Devils press button



RUSSELL After a sluggish start Saturday night, Russell coach Bryan Groves knew he needed to do something to help energize his team.

With the Red Devils trailing the majority of the first half, the first-year coach decided to dial up the defensive pressure in the second half in hopes of a boost. The plan worked as Russell ripped off 13 straight points midway through the third quarter helping the Red Devils to a 62-54 win over Fairview at Marvin Meredith Gymnasium.

“We wanted to create our own energy.” Groves said of the switch to the press. “When you press, you have to play with more energy. It makes you play harder.”

As the defense picked up, so did the offense for Russell. Four different Red Devils scored during the decisive third quarter run. Jared Fannin capped barrage for Russell with his only basket of the game, a three from the left wing.

Russell (3-3), who started the game missing seven straight three-point attempts, connected of 3-of-6 attempts in the second half.

The press not only helped the Russell find its rhythm, it also knocked Fairview out of its. The Eagles, who prefer to play at a slower pace, got sped up by the press leading to some key turnovers. In all, Fairview turned it over 15 times.

“We were tired and had some young players in the game, and they started running down the sidelines,” Fairview coach Derek Cooksey said on the effects of the press. “We know better than that, but it is just something that we will have to fix.

Cooksey said there were opportunities to score of once the press was broken, but that his team struggled to take advantage.

“We missed some open shots,” he said. “We sped ourselves up, didn’t collect ourselves and were not able to capitalize on those opportunities.”

The Eagles (1-4) tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, but struggled to get any closer than six in the final period.

“I’m proud of my guys, we were down 11 and we were able to cut it down to six with our press,” Cooksey said. “We haven’t worked on that much yet, so hopefully as the season goes and we get in better shape that is a weapon we will have.”

Groves also like the way his team handled its business int he final quarter.

“We gritted one out,” he said. “We made free throws down the stretch, showed some poise and didn’t panic.”

Ryan Stump led Russell in scoring with 20 points. The junior help steady the ship for the Red Devils in the first half scoring 12 of his team’s 23 points.

“Hats off to (Stump), he came ready to play,” Groves said. “He can play like that every night, if he puts his mind to it. I’m really proud of him.”

Bobby Hale and Landon Brewer joined Stump in double figures for Russell scoring 13 and 12, respectively.

Fairview’s Dylan Romine led all scorers with 23 points. Hunter Adams was the only other Eagle to reach double figures chipping in with 14.

Russell’s Ryan Stump steals a pass from Fairview's Aaron Wenzel on Saturday.

Russell’s Ryan Stump steals a pass from Fairview's Aaron Wenzel on Saturday.



FAIRVIEW FG FT REB TP King 3-5 0-0 3 6 McIntyre 2-3 0-2 2 5 Conley 2-6 2-2 1 6 Romine 7-12 6-9 8 23 Adams 5-11 4-6 5 14 Wenzel 0-2 0-0 4 0 Ruggles 0-0 0-2 2 0 Smithers 0-1 0-0 0 0 Team 7 TOTALS 19-40 12-21 32 54 FG Pet.: 47.5. FT Pet.: 57.1. 3 -point FGs: 4 2-5, McIntyre 1-2, Conley 0-2, Romine 1-2, i 1, Smithers 0-1). PF: 18. Fouled out: Turnovers: 15. RUSSELL FG FT REB TP Hale 4-10 4-4 3 12 Raby 2-8 2-2 3 7 Clark 2-5 3-4 3 7 Brewer 3-5 4-7 5 12 Stump 9-12 2-3 5 20 Whitt 0-1 0-0 4 0 Fannin 1-3 0-0 0 3 Atkins 0-1 0-0 1 0 Gillum 0-0 0-0 0 0 Team 4 TOTALS 21-44 15-20 28 62 FG Pet.: 47.7. FT Pet.: 75.0. 3-point FGs: 3-13 (Hale 1-3, Raby 1-5, Clark 0-2, Fannin 1-2, Atkins 0-1). PF: 17. Fouled out: none. Turnovers: 11.

FAIRVIEW 14 10 12 18 — 54 RUSSELL 10 13 19 20 — 62

Officials: Dave Fields, Dave Anderson, Joe Coldiron.


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