The Russellville High School girls’ basketball team had a gutsy performance in the fourth quarter to wrestle a 54-51 victory away from Logan County in the first ‘Clash of the Cats’ between those two squads this year.
The game was tied at 39-39 heading into the final quarter, but the homestanding Lady Panthers opened the period with back-to-back buckets from Khalia Hampton and Amber Sydnor to take a four-point lead.
The Lady Cougars weren’t going to go away easily, however.
Sophomores Kapreshia Powell hit a tough jumper and Maegann Hardison then nailed a 3-pointer with 2:26 left in the game to give Logan County a 50-47 lead.
But the Russellville girls’ defense ratcheted down and Hardison’s 3-pointer wound up being their last field goal of the game.
Just seconds after the trey, RHS senior Nathanshia Haskins answered with a long shot of her own - from just inside the 3-point line - to cut the deficit two two and swing momentum back to the Lady Panthers.
Sydnor then split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 50-50 with 1:21 left to play.
Katelyn Jones then put LCHS up by one when she hit the second of two free throws with just 36 seconds left.
Hampton came right back for the Lady Panthers, though, drove into the lane and was fouled with 10.5 seconds left. She hit both free throws to give Russellville a tenuous one-point lead.
RHS forced a turnover on the in-bounds pass, however and Sydnor was then fouled with 7.5 seconds left. She hit both her free throws to give RHS a more comfortable 54-51 lead.
Logan County still had time left for a last-second shot, but Hardison’s long try was off the mark and Russellville was able to celebrate a hard-fought victory over their arch-rival.
In the first quarter, it looked like Russellville might come away with an easy victory. Haskins sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a basket from Sydnorto just the Lady Panthers and early 15-9 lead.
The Lady Panthers led 18-11 after the first period, but Logan County came roaring back in the second quarter.
After Hampton scored an early putback to make the score 20-11, the Lady Cougars got back-to-back 3-pointers from Hardison to quickly cut the deficit down to three points.
LCHS center Abby Hinton added six points inside in the remainder of the period and Hardison added another 3-pointer as Logan County took a 26-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Hampton lead Russellville in scoring with 24 points. Sydnor added 17 and Haskins 14.
Hardison led Logan County with 19 points, including four 3-pointers.
Russellville (6-7) will be back in action tonight at Greenwood and then will play Friday night at Franklin-Simpson in another District 13 game.
Logan County (6-8) rebounded on Saturday night with a 46-41 victory over Warren East. The Lady Cougars play tonight at home against Hopkins County Central and then play Friday night in Elkton against Todd County Central in a District 13 game.