In the previous two meetings between the two rivals, Logan County had come out on top in both matches.
But Tuesday night would prove different as the Lady Panthers took a measure of revenge with a 47-39 victory over their cross town rivals.
“I thought this was such a team effort out here tonight and I couldn’t be more proud,” RHS head coach Dedra Adler said.
In the first quarter it looked like a repeat of the previous two meetings as the Logan County Lady Cougars dictated the flow of the game and jumping out to a 6-0 lead. But the Lady Panthers stubbornly hung around closing the gap to 11-7. All throughout the first quarter the Lady Panthers hung tough and was within striking distance all half long.
Going into the break the Lady Cougars were up, but just slightly with a 18-15 lead.
“We made runs, they made runs, they did a nice job at stopping our runs and we did a nice job early at stopping their runs,” LCHS head coach Scot MacAllister said.
With the second half opening up the Lady Panthers continued to hang tough as Logan County did everything they could to put Russellville down. But the Lady Panthers continued to force the issue and would eventually take the lead at 24-23 but immediately the Lady Cougars retook the lead and went into the final frame up 27-24.
Early in the fourth quarter the Lady Panthers took the lead and the momentum that had been fluctuating between the two teams seemed to finally shift over to the Russellville side.
“We were tied up and he called a time out and I told the girls that this is where we want to be,” coach Adler said. “Now you have to do the little things to put the nails in the coffin. There is only one way to do things and that’s our way, with defense.”
With the Lady Cougars looking desperate for the Lady Panthers to fold, Russellville struck the back reaking blow and went on a 9-0 run. With the lead at 38-32, the Lady Panthers could feel the victory just moments away.
“When you call plays and the kid gets it four feet from the basket and still fails to score it’s frustrating for them as well as us,” coach MacAllister said.
The Lady Panthers held off the late charge by Logan County and secured their first round victory 47-39.
“We have a lot of individual talent, and I told them, as individuals you’re good – as a team you’re great,” coach Adler said.
Now the Lady Panthers will regroup and get ready for the district title game against Todd County Central. They know that they have a chance against the Rebels as both games they showed flashes of greatness, just couldn’t put it all together for four quarters. But this time the Lady Panthers are ready to put it all together to make a run at the district title.
“I want them to enjoy the win tonight, but I want them coming in tomorrow to get ready for Thursday and working on their second win of the season,” coach Adler said.
The Lady Cougars will go into the off season and prepare for next season as they graduated a lot of seniors that helped them get the number two seed in districts.
“What I can say about the whole team is that they overachieved all year long, nobody thought they would get double digit wins, me included,” coach MacAllister said. “They consistently played over their skill level cause they played so hard and played together. They need to go out and understand that they went out and beat teams with more skill, just tonight it wasn’t enough.”
“Kudos to those seniors group of girls cause they are tough and good ball players and not just good ball players but good group of girls,” coach Adler said about Logan County. “Those senior girls are class act, he’s got a good group of girls and I wish them nothing but the best.”