In Jan. 13 Issue
Cold shooting for the 11-3 Russell County Lakers on Friday night nearly brought the young team their first district loss of the season Friday but a 21-11 run in the third quarter helped seal the win for Russell County against host Cumberland County, 58-50.
The Panthers, 1-14 on the season, led after the first quarter 10-7 and by halftime Coach Willie Feldhaus' team was shooting just 17 percent from the field.
The second half saw the Laker defensive pressure build as the Panthers turned the ball over numerous times down the stretch. Russell County finished with 14 team steals on the night as the Panthers, coached by Don McIntyre, turned the ball over 19 times in the game.
Russell County finished the game shooting just 29 percent from the field while the Panthers hit on 42 percent of their shots but were unable to make any big plays down the stretch and lost on their home floor.
"I give Cumberland County all the credit in the world," said Feldhaus. "We got nothing easy as they limited us to four field goals in the first half."
He said his young team still missed some shots they usually make, allowing the Panthers to remain close throughout the game.
"You go on the road in the district and shoot 29 percent for the game and find a way to win you're doing something right," he said.
"I told our kids that we really haven't played what I consider well since the Glasgow game, that's seven games ago."
Despite that his team is finding ways to win ballgames.
The Lakers were led in scoring by junior Blake Aaron with 14 points, three steals and two assists while sophomore Tyler Robertson totaled 12 points and eight rebounds before fouling out late in the game.
"Tyler just played 19 minutes and we've got to find ways to keep him out there longer than that," he said.
Eighth grader Nick Coffey tallied another double-double as he scored 10 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. Both sophomore Barton Mann and senior Martin Cross scored eight points for the Lakers. Mann also grabbed six rebounds and Cross had three steals.
Sophomore Nick Britt, junior Hunter Best and senior Logan Smith each scored two points for Russell County to provide a spark off the bench.
Britt also had a team-high four steals on the night while Smith grabbed five rebounds.
Feldhaus said he was proud so see the productivity off the bench and said those players would be key to how the rest of the season played out.
Leading the way for the Panthers was junior Asher Sullivan with 15 points and senior Nelson Price with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Russell County travels to Albany this Friday night for a matchup with district foe Clinton County, a team they defeated at home earlier this season.
The Bulldogs themselves are coming off an impressive district win over Metcalfe County after defeating the visiting Hornets 58-44 Friday.