Local Sports

Broncos, Knights Split Competitive Games

Russell Champion MascottGirls: Russell 56, Sacred Heart 51
Boys: Sacred Heart 60, Russell 54

SALINA-Tiffany Dortland scored 13 points and the Russell Lady Broncos made nine of 12 free throw attemps in the fourth quarter as they rallied for a hard earned 56-51 victory over Sacred Heart Tuesday evening.

Russell jumped out to a 16-8 lead after the first quarter and appeared ready to run the Lady Knights out of their own gym when they began the second stanza with an 8-2 run pushing their advantage to 24-10.  However, Sacred Heart closed the half with a 10-3 surge of their own cutting Russell's advantage to 27-20 at halftime.  In the third quarter, Sacred Heart closed to within 33-31 before a 9-2 run widened the Lady Bronco lead to 42-33 as it appaered Russell was again ready to seize control of the game.  The fourth quarter began with the Lady Broncos in front 45-39 but a 10-2 run by the Lady Knights put them in front 49-47 with 3:30 left in regulation.

Then the Lady Broncos used their free throw shooting to close the game on a 9-2 run to secure their 12th win of the season and maintain first place in the league standings.  

Coming off a career-high 39-point explosion against Ellinwood on Monday night, Dortland started fast out of the gate Tuesday with seven first quarter pionts but did not make another field goal until early in the fourth quarter.  Joining her in double figures for Russell was Megan Peeler with 11 points.  Sacred Heart's Ally Cochran led all scorers with 16 points.

The Lady Broncos are now 12-4 overall and 8-1 in the NCAA.

In the Boys game, Sacred Heart, the sixth-ranked team in Class 2A this week used layups and an opportunistic defense to jump out to an 8-0 lead to start the game.  The Broncos closed the gap to 14-7 at the end of the first eight minutes.  The Knights then opened the second quarter with a 13-3 burst to build their largest lead at 27-10, but the Broncos started to wake up on offense with four three-pointers including three by Tyler Whipple to whittle the deficit down to single digits.  Sacred Heart would then turn a couple of turnovers on consecutive Bronco possessions into points and headed into intermission with a 31-21 advantage.

In the third quarter, Russell made another charge cutting Sacred Heart's lead to as little as six points before the Knights recovered and led 53-42 heading to the fourth quarter.  Austin Price nearly single-handedly brought the Broncos back by scoring seven of his 10 points in the fourth quarter and helping Russell get to within 59-54 with 20 seconds remaining.  They had a chance to make the score even closer but Price could not connect on a layup attempt and after a foul, Sacred Heart's Charlie Skidmore made one of two free throws allowing the Knights to earn their second six-point victory over Russell this season.

The difference maker in the game was Sacred Heart's Tate Herrenbruck who led all scorers with 32 points, well above his average of 14.5 coming into the game.  Whipple led the Broncos with 21 points including a total of five three-pointers.

Russell with the loss drops to 7-9 overall and 3-6 in the NCAA.

The Broncos and Lady Broncos take to the road again on Friday, February 8 when they travel to Beloit for an NCAA Doubleheader.  Tip-off will be at 6 p.m. for the Girls game with the Boys game set to tip at around 7:30 p.m.  The games can be heard on KRSL AM 990 and 98.1 FM and streamed online at krsl.com 

Read More Sports
KU on KRSL 95.9
Russell, KS weather