It was Trigg’s first win over the Fourth Region school in 24 years and their first win at Russellville since 1970.
The Wildcats had trouble early trying to solve Russellville’s trapping defense, but used the fast break to overcome an early 17-7 deficit.
“We struggled early with some bad shots, but once we got moving, we took Russellville out of their trap,” Wildcat head coach Bill Chumbler said.
The Panthers (1-4) hit four of their first five shots in grabbing a quick ten point lead.
A 3-point play by Russell Mackins followed by a 3-pointer from Jeremy Jones ignited the Trigg County rally, which saw them take a 37-25 lead into halftime.
The Wildcats once again got strong play off the bench from T.J. O’Hara, who scored a season-high 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 14 minutes of action.
“T.J. was the difference for us once again. He came in and played tough in the middle,” Chumbler said.
Seven of O’Hara’s points came in the second quarter when Trigg County outscored the Panthers 22-8.
The inside presence of O’Hara and Mackins helped Trigg County outscore Russellville 38-26 in the paint.
The Wildcats also got strong play early from Devin Tejada, who dished out four assists in 12 minutes before leaving the game with an ankle injury.
Zack Wright then contributed three more assists and no turnovers in 22 minutes of action.
The Wildcats’ 1-3-1 zone caused the Panthers trouble after the first quarter. Russellville hit just 34-percent of their shots over the final three quarters after connecting on 8-of-15 in the first quarter.
“We were active in our zone and kept them off the boards when they did miss a shot,” Chumbler said, referring to Trigg County’s 47-31 advantage on the boards.
Trigg County’s biggest lead came at the end of the third quarter when they were up 64-39.
The Wildcats shot 48-percent from the field (35-of-72) and 37-percent (7-of-19) from 3-point range.
Four players reached double figures to lead the balanced Wildcat attack. Mackins led the way with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Jeremy Jones hit five 3-pointers to finish with 15 points and seven rebounds.
In addition to O’Hara’s season-high of 15 points, Jamaal Boyd battled early foul trouble to finish with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Junior guard Jordan Hinton led Russellville with 20 points, but only four of those came after halftime.
“We did a much better job of getting a hand in his face and trapping him out top in the 1-3-1 zone,” Chumbler said of Trigg’s second half defense on Hinton.
Jerrell Mayo added 11 points for Russellville.
The 21-point loss was Russellville’s largest on their home court since a 92-49 loss to Hopkinsville in 2003.