By Lenny Sementi
Senior Cassie Russo is making the most of her tour of central Illinois in her final season with the Lady Warriors girls’ basketball team. Russo added yet another double-double to her resume this past week as the Warriors posted a dominating 50-29 victory over Arthur on Thursday, Jan. 12. The post grabbed a game high 13 rebounds against the Lady Knights while hitting 5 of 6 from the field, scoring 11 points.
She fell short of the double-digit plateau in the rebound department a few nights earlier in a 46-31 Central Illinois Conference road win over Clinton on Monday grabbing seven boards but made up for it on the offensive end scoring a game and career high 25 points. If your keeping track that is 34 points and 20 rebounds for the week for the fourth-year varsity player helping the Warriors move to 16-3 overall on the year and 3-0 in the CIC.
Monday, Jan. 9
Tuscola 46; Clinton 31
The Warriors were stingy early not allowing the Maroons a field goal in the first period while limiting the home squad to just two points. Russo was good on all her of her attempts in the frame twice finishing off feeds from guard Natalie Bates. Bates also scored in the period, as did Lexie Russo. Bates ended the night with nine points, six assists, and five steals.
The elder Russo continued her attack on the paint scoring four more in the first two minutes of the second quarter opening up the outside for a Bates jumper and a three by Grace Dietrich. Clinton hit a three of their own in the stanza and cut the lead to ten, 24-14, entering the break with back-to-back short jumpers.
Coach Tim Kohlbecker got a big three from senior Alexis Koester who was a defensive target of the Maroons and utilized two more big buckets by Russo to maintain a two-point lead heading into the last eight minutes of the game. Clinton scored 15 points in the third to claw their way back into the game.
“The girls were disappointed that we jumped out to an early lead and allowed them to stay in the game,” stated coach K. “We’ve talked about having a killer instinct and putting teams away.”
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 17 edition of The Tuscola Journal.