The Russellville Panthers won their third 13th district championship in a row on Friday night. The Panthers advanced on to the championship game against the Franklin-Simpson Wildcats. The Panthers would get a slow start to the game, but would finish the game out with a 55-48 win over the Wildcats.
The Panthers would start off behind in the first quarter. The Wildcats would take a small lead of 10-7 early in the quarter. With three minutes to go in the quarter, the Panthers would come back to tie the game 12-12. From there, the Panthers would take off and gain a lead of 19-14 by the end of the first.
The Panthers would continue to fight hard in the second quarter of the game. Their defense would hold the Wildcats to only scoring four points in the quarter. The Panthers offense would continue to increase their lead and finish the first half with an eight point lead of 26-18.
When the teams came back from halftime, the Wildcats would start pushing back. The Wildcats would keep climbing toward the Panthers lead and get within four points of the Panhters in the last two minutes of the third. But the Panthers would hold on to their lead and end the third with a 44-39 lead.
Both teams would continue to battle during the final quarter of the game. This quarter would be low scoring for both teams, but the Wildcats would fight to stay within four points of the Panthers. By the final minute of the game, but Panthers would hold a steady lead. They would finish out the game with a 55-48 win.
Senior Barrett Croslin led the Panthers with 14 points. Pedro Rivera and Lee McMurry followed with 13 points each. Tacorian Darden and senior Christian Naylor finished with six points each. Micah Naylor had two and Tremon Morris finished with one.
The Panthers will head to the 4th region tournament and face Monroe County on Saturday night. They will play at 8:00 p.m. at Barren County High School.