Salisbury rolls past Russellville

Chandler Wolf of Russellville tries to break between Salisbury teammates Brady Francis (left) and Austin Francis during Wednesday night’s game at Fleming Fieldhouse.

Chandler Wolf of Russellville tries to break between Salisbury teammates Brady Francis (left) and Austin Francis during Wednesday night’s game at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Kris Wilson.

The Russellville Indians may have been a little unlucky to be ahead only by two points heading into halftime.

The Salisbury Panthers took luck out of the equation in the final two quarters.

Salisbury, ranked No. 2 in the final regular-season state poll, outscored Russellville 48-16 in the final two quarters of Wednesday night’s Class 2 sectional on its way to a 77-47 victory at Fleming Fieldhouse.

“We just got passive,” Russellville coach Jamaal Tatum said. “We got way too passive.”

The Indians led by as many as seven points in the first half, that coming with :47 left when an up-and-under layup by Chandler Wolf made it 31-24.

But Salisbury, which had four players with two or more fouls less than a minute into the second quarter, closed the half with a pair of buckets to cut it to 31-29 heading into intermission.

Russellville was 11-of-13 from the free-throw line in the half, while Salisbury was 2-of-4.

The two teams swapped buckets through the first four minutes of the third quarter. With the game tied at 36, Salisbury closed the quarter on a 10-1 run to take a 46-37 advantage into the final period.

“They have good players, when you play a team like that you have to be sharp mentally, you have to execute the entire game,” Tatum said. “That’s especially true on the defensive end. You need to get those two or three straight stops that can do a lot to an opponent. We just didn’t get them in the second half.”

Russellville never got closer than nine in the fourth quarter. Salisbury pieced together runs of 12-3 and 13-3 in the final period. After going 12-of-27 from the field in the first half, the Panthers were 18-of-37 in the final two periods.

Levi Anderson paced three Russellville players in double figures with 11 points. He also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds against a bigger Salisbury squad.

“He did a heck of a job,” Tatum said. “He gave us everything he had, he was a warrior.”

Brenden Jackson and Wolf added 10 points each for the Indians.

It was a return to Fleming Fieldhouse for Jackson, who transferred to Russellville from Jefferson City for his senior season.

“I put a lot on his shoulders every game, I expect a lot out of him,” Tatum said. “He did a lot for us in every game this season.”

Russellville, which won the Class 2 District 8 title as a No. 4 seed, ends the season at 21-8.

“You want to keep winning, but we competed every game this whole season,” Tatum said.

Austin Wyatt finished with a game-high 28 points for Salisbury, including 13 in the first half to help keep the Panthers in the game. Austin Francis added 19, while Zach Wyatt totaled 12 and Brady Francis chipped in with 10.

Salisbury (27-1) advances to take on fourth-ranked Canton (27-1) in the quarterfinals Saturday at Moberly Area Community College. Game time is noon.

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