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Russell and Ellinwood Split Non-League Twinbill

Russell Bronco BasketballGirls: Russell 54, Ellinwood 45
Boys: Ellinwood 71, Russell 63

ELLINWOOD-Anyia Stierlen scored a career high 23 points while Rylan Reeves added 18 as the Russell Lady Broncos held off a late Ellinwood comeback for a 54-45 non-league victory Monday evening at Ellinwood High School.

The Lady Broncos started fast and led 17-9 after one quarter thanks to Reeves and Stierlen combining for 14 points.  The Lady Broncos extended the margin to 30-17 at halftime and led by as much as 38-22 early in the third period before Ellinwood rallied to cut their deficit to 42-33 by the end of the period.

In the fourth quarter, the Lady Eagles drew even closer and trailed just 49-44 with three minutes left before the Lady Broncos put the game away by making five of seven free throw attempts.    Russell (6-10) outrebounded Ellinwood 35-34 but the Lady Eagles owned the offensive glass by an 18-10 margin, which is a bit misleading since Ellinwood missed many shots at close range.

Ellinwood (8-7) was led by Mya Maxwell's game-high 27 points.

The Ellinwood Boys gained the split with a 71-63 victory in the nightcap.

Russell jumped out to an early 11-6 lead but Ellinwood closed the first quarter on a 9-0 surge to lead 15-11.  The Broncos remained within range through much of the second quarter despite some missed opportunities and Ellinwood getting numerous chances at the free throw line.  The Eagles led 33-26 at halftime.

Russell was within five points in the opening minutes of the third quarter before Ellinwood took advantage of several turnovers by the Broncos to stretch their advantage to 52-38 after three periods.  The Eagles then led by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter before the Broncos closed the gap late with some of those points coming against Ellinwood's reserves.  

Rhett Pospichal led Russell with 16 points while Jacob Sohm added 13.  Ellinwood (11-4) was paced by Freshman Brittain Dutton's 21 points whle David Hammeke chipped in with 20.  The two teams combined to shoot 53 free throws and Ellinwood held the edge in rebounds 33-30 but won the battle of offensive boards 14-6.

Russell (2-14) saw their losing streak extended to 12 games.

The Broncos and Lady Broncos will return to Amos Morris Gymnasium Tuesday evening to face NCAA foe Sacred Heart.  The Knights swept the first meetings between the schools in Salina on December 17.  Tuesday's doubleheader will be broadacast on KRSL 95.9 FM and online at KRSL.com with coverage beginning at 5:50 p.m.  Tip-off for the Girls game is set for 6 p.m. with the Boys to follow at around 7:45.

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