 record I would have said absolutely.”
But Feldhaus said his club was winning the games they are supposed to win.
“I'm happy at where we are at this point but with 3 1/3 weeks of regular season remaining before the district tournament we've got to somehow convince our kids that at this point of the year we can still get better before tournament play,” Feldhaus said.