Kingston decided not to guard her; So Kylie Russell torched the place.
The former Alcoa guard’s seven 3-pointers in a district-tournament win over the Yellow Jackets two years ago remains one of the top five shooting performances of the last decade in area high school girls’ basketball.
A Milligan College signee, Russell still laughs when recalling how that night took off.
“I started off kind of slow that night,” she said. “We were playing Kingston, and they weren’t coming out to guard me. I just remember my teammates coming up to me and saying I was lighting it up.”
Russell’s senior campaign with the Lady Tornadoes says the Lady Buffaloes are getting a playmaking point guard with a lot of versatility. On a balanced Alcoa team, Russell averaged 6.1 points per game, hitting on 37 percent of her 3s and adding 3.4 assists, in earning All-District 4AA and All-Blount County at season’s end. She also finished among the Lady Tornado leaders in rebounding.
The Lady Buffaloes also play an entertaining, up-tempo style of basketball, just the thing for a quick, heady point guard who can do a little bit of everything.
“A big thing coach (Rich) Aubrey talks about is putting people on the floor who are ball players,” said Russell, with the Buffs’ skipper always looking for players who can “make things happen.”
Like blowing up the other team with seven 3s.