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MCDONALD'S GAME OF THE WEEK (Girls Basketball): #7 Shullsburg 40, Argyle 37
#184 and counting, Russell sets Shullsburg record for victories
Nathan Russell (back row center) became Shullsburg's all-time winningest girls basketball coach after leading the Miners to a 40–37 victory at Argyle on Friday, Jan.24. Russell added another win over River Ridge/Scales Mound Saturday to move his record to 185–77 with the Miners and 195–88 overall.

BOYS BASKETBALL: #7 Shullsburg 40, Argyle 37

ARGYLE — Shullsburg head coach Nathan Russell’s focus at Argyle on Friday night was to get his Lady Miners’ team their 13th victory of the season and not the 184th victory of his career.

Lucky for him, his team got him both as they rallied from a six-point deficit in the second half to edge the host Orioles, 40–37, in a down-to-the-wire non-conference girls’ basketball game that gave Russell the record for career coaching victories at Shullsburg.

“It is very humbling and gratifying to set the record. When I took over the program eleven years ago, I had a lot of people tell me that the athletes weren’t very good and that they wouldn’t work hard enough to be successful. I have been very proud of how our players have worked, put in the time and improved over the years. The players along with our coaches at all levels have helped shape a culture of winning,” said Coach Russell, who has posted a 185–77 record in 11 seasons at Shullsburg and is currently five wins shy of his 200th overall varsity victory milestone. 

“This record is to be shared with the players, coaches and parents who have helped us exceed expectations the past eleven years. I would also like to give special acknowledgement to all of the coaches that have worked with me over the past eleven years, especially Tim Strang who has been with me for ten of the eleven years as an unpaid assistant. Their contribution in getting our players to a higher level has been instrumental in our success.”

Junior Kayla Klotz hit a pair of clutch free throws with 11.1 seconds remaining in regulation to snap a 37 all tie.

Coach Russell’s daughter, junior Madison Russell, added a free throw with 2.3 seconds to play, and senior Calli Jerry secured a late steal to seal the win for the Miners (14–2 overall).

Klotz matched her career-high by leading all scorers with 16 points, including an 8-of-10 effort from the foul stripe.

Sophomore Jaidyn Strang hit two 3-pointers on her way to seven points and led the team with five steals.

Sophomore Tori Lantz scored all 13 of her points in the first half to lead the Orioles (11–6) to a 22-19 halftime lead. 

Shullsburg posted three wins over the span of five days last week, including Friday’s record-setting contest. The #7-ranked Miners opened the week by rallying from a two-point halftime deficit to defeat the Belmont Braves, 55–42, in Six Rivers West action at BHS on Tuesday, Jan. 21; and then, just over 18 hours after defeating Argyle, Coach Russell’s squad earned him career win #185 by rolling over River Ridge/Scales Mound, 57–33, in another non-conference affair.

Junior Anna Wiegel scored 15 of her game-high 19 points to carry the Miners (5–1 SRW) over the Braves (6–9, 1–5) on Tuesday night. Klotz added eight of her 11 points in the second half and Russell chipped in with seven of her nine points in that same half as Shullsburg used a 34–19 second-half scoring advantage to erase a 23–21 halftime deficit.

Sophomore Ashley Freeman scored nine of her team-high 11 points in the first half to lead Belmont. Freshmen Rilyn Mootz and Tori Nodolf scored nine and seven points, respectively, for the Braves.

Junior Layla Alt registered a double-double with a game-high 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in the Miners’ 24-point victory over the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon.

Wiegel netted 15 points, and Russell tallied six rebounds and six assists to go along with four steals and four points for the Miners. Mickayla Bass led the Wildcats with eight points.