Cougars record biggest win over Panthers
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 3, 2015 9:56 PM

Ben Wright, who first made his presence felt as a Cougar on the Jim Young Gymnasium floor as a freshman in the district tournament, made his last appearance on Russellville’s home court a memorable one Friday. He piled up 24 points and 12 rebounds—enhanced by 13 of 14 free throw shooting—as Coach Lonnie Mason’s Cougars beat the Panthers 72-52 in the nightcap of this season’s first Clash of the Cats.

Coach Finley Woodard’s Lady Cougars also won by a sizable margin, 66-38. Both Logan County teams are now 3-0 in district games that count toward seeding the 13th District Tournament, to be played at Todd Central in late February.

The Cougars have won six of their last nine games against the Panthers over the last four seasons, but the average margin of victory in the first five wins was less that six points. This 20-point margin is the largest for Logan over RHS in at least 18 years, maybe ever.

Still Coach Phil Todd’s Panthers remained in contention throughout the third quarter, pulling to within 33-32. Logan outscored the hosts 39-20 the rest of the game.

The outcome may been decided in the first three and a half minutes of the game, however. RHS sophomore Pedro Bradshaw—the only Panther regular with any height and the team’s leading scorer in most games—picked up his second foul with 4:38 showing on the clock.

Without him in the game, Coach Todd had to use his considerable coaching experience and expertise to contend with Cougar big men Taylor Blakemore and Wright. When Logan worked the ball into them, Logan dominated. The senior towers combined for 37 points and 24 rebounds.

Good guard passing helped them do their work inside. Noah Whittinghill was credited with six assists while Tucker Baldwin and Garrison Rosser added two each. A downer, though, was the Cougars committing 21 turnovers against the relentless Panther press. RHS made 13 floor errors.

The outcome was no longer in doubt when Whittinghill drew a charge on Bradshaw with six minutes remaining, 35 seconds before Bradshaw fouled out. The first six points of the fourth quarter had come on Wright’s six straight free throws, leading to his going 10 for 10 in the quarter. Logan finished 19 of 26 at the line and Russellville a dismal 8 of 24.

Tahmir Graham, back in the starting lineup after missing most of the last two seasons with injuries, added nine points for the Cougars. Whittinghill, who has transferred back to LCHS after being gone last year, had nine rebounds to go with his six assists and two steals.

Seniors Lee McMurry and CoCo Darden finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Panthers with each shooting 6 of 15 from the field. No one else took more than seven shots.

The Cougars dominated the boards, pulling down 47 rebounds as compared to Russellville’s 25. Lee McMurry had 7 boards for RHS and Jason Mitchell 6.

Logan, which finished third in last week’s First Southern National Bank Christmas Classic with a pair of wins over Tennessee teams, improved its record to 9-4 while the Panthers fell to 4-9.

Score by quarters: 1) LCHS 12-11, 2) 29-20, 3) 44-39, Final) Logan County 72, Russellville 52

LCHS (72) Ben Wright 24, Taylor Blakemore 13, Tahmir Graham 9, Garrison Rosser 6, Jose Garcia 6, Noah Whittinghill 5, Tucker Baldwin 2, Dalton Furlow 2, Austin Bagby 2, Sedale Shannon 2, Lorenzo Garcia 1, Taylor Owens, Kaleb Coursey, Joey Hunt, Kenny Cornist

RHS (52) Lee McMurry 14, CoCo Darden 13, Tremon Morris 6, Jason Mitchell 5, Pedro Bradshaw 4, Micah Naylor 3, Jaylin McMurry 3, DeShawn Mason 2, Sylvester Cage 1, Paul Jones 1, Jacolbie Mason, M.J. Jones, Ricky Bellamy, Devin Quarles, Jacory Bard, Johnny Drumgole


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