The Madison Southern Eagles fell 68-51 to the Russell County Lakers Tuesday spoiling the senior night send off for 11 Eagles seniors.
The game had a very emotional start as Coach Shane Buttry inserted senior Roger Rose into the starting lineup.
The move came as a surprise to everyone in the building including Rose, who has not played the entire year due to illness.
The Lakers, who last week beat Madison Central, didn’t waste any time jumping on top of the Eagles, roaring out to an 8-0 lead in the game’s first two minutes.
Eagle star Tyler Abshear finally broke the scoring drought for Southern with back-to-back baskets to cut the lead in half at 8-4.
Russell County dominated the backboards and quickly built the lead back up to 19-6 with just over a minute to play in the quarter.
A free throw by Damien Harris and a three pointer by Mike Rothermel with four seconds left pulled Southern to within 20-10 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lakers didn’t let up and quickly scored the first eight points of the second quarter to extend the lead to go up 28-12 midway through the quarter.
Abshear once again was the offense for the Eagles in the quarter, scoring Southern’s last six points of the quarter, but Russell County continued to build on its lead and went to the locker room up 37-16.
Southern was able to mount a fight in the second half and fought their way back to within six points late in the fourth quarter and had an opportunity to get even closer but could not convert and the Lakers held on for the win.
Southern Coach Shane Buttry said he felt that if his team had converted on that crucial play late in the fourth quarter there might have been a different outcome.