In Jan. 27 issue
The Russell County Lady Lakers upped their season record to 13-5 and their district record to 5-0 with a 10 point victory, 61-51, over district foe Cumberland County Monday night at Laker Gym.
The Lady Lakers had a big first quarter, scoring 19 points, to set the tone and despite several Lady Panther comeback attempts, coach Craig Pippen's team held on down the stretch.
"Obviously the win against Cumberland County was a much needed win," Pippen said, saying his team had now locked up a number one seed in the district tournament later this season.
"Our energy level was better, however we need to do a better job playing pressure defense without fouling," he said. "We put Cumberland County on the line over 30 times. That will keep any team in the game when they get that many chances to score."
Russell County shot 38 percent from the field in the game and outrebounded the Lady Panthers, 32-27, while also picking up eight steals as a team.
"I thought LeeAnn Grider had a nice performance for us and Blair Hoover played exceptionally well in the second half," Pippen said. "Regan Helm got into early foul trouble but came in the second half and hit three 3-pointers."
Pippen said he was also impressed with senior Tyla Bailey, who came off the bench and grabbed six rebounds in the game.
"That is something we are going to expect from her as the season draws closer to the district tournament," Pippen said. "We need to continue to improve our defensive intensity and our transition offense. I do like the fact the girls came ready to play and we got quality minutes from our bench."
The Lady Laker defense held Cumberland County to just 36 percent from the field with just five Lady Panthers scoring in the ballgame. Russell County was led by Grider's 23 points, four assists and four steals. Regan Helm finished with 10 points for Russell County while Julie Wethington ended the ballgame with eight points. Both Bailey and Madison Loy had five points each while Lindsay Ramage and Blair Hoover finished the game with four points each. Amanda Cooper also added two points for Russell County, who was led in rebounding by both Hoover and Bailey with seven apiece. Grider finished with six rebounds.
Cumberland County was led by senior Taylor Watson with 22 points while Eliza Smith added 15 points.
Russell County hosted Pulaski County Tuesday night but that game ended too late for this edition. They will also host Taylor County on Saturday night at Laker Gym.
"We have some big games coming up to get ready for so we have our work cut out for us," Pippen said.