Local Sports

RHS Girls Win, Boys Lose

Russell Bronco BasketballGirls: Russell 49, Ellsworth 46
Boys: Ellsworth 66, Russell 53

Grace Lumpkins scored a career-high 16 points and two other Lady Broncos recorded double-doubles as the Russell Girls rallied in the closing seconds for a 49-46 victory over Ellsworth Tuesday evening at Amos Morris Gymnasium.

The Lady Broncos fell behind early 9-2 before rallying to tie the score 9-9 after the first period.  Russell then jumped out to a five-point lead in the second quarter at 14-9 while finishing a 12-0 surge.  Ellsworth then rallied late in the quarter and trailed 18-17 at halftime.  

Russell appeared to take control of the game when they scored the first five points of the third quarter on their way to a 36-30 advantage after 24 minutes.  With three minutes left in regulation the Lady Bronco margin grew to 42-32 but that's when the Lady Bearcats went on a 13-2 run and grabbed a 45-44 lead with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter on a three-point basket by Jaide Talbott.  However, a short time later Rylan Reeeves hit a jumper to give Russell the lead back for good and the Lady Broncos sealed the deal with three more free throws to defeat Ellsworth for the first time this season in three tries.

Aniya Stierlen scored 11 points and had 11 rebounds while Reeves scored 10 points and collected 14 boards to pace Russell (4-10, 2-5 NCAA) to their first league win since the season opener against Minneapolis.  Talbott led Ellsworth (4-9, 1-6 NCAA) with 18 points while Lakyn Tenbrink added 16.

The Ellsworth Boys picked up the split with a 66-53 decision but this contest was far different from the first meeting on January 7 in Ellsworth when the Bearcats opened that game with a 15-0 run.

The contest was entertaining and fast paced in the first quarter as Russell led 17-16 after the first eight minutes.  However, the Bearcats used a strong transition game combined with several Russell turnovers to outscore the Broncos 23-10 in the second period and lead 39-27 at intermission.

Ellsworth kept up the pace in the third quarter and extended their advantage to 52-38.  The Broncos though battled back in the fourth quarter and got their deficit down to eight points but missed opportunities on consecutive trips down the floor in the final three minutes sealed Russell's fate as the Bearcats left Amos Morris Gym with a win.

Braden Schulte led all scorers for Ellsworth (5-9, 3-4 NCAA) with 23 points while Avery Haxton added 12.  Briar Ulrich scored a career-high 20 points for Russell (2-12, 0-7 NCAA) and Jacob Sohm tallied 11.  

The Russell teams are next in action on Friday, February 7 when they travel to Republic County for an NCAA doubleheader with the Buffaloes.  The Girls game will tip off at 6 p.m. with the Boys contest to follow at around 7:45.  The games will be broadcast on KRSL AM 990, 98.1 FM and online at KRSL.com 

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