The Russellville Panthers ended their three-game winning streak in Franklin on Tuesday night with a 50-70 loss to the Franklin-Simpson Wildcats.
About a month ago the Panthers up-ended the Wildcats’ bid to have a perfect District 13 record with a 59-52 victory at Russellville.
Tuesday’s game began pretty much as last month’s did.
Through the first quarter, both teams tested the other’s defense, as the lead changed a few times. With the Panthers trailing, 10-11, the near capacity crowd was awed by Jason Mitchell’s recovery of a loose ball on the Wildcats’ end of the court, his speed getting down court, and his jump and dunk for a 12-11 Russellville lead. The play made many highlight reels and caused a stir on twitter.
Unaffected by the senior guard from Russellville, Franklin-Simpson’s junior star Tavin Lovan soon answered with a basket to give the lead back to the home team.
Jacob Naylor’s 3-point basket as time ran down in the first quarter gave the Panthers a 15-13 lead to begin the second quarter.
In the first moments of the second quarter there would be two ties and two lead changes. At 5:30 to go, Mitchell’s big-time block of Lovan’s shot, followed by a 3-point basket by Shon Kees via an excellent assist by Pedro Bradshaw, gave the Panthers the lead, 24-18.
At the end of the first half Russellville held the lead 26-25.
The Wildcats came out of the break and immediately took the lead, 27-26. The home team would outscore the Panthers 27-10 in the third quarter, as their shooters got red-hot while the Russellville shooters got ice-cold.
To begin the final quarter the Wildcats led 52-36. The Wildcats kept up their barrage and the Panthers were not able to overcome. The final score: Russellville 50, Franklin-Simpson 70.
With the win the Wildcats improve to 3-1 in District 13 and 16-3 overall. They next host Todd County Central on Friday night, February 5.
The loss puts the Panthers at 3-1 in District 13 and 14-5 overall.
Next up for the Panthers is the second “Clash of the Cats” contest. On Friday night, February 5, the Logan County Cougars (2-2 in District; 8-10 overall) will visit Jim Young Gym.
The Cougars are coming off an overtime loss to Trigg County, 70-71, this past Monday.
Tip-off for the game, the second of a girl/boy doubleheader, will follow RHS Hall of Fame ceremony.