ALMA — Spencer Terry’s only shot was the game winner on Tuesday night.
Terry, a 5-10 junior, swished a 3-pointer from the corner with 3.9 seconds left to lift Russellville to a 61-58 win over Alma at Charles B. Dyer Arena.
Russellville (18-5, 10-1) won for the 10th straight time in 5A-West play and remains in first place, two games ahead of Greenbrier with three games left to play in the regular season.
“It was a huge win,” Russellville head coach Kyle Pennington said. “It was a team win. Our guys stick together.”
Cejay Mann tied the game at 58-58 with a driving layup and free throw after being fouled on the play with 2:36 left.
Russellville committed a turnover, but Alma (16-5, 7-4) missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with 1:43 left.
Russellville ran the clock down before Terry hit his shot, his only attempt of the game, from the corner.
“He can do that,” Pennington said. “That’s what he does. Our kids trust him. They made the right pass and he made the play.
Terry did not play the first three quarters and entered midway of the fourth quarter for the first time. Terry played three quarters in the junior varsity game and did not score.
“They were sinking off one of our other players, who doesn’t shoot threes,” Pennington said. “So, we knew we had to get another 3-point shooter on the floor. I’m so proud of him. That was a huge shot.”
Alma spent most of the game playing catch-up.
Russellville led 16-7 after a quarter and 28-19 at the half.
The Cyclones increased its lead to 30-19, matching its biggest lead of the game, with the opening bucket of the third quarter.
Alma answered with a 21-point quarter and took a 35-34 lead on Mann’s driving basket, a 38-37 lead on another basket by Mann, and a 40-39 lead on Tanner Shelton’s driving basket with 1:59 left in the third quarter.
Russellville led 45-40 after the quarter and increased it to 52-44 on Bowen Mathis’ deep 3-pointer with 4:51 left in the game.
Alma again answered with a 6-0 run with two free throws by Shelton, a steal and layup by Mann, and a fast-break bucket by Taelon Peter off a pass from Austin Cluck with 3:44 left that had the Airedales within, 52-50.
Ryne Sitkowski’s conventional three-point play gave Russellville a 55-50 lead, but Mann drilled a 3-pointer high above the arc with 3;24 left before Peter tied the game at 55-55 with 2:59 left with two free throws.
Mann’s 27 points led Alma. Peter and Shelton added 12 points.
Sitkowski led Russellville with 18 points. Mathis had 11.
Russellville 68, Alma 34
GIRLS – Makayala Ealy and Anna Myers combined for 35 ponts and 24 rebounds to lead the Lady Cylcones to the win.
Ealy scored 18 points and yanked down 13 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, and the 6-foot Myers added 17 points, 11 boards and two blocks.
Alma (8-24, 2-9) led 13-8 late in the first quarter behind two 3-pointers by Loryn Kelley and another by Hillarie Mata.
Ealy scored to end the first quarter for Russellville (15-7, 7-4), which went on a 20-0 run in the second quarter.
Cassidy Cooper led Alma with nine points.
Cara Davis added 10 points for Russellville, which stayed in contention for the final spot from the conference in the Class 5A state tournament.