Russell-Tyler-Ruthton resembles the school's state champions of the past — experienced, athletic and physical.
The veteran lineup continually beat a young Nevis squad up and down the floor in an 80-62 victory Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A boys basketball state tournament at Williams Arena.
The Knights won back-to-back state titles in 2004 and 2005 and again in 2018.
Aiden Wichmann was directing the charge with precision bounce passes off the dribble while Drew Werkman was owning the paint while filling lanes on the fast break. Werkman had six points and Wichmann two assists as the No. 6-ranked Knights (29-1) scored eight of the game's first 10 points. They never trailed.
"When we can get out and run we start really clicking," Wichmann said. He finished with a game-high 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.
Werkman scored 19 points.
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton closed the half on a 23-5 run, taking a 39-18 lead at halftime. Werkman (11) and Wichmann (8) combined for 19 points.
The Knights didn't let up in the second half. Almost identical to the first half, they scored seven of the first nine points to widen the lead to 46-20.
"We are a year more experienced, a year older," Knights coach Daren Gravely said. The Knights lost to eventual state champion Hayfield in the quarterfinals a year ago. "We're locked in."
Sophomore forward Alex Lester paced the Tigers (24-7) with 20 points.