Last week the Russellville Panthers competed in the Fourth Region All “A” Classic tournament. The Panthers would win against two good teams to move on to the championship game on Friday night. The Panthers started the game out slow, but would make a comeback in the second half of the game. Unfortunately, the Panthers would fall short of the championship title after losing 70-77 to the Glasgow Scotties.
The Panthers started their journey in this tournament last Monday as they faced the Cumberland County Panthers. The Russellville Panthers would end the first quarter with a 13 point lead of 29-16. By the half, they would have increased their lead by 22 points with a score of 53-31.
Russellville would breeze through the second half of the game and continue to increase their lead. They would finish the game with a 28 point win of 88-60. Advancing them on the to the semi-final game.
Lee McMurry would lead the Panthers with 27 points. Senior Barrett Croslin would follow with 17 points, Micah Naylor with 15 and Christian Naylor with 10.
On Thursday the Panthers would travel to Todd County to face the Rebels. The Panthers would have a slow start to the first quarter and would end the first quarter trailing 13-21. The Panthers would continue making mistakes and struggle offensively in the second quarter. The Rebels would continue to increase the gap between the Panthers and end the second quarter with a 19 point lead of 39-20 over the Panthers.
The Panthers chances did not look good, but in the third quarter the Panthers would begin their comeback and start creeping toward the lead. The Panthers would pick up their defense and hold the Rebels to only 10 points in the quarter, while offensively they would score 29 points. They would end the third quarter with a tie of 49-49.
Both teams battled hard in the fourth quarter, swapping the lead frequently. The two teams would end the fourth quarter with a tie of 65-65, sending them into overtime.
Overtime would be very similar to the fourth quarter, with neither team able to get a strong lead. The Panther would begin to pull away, but the Rebels would always come back. With seconds left in the game, the Panthers would trail by two points and gain possession of the ball ball.
The Panthers would attempt to score, but end up knocking the ball out of bounds, giving the Rebels the ball back. Lee McMurry would steal the ball under the goal and get fouled. McMurry would make his two free throw shots, putting the Panthers back in the lead of 80-78 with just seconds to go.
The Rebels would take the ball and make it to their three-point line, but senior Barrett Croslin would steal the ball, therefore sealing the Panthers victory of 80-78.
McMurry would lead the Panthers again with 28 points. Barrett Croslin would follow with 21, Pedro Rivera with 10 and Tacorian Darden with nine.
With this win, the Panthers advanced on to the championship game against the Glasgow Scotties on Friday. Like the previous game, the Panthers would have a rough start to the game. The Panthers would trail 12-19 at the end of the first quarter. The Scotties would have a big second quarter, while the Panthers still lacked intensity to keep up. The Scotties would lead at the half with a score of 39-29.
In the third quarter, the Panthers would start to climb toward the Scotties and catch back up. The Panthers would end the quarter trailing 47-53. In the fourth quarter, the Panther would continue to fight hard against the Scotties. They would get within four points in the last minute of the game, but the Scotties would get an offensive rebound and would get fouled, scoring three more point to end the game 77-70.
McMurry would lead the third game with 23 points. Croslin would follow with 15, Micah Naylor with 12 and Darden with 10.
The Panthers will travel to Glasgow again tonight to face the Scotties at 6 p.m. Both Russellville teams will head to South Warren this Friday. The Lady Panthers game will start at 6 p.m.