The Russellville Indians girls basketball team (12-10) ended its season Feb. 24, falling 63-42 against the Linn Wildcats (13-9) in the semifinal round of the Class 3 District 8 Tournament.
The Indians trailed 11-5 late in the first quarter but fought back to get within three points after a three-pointer by Cali Coombs made it 13-10 with 2:18 left in the quarter. A basket by Allison Schrimpf then made it a one-point game at 13-12 with less than a minute left in the quarter. However, by the end of the quarter, the Indians still trailed 15-12.
Early in the second quarter, the Indians trailed Linn 20-12 with around 6:45 left before halftime. The Indians clawed back to make it a four-point game at 20-16 with less than 6:00 left in the half. Russellville cut the lead down to three points at 23-20 with just more than 4:00 left, before Linn responded with a 10-2 run to make it a 33-22 game at halftime.
For most of the third quarter, the Indians fought to close the gap and were able to get within seven points twice — once at 33-26 and the other time at 36-29 — but Linn was able to answer every time it looked like Russellville was getting close. At the end of the third quarter, Linn still led Russellville 42-32.
Midway through the game’s final quarter, Linn led 51-33 with 4:39 left in the game after starting the quarter on a 9-1 run. Russellville did not go away quietly, however, as the Indians answered with a 7-0 run to make it a 51-40 game with just less than 3:00 left in the game. Linn ended the game by going on a 12-2 run, quieting the Indians and allowing the Wildcats to advance to the next round.
Schrimpf led the team with 11 points, followed by Coombs with 10 points and Grayson with nine points.
Linn made seven three-pointers in the game. Indians head coach Brian Bishop said Linn was driving well and was able to kick it out to the right spot.
“We just were not good enough getting back on defense,” Bishop said.
Linn also had some lucky bounces go their way on a few shots. Bishop said when that was happening, he told the team to just forget about it and focus on pushing the ball down the court.
Despite the tough loss, the Indians still had a nice season. Bishop said he thanked the team for playing hard until the end of the game, even when it was down by double digits.
Bishop said players who will be back next season should not forget the feelings they had after the loss and use those feelings to work hard in the offseason.
“You’ve got to work your butt off in the offseason,” Bishop said.