The Russellville Panthers added two more wins this past week during the First Southern National Bank Christmas Classic tournament. The Panthers would finish in third place after their wins over the Caldwell County Tigers and the Pickett County Bobcats.
The Panthers began the tournament against the Caldwell County Tigers on Friday night. The Panthers would have a bad start to the game and trail behind the Tigers 8-15 in the first quarter. The Panthers would fight back in the second quarter and catch the Tigers, ending the second quarter with a lead of 29-28.
The Panthers were able to keep their lead in the third quarter and would end the quarter with a seven point lead of 49-42 going into the fourth. The Panthers would continue pulling away from the Tigers and end the night with a 71-61 win.
Seniors Barrett Croslin and Christian Naylor lead the Panthers with 18 points each. Lee McMurry and Pedro Rivera followed with 13 points each. Ricky Bellamy ended the game with eight points.
The Panthers would not have much luck in the second game as they faced the University Heights Academy Blazers on Friday. The Panthers would not have a bad start to the game, but would end the first quarter down 11-13. The Blazers began to pull away in the second quarter of the game and would have an 11 point lead by the end of the second quarter.
The Blazer would come out to score 23 points in the second quarter, giving them a 25 point lead over the Panthers with a score of 64-39. The Panthers would continue to fight, but the Blazers would end the game with a win of 81-55.
Senior Barrett Croslin would lead the Panthers with 16 points. Lee McMurry followed with 10 points. Pedro Rivera and Ricky Bellamy ended with eight points each.
The Panthers would go into the third place game on Saturday against the Pickett County Bobcats. The two teams would battle hard in the first quarter and the Panthers would trail 15-16 at the end of the first. The Panthers would gain the lead in the second quarter of the game and end the first half 35-32.
The Bobcats would come out in the third quarter and score 24 points, moving past the Panthers to gain the lead. The Bobcats would lead by eight points with a score of 56-48 at the end of the third.
The Panthers were not ready to give up as they fought to gain the lead back. The Panthers would tie the game 60-60 in the first half and the two teams would battle for the lead. The Bobcats would start to pull away from the Panthers, but with a three-point shot by Croslin they would be able to come back.
The Panthers would make their free throw shots and would end the game with a win of 77-72 over the Bobcats.
Lee McMurry would lead the Panthers with 18 points. He was followed by Croslin with 17, Christian Naylor with 16, and Pedro Rivera and Micah Naylor with 12 each.
The Panthers will travel to Logan County High School to face the Cougars this Friday in the Clash of the Cats. They will face each other at around 7:30 p.m.