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Russell Girls, Boys Fall to Ell-Saline

RHS BasketballGirls: Ell-Saline 45, Russell 35

Boys: Ell-Saline 59, Russell 54 (OT)

The Russell girls suffered their first loss of the young season on Monday, December 9 as they fell to Ell-Saline in the first round of the Morris-Stephens Classic in Lincoln, 45-35.

The Lady Broncos never led and were outclassed all night, but a late run made the game interesting in the fourth quarter. Russell trailed 19-9 at the end of the first quarter, 32-18 at the half and 39-23 at the end of the third. Helped by late foul shooting, the Lady Broncos got close, but just when they started to mount a charge, the Lady Cardinals put together a late run of their own and held RHS off.

Russell was 13 of 19 from the foul line.

Kyleigh Kasper paced the Lady Broncos with 10 points, which tied her career high. Eight of the 10 came in the second half. Megan Boxberger finished with eight points.

Russell falls to 1-1.

In the boys game, a much different story transpired. Russell dominated the game, leading the first three quarters, but eventually ran out of gas and lost in overtime, 59-54.

The Broncos led 11-4 at the end of one, 26-20 at the break and 44-35 with three frames in the book. However, two back-to-back threes midway through the fourth quarter from Ell-Saline's Ethan Steinbruck gave the Cardinals their first lead. Ell-Saline held that lead until just under 10 seconds left in regulation when Russell's Zach Boxberger hit a huge three pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime. Before hitting the shot, Boxberger had just checked in to the ballgame for the first time all night and replaced fouled-out Eric Rourke. Jordan Swanson and Kiefer Craig fouled out as well. In overtime, Russell's foul problems caught up with them and Ell-Saline was able to squeak by with the victory.

Jordan Swanson led Russell with 16 points and Noah Gfeller recorded 11. Austin Donovan tallied eight points and Reshean Holloway finished with seven, two of which came on a contested, one-handed dunk in the second quarter.

The Broncos fall to 0-2.

The Russell girls and boys will next be in action on Friday, December 13 for second round competition at the Amos Morris-George Stephens Classic in Lincoln. The Lady Broncos will take on Nickerson who lost to Lincoln Monday and the Russell boys will face off against Lincoln who lost to Nickerson in the first round. The girls game will be first at 7 PM and the boys game will follow at 8:30. Both games will be at the Lincoln Elementary School. Both games will also be broadcast live on Classic Hits 95.9 and KRSL.com.

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