MOKANE, Mo. — In a tough atmosphere, the Russellville Indians girls basketball team came up short Jan. 9 in a 49-40 loss to the South Callaway Bulldogs. The team moved to 7-4 with the loss.
Head coach Brian Bishop said the team gave 100-percent effort and did not quit.
"That was probably our toughest atmosphere all season," Bishop said. "We (have) a lot of younger girls and it probably had a little effect on the game, but I think we handled it well."
The Indians led 14-10 after the first quarter and 21-16 at halftime. In the third quarter, the game would remain close as neither team was able to pull away from the other.
Russellville led 27-25 with less than four minutes to go in the quarter. A free throw by Melanie Loesch made it a 28-25 game, but the Bulldogs tied the game at 28-28 with less than three minutes to go. Cali Coombs scored on a lay up after an in bounds pass to give Russellville a 30-28 lead with under a minute to go. The Bulldogs tied the game at 30 with around 30 seconds to go. At the end of the third quarter, the game was still tied at 30.
Back-to-back turnovers hurt the Indians in the start of the fourth quarter as South Callaway led 32-30. A basket by Camie Grayson tied the game at 32 with 6:30 to go. South Callaway then went on a 6-0 run that included a basket that went in with a lucky roll to take a 38-32 lead with less than 4:30 left to play. The struggles on offense continued for the Indians after a couple more turnovers, South Callaway led by double digits with a score of 43-32 with 3:12 left to go in the game. The Indians surrendered eight turnovers in the final quarter.
Bishop said the team can work on better dealing with pressure from its opponents.
"We just keep working on it, keep working on against pressure, fundamentals, being strong with the ball, keeping your head up so you can see, just little stuff like that," Bishop said. "I thought that overall they handled (themselves) fairly well."
The Indians ended their scoring drought thanks to some free-throws by Grayson, making it a 43-34 game with 2:37 left in the game. A three-pointer by Grayson made it a 45-37 game with less than two minutes left, as the Indians fought their way back into the game.
Bishop said the team did not give up.
"That is all I ask, don't give up. Keep playing until the buzzer sounds," Bishop said.
Another three pointer by Grayson made it a 45-40 game with 1:25 left to go. But the Indians would not be able to cut more into the lead as they could not get anything to go in during the last minute. Thanks to four free throws, the Bulldogs were able to ice the game.
The Indians made four three-pointers in the game, while the Bulldogs made three three-pointers.
South Callaway had 16 fouls, while Russellville committed 12 in the game.
Macie Edwards had a team-high 13 points for the Indians, followed by Camie Grayson with 12 points and Regan Jenkins with seven points.
The team's next game is at the South Callaway tournament that runs through Jan. 18.