The Russellville Cyclones felt like they let one get away against Alma last month. Friday, Alma returned the favor.
Kris Patrick put Russellville ahead, 45-44, with 10.5 left to play and Andy Campbell hit a free throw with 4.5 left to give the Cyclones a 46-44, victory at Charles B. Dyer Arena Friday.
Alma (17-3, 6-2) took a 44-39 lead with 4:01 to play on Braylon Parker’s 3-pointer from the top of the circle. They didn’t score again.
"I don’t know if it much to do with our defense or they just missed shots," Russellville coach Codey Mann said. "They missed the same shots they were making earlier. I don’t know if they got tired or fatigued. The difference was in the last four minutes, we got the rebound."
"It came down to two-point field goals," Alma coach Stan Flenor said. "We had opportunities to score. We had two offensive rebounds to score and didn’t get them in, and we had two crucial turnovers that really hurt us. We’ve been in a lot of tight games this year, and we’ve been successful in most of them. We’re going to have to learn to right through it."
The Cyclones cut the lead to three on Patrickt’s basket, then pulled to within 44-43 on Andy Campbell’s put-back with 1:52 left.
"About three quarters, they were getting second and third opportunities and just beating us to every ball and outplaying us," Mann said. "Alma’s a great team and well-coached. I have more respect for them than I probably do anybody in the state."
Alma led by two after one and trailed by one at the half. There were 14 first half lead changes, with Alma lead by as many as four (7-3) and never trailing by more than two.
Campbell opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer, setting off a crazy stretch in which there were seven lead changes in the first 4 1/2 minutes. Will Cluck’s long 3-pointer gave Alma a 19-17 lead, but Tony Jones - who had three first half treys — buried a 3-pointer to put to give the Cyclones a 20-19 lead.
But Alex Beneux’s 3-pointer and Austin Lee’s three—point play capped an 8-4 run giving the Airedales a 27-24 lead with 2:23 left in the half.
The Cyclones, however, took a one-point lead to the dressing room after two baskets by Kris Patrick.
Alma took control early in the third quarter, however, and slowly built a 35-29 lead. The Airedales led by two after three and, after Parker’s trey, led by five with four minutes left.
But the Airedales missed their final four shots, including’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Russellville 58, Alma 37 (Women’s)
Russellville’s Alyssa Owens got it going outside and Shameka Ealy scored inside as the Lady Cyclones clinched a 7A/6A-Central playoff berth with a 58-37 win over Alma Friday night at Charles B. Dyer Arena.
Russellville (10-10, 6-2) led wire-to-wire. The Lady Cyclones led by just one (15-14) after the first quarter, but quickly stretched the lead to 24-14 to open the second quarter.
Alma (9-12, 1-7) snapped the run a 3-pointer. Wright led the Airedalettes with 14 points.
Russellville extended the lead to 34-21 at halftime, thanks in part to Owens’ hot hand. She had four of her five 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 21 points.
Ealy added 20 points.
Alma fell behind 45-27, but closed strong in the third quarter with a 7-3 run and trailed 47-34 after three. Hailey Ostrander finished with 10 points for the Airedalettes.