Adkins ignites Greenup in defeat of Russell

Jan. 12—RUSSELL — Greenup County senior Eli Adkins caught fire and Russell couldn't locate an extinguisher on Friday night as the Musketeers raced to a convincing 66-49 win over a 63rd District rival on the road.

After a scoreless first quarter, Adkins discovered his shooting stroke — and teammates found him frequently — as he racked up 16 of his 28 points in the second quarter.

During one stretch, Adkins drained eight straight shot attempts.

"We've put responsibility on him; it's his senior year," said Musketeers coach Corey Allison. "Him and Cohen (Underwood) and junior Bryson Chandley, I've put it on them. I say, this is you guys's team. You gotta start acting like it. Eli came out and performed well."

Adkins stayed alert and ready to receive passes once he hit his hot streak.

"Coach always preaches to keep your head up on those drives for kick-outs. I'm glad they (teammates) listened to him," Adkins said, cracking a grin.

Overall, Adkins was 9 of 14 from the floor and 5 of 5 from the foul line. He added four rebounds, second to just Bryson Chandley's five boards.

"I thought he was the difference-maker for them," said Russell coach Derek Cooksey. "They got a lot of nice, physical athletes — a lot of guys who got starting minutes last year. But he's probably one of the best athletes in the region. I thought he took some tough, contested shots. You've gotta tip your cap sometimes and gotta give them the credit. We gotta find a defensive stopper. The top teams in the region, they've got players who can put you in those situations, and I think our guys understand we've got to continue to work on the defensive end."

Chandley chipped in 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Cohen Underwood had 10 points for the Musketeers (9-9), who notched a victory in their first district contest.

Greenup County notched wins at Marvin Meredith Gymnasium in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2016-17 and '17-18.

Allison credited lessons learned in narrow, agonizing losses over the last few weeks for helping prepare the Musketeers for the meat of their schedule.

"These guys came out inspired today, fired up," Allison said. "They've been hearing a lot of chitter-chatter about how we started out against some tough teams and looked good, and then we've been kinda laying eggs. There's been some negative talk and the boys have been hearing it, and I'm like, that's good. That's getting them motivated, and they came out inspired and ready to play."

Adkins didn't shy away from voicing the team's goal of going undefeated in district contests.

"One of my teammate's brother said, 'you can't be 6-0 in the district without starting 1-0,'" Adkins said.

Caleb Rimmer scored a team-best 10 points for Russell (7-6). The Red Devils' district record is now 1-1.

Russell freshman Elijah Neel exited the game during the second half with a twisted ankle. Cooksey said Neel wanted to give it a go but Cooksey decided it wasn't the right situation to push it and risk further injury.

Greenup County led by as many as 27 in the second half — when Adkins sank a pair of free throws to make the margin 56-29 early in the fourth quarter.

Cooksey played primarily reserves — aside from freshman starter Gabe Pridemore — in the final quarter. Going against the majority of Greenup County's starting lineup, the Red Devils made a valiant comeback. A 9-0 run cut the gap to 18. They later sliced Greenup County's lead to 14 after a Kaden Benge old-fashioned three-point play followed by a Ryder Burgess long ball.

One thing we talked about at halftime was a willingness to be the aggressor. I thought in the second quarter, they turned the press up and we didn't really turn it over, but we took some ill-advised shots," Cooksey said. "For whatever reason, we couldn't get that surge. Once they got that thing to 15 or 16, we wanted to give opportunities because we compete every single day in practice and I think our guys understand it, that they wanted opportunities as well.

"I'm proud of those kids," he added. "For some of them it's their first actual varsity minutes and they had a willingness to engage or get up and pressure. ... You don't know how young kids are going to respond in that situation, but there was never any quit in them."

Chandley and Underwood helped Greenup County stave off any real danger in the final moments.


Gammon 3-8 0-0 3 8

Chandley 7-12 0-0 5 14

E. Adkins 9-14 5-5 4 28

Veach 0-2 0-0 2 0

Underwood 2-3 6-10 4 10

Herrington 1-4 0-0 2 2

Gibson 0-0 0-0 2 0

B. Adkins 2-4 0-0 1 4

Hatfield 0-0 0-0 1 0

Plummer 0-0 0-0 2 0

Holbrook 0-0 0-0 0 0

Lewis 0-0 0-0 0 0

Team 5

TOTALS 24-47 11-15 31 66

FG Pct.: 51.1. FT Pct.: 73.3. 3-Pt. FG: 7-12 (E. Adkins 5-6, Gammon 2-4, Chandley 0-1, Underwood 0-1). Fouls: 11. Turnovers: 16.


Quinn 2-7 2-4 5 6

Neel 3-7 0-0 1 6

Rimmer 4-7 2-2 1 10

Pridemore 2-5 3-6 4 8

Fleming 1-7 2-2 0 4

Burgess 2-5 0-0 1 5

Hewlett 2-4 0-0 0 5

Benge 1-1 1-1 1 3

Cordial 1-1 0-0 3 2

Kaczmarcyk 0-1 0-0 0 0

Hovanec 0-1 0-0 0 0

Burnham 0-1 0-0 2 0

Hignite 0-0 0-0 0 0

Team 4

TOTALS 18-47 10-15 22 49

FG Pct.: 38.3. FT Pct.: 66.7. 3-Pt. FG: 3-16 (Burgess 1-4, Pridemore 1-3, Hewlett 1-2, Fleming 0-4, Quinn 0-2, Neel 0-1). Fouls: 10. Turnovers: 12.

GREENUP CO. 11 22 19 12 — 66

RUSSELL 14 10 5 20 — 49

Officials: P.D. Harris, Dave Anderson, Jeff Adkins.