The season started off with a tough loss for the Russellville Indians girls basketball team, a 60-29 defeat to the Newburg Wolves on Nov. 22.
Russellville trailed early on as Newburg held a 3-2 lead with just over six minutes left in the first quarter. The Wolves then added to their lead on a 15-4 run to end the quarter.
The Indians got within 10 points early in the second quarter as they made it 18-8, but the Wolves answered with another run to make it 25-8 with 6:30 left before halftime.
Russellville's offense struggled as it went almost a minute without scoring. The team made it a 28-9 game with 5:48 left in the half. The Wolves then went on a 7-0 run to make it a 35-9 game. Russellville then broke another scoring drought with 4:20 left in the second quarter to make it 38-11.
Head coach Brian Bishop said being down early affected the team's confidence.
"Confidence-wise, it definitely hurt us, right off the bat (Newburg) got an early quick lead, and we just could not get back in it," Bishop said.
The Indians had a little bit more success on offense in the final minutes of the second quarter, but they still found themselves trailing at halftime with the score 43-17.
Bishop said Russellville can try to get into the post more often when they are going through a scoring drought.
"The threes were not falling, I think we only hit one. We were shooting better in practice, but that did not show in the game," Bishop said. "That comes with the game legs. It was the first time playing, so a lot of short shots. We just need to try to get into the post more and try to pound it in and use our size to our advantage."
Turnovers were a problem for the Indians, as they lost the ball more than 25 times in the game. Newburg used that to its advantage to build a sizable lead. The turnovers were a result of good pressure from the Wolves' defense and the Indians' own mistakes, Bishop said.
"It was a little bit of both," Bishop said. "Definitely their press was good. We obviously have not seen that yet because it is the first game. We have a lot of things to work on. But a lot of it was our own self turnovers. We know what we (have) to work on, and we will keep doing it. It is game one."
In the second half, the Wolves' lead only grew as they held Russellville to only five points in the third quarter to expand the lead to 57-22. The Indians outscored the Wolves 7-3 in the final quarter, but it was too late to come back from the large deficit.
Cameron Grayson had a team-high 11 points for Russellville, Macie Edwards scored six points and Reagan Jenkins had five points for the Indians.