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Broncos Fall in Battle to Phillipsburg

Russell Bronco BasketballTyler Whipple scored 26 points on the strength of eight three pointers but the effort was not enough to overcome hot shooting by Phillipsburg's Ty Sides as the Russell Broncos Boys Basketball team dropped a 60-48 decision to the Panthers Tuesday evening in the first round of the Amos Morris Classic hosted by Russell High School.

The Broncos used scrappy defense to hammer out a 10-6 lead after one quarter before the Panthers took their first lead thanks to a 7-0 run to start the second stanza on their way to a 24-21 hafltime advantage.  In the third quarter, the Panthers led by as many as nine points before settling for a 41-34 margin at the end of the period.  Russell began the fourth quarter with a 9-3 run to pull within 44-43 but the Panthers were able to use their pressing defense to force turnovers and convert them into points to allow them to pull away for the victory.

Joining Whipple in double figures for Russell was Austin Price who registered 16 points.  Sides led all scorers with 28 points while knocking down six treys of his own while his brother Trey Sides chipped in with 19 points.  The Broncos struggled to hold on to the ball at times during the contest as they committed 28 turnovers but also forced 18 Phillipsburg miscues.  Free throw shooting also proved to be a difference especially in the second half when Phillipsburg attempted 17 free throws while Russell went just twice to the charity stripe.

Russell will play Ellsworth in the consolation side of the bracket on Friday at 4 p.m.  The Bearcats lost to Plainville earlier Tuesday 67-61 while defending State Champion Central Plains took care of Smith Center 64-34.

The Russell Lady Broncos will return to action at the Amos Morris Classic on Thursday also playing Ellsworth in consolation action with tip-off set for 4 p.m.

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