The Russellville Panther basketball team had a big win on Tuesday night over the Todd County Central Rebels in the semifinal game of the 13th district tournament. The Panthers had a strong start to the game and would finish it out with a win of 83-67 over the Rebels.
This win sends the Panthers into the 13th district championship game tonight and the 4th region tournament that will be held next week. This will be the Panthers 11th straight region appearance, breaking a record that was previously held by the Franklin-Simpson Wildcats.
The Panthers would have a huge game on Tuesday night. The Panthers would have a start the game with strong intensity to gain the lead early in the game. By the end of the quarter, the Panthers would increase their lead to 12 points with a score of 24-12.
The Panthers were able to hold on to their lead throughout the second quarter and begin to increase the gap between the Rebels. The Panthers would end the first half with a 15 point lead of 21-26 over the Rebels.
The Rebels were determined in the third quarter to make a comeback, but the Panthers were able to maintain their lead throughout the quarter. But the Rebels would not go unnoticed as they ended the third quarter only trailing by nine points with a score of 58-47.
The Rebels would continue to fight and keep the gap under 10 points for most of the quarter. The Panthers coninuted to play smart and be able to hold on to their lead until the end. They would finish the game with a 16 point win of 83-67.
The Panthers finished the game with six players in the double digits. Senior Barrett Croslin would lead the Panthers with 17 points. Senior Christian Naylor, Pedro Rivera and Tacorian Darden ended the game with 13 each. Lee McMurry finished with 12 points and Jason Mittchell with 11. Tremon Morris and Micah Naylor had two points each.
“I’m very pleased with how the boys came out and played the game. The first district game is always the hardest but they were ready and came out and took over the game,” said head coach Phil Todd. “Our lead early in the game and their ability to maintain it was what won the game for us. I really enjoyed watching the boys pass the ball around and let several players score.”
The Panthers will head to the 13th district championship game that will be held tonight against Franklin-Simpson. The Panthers have faced the Wildcats twice before this season and have had wins of 61-49 and 65-61.
“Practice has been more mental than physical. We watched a lot of tape and got on the court to walk out our plays and worked on free-throws,” said Todd. “We worked on our intensity in practice and hopefully that will carry over to Friday night. I’m very proud of the team and we are going to do our best”
The game will be held tonight at Logan County High School at 7 p.m.