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Gaither starts fast, finishes strongly

Antonio Russell had 34 points, 22 in the first half, to lead Gaither past Leto 68-35 Friday night.

The Falcons, playing with only an eight man roster, led early by capitalizing on Gaither turnovers. The Cowboys (11-5) came back quickly with a 9-0 first quarter run, seven of which came from Russell. Gaither then had a 17-5 run to end the half and led 34-20 at halftime.

"The big key tonight was that we really seemed to start coming together in the middle of the second quarter," Gaither coach Dwayne Olinger said. "We distributed the ball very well and our teamwork allowed us to make that run."

Gaither continued to dominate, outscoring the Falcons 27-8 in the third quarter by getting points from all five of their starters. Christopher Bonner had seven of his 14 points in the quarter and Russell added his last 12 for the game.

"He (Russell) is our workhorse," Olinger said. "As he goes, our team goes, we have been riding him all season long."

Leto (0-14) was led by the guard play of Adrian Williams and Jose Rodriguez who had 12 and seven points, respectively. The Falcons shot only five free throws, making two, and Gaither shot 9-of-20 from the line.

Gaither looks to remain perfect in its district and capture the number one seed.

"It's pretty much cut and dry," Olinger said. "We need to win the rest of our games. Having the number one seed in our district is our ultimate goal."