In Jan. 27 Issue
The Russell County Lakers had little trouble defeating district foe Cumberland County Monday night at Laker Gym as they steamrolled the Panthers by 45 points, easily defeating the Panthers 77-32.
Russell County shot 53 percent from the field in the ballgame as 10 Lakers got into the scoring column for Coach Willie Feldhaus in the big victory to put the team's record at 12-5 on the season and 4-1 in district play. Interestingly, back on January 7, the Lakers pulled out a tough eight-point victory over these same Panthers in Burkesville but Monday it was all Russell County as they sent the Panthers to 2-17 overall and 0-6 in district play.
"We played well tonight," Feldhaus said after the win. "I tried to convince our kids that the past couple of games we have not played very well offensively and have not had any balance in our scoring"
Feldhaus said that by struggling on offense, the team's defensive intensity and pressure had also been lacking.
"I tried to stress to them, if you pick up your defensive pressure that will allow for some easier opportunities on the offensive end," he said.
Junior Blake Aaron hit his first three shots from the field and scored 12 first quarter points for the Lakers, something Feldhaus was impressed with.
"Blake is the type of kid that it carries over from one game to the next," he said. He said the junior is playing numerous minutes and that confidence to take and make shots just needs to consistently be there for him.
"What I was real impressed with were four kids in double figures," Feldhaus said.
Leading scorer sophomore Tyler Robertson scored 16 points and had four steals, eighth grader Nick Coffey tallied 15 points and 11 rebounds, Aaron had 14 points and eight rebounds and sophomore Nick Britt finished with 10 points and was 2 of 2 from three-point range.
"That is what we were doing earlier in the year, getting three or four in double figures on the offensive end," he said.
Also scoring for Russell County was Barton Mann and Alex Turner with six points each, Logan Smith with four points, Blake Ellis with three points, Martin Cross with two points and Hunter Best with one point.
The Panthers, who went on a mini-run in the third quarter, shot just 27 percent from the field and were led in scoring by 19 points from Asher Sullivan. Cumberland County finished with 11 points in the third quarter, the only quarter that they scored in double figures.
The Lakers went on a 16-7 run in the final quarter with the Laker starters on the bench.
"I'm excited about some of our young kids," Feldhaus said. "They are capable of doing some things for us."
He said there had been few games this season where he could substitute freely at the end of the game and get some meaningful experience for the next wave of Laker talent.
"They played well tonight, too, and did some things defensively that was impressive."
Russell County traveled to Pulaski County Tuesday night for a game with the Maroons that ended too late for this week's edition.
They will also be at home Friday night to take on Allen Feldhaus Jr.'s Madison Central team at Laker Gym. The 2011 RCHS Basketball Queen will also be crowned before the varsity game Friday night.