Published Sat, Feb 4, 2012 12:00 am Dateline
Updated Sat, Feb 4, 2012 11:47 am
The Athens Bulldogs took care of Alexander 51-34 and passed an important TVC road test late in the season.
Alexander’s gym is never an easy place for opponents to play, and tonight’s full crowd was ready to fluster the visiting Bulldogs. However, Athens played a solid game, and for the most part, never allowed the Spartan faithful to make a difference.
The game started slow as both sides struggled from the floor. The Spartans used a zone defense look the entire first half, and it took the Bulldogs some time to settle in. Athens Freshman Joey Burrow got his team going with three 3-pointers in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs only led by three after that period.
The Spartans offense never got settled in in this game. Athens’ size and length definitely made a difference and kept the smaller Alexander players from getting clean looks and finding open passing lanes. Alexander rarely created open shots against the Bulldog defense, mainly relying on Junior Braden Jones to do his work in the post. Jones, the lone bright spot for the Spartans, finished with a hard-fought 16 points.
Athens pulled ahead to end the first half, and went into the break with a 25-12 edge on the scoreboard.
Alexander looked like they were going to threaten in the third quarter as Jake Grey connected on a 3-pointer and Tanner Carsey gave the Spartans some energy off the bench, but the Bulldogs were saved by another freshman, this one by the name of Ryan Luehrman. Leuhrman started to take the ball to the hoop and finished strong on a couple of nice moves. Leuhrman finished with 15 points and a team-high five rebounds.
Leuhrman and Burrow may only be freshmen, but their performances tonight were the reason Athens escaped with a victory. Burrow shot 4-5 from the 3-point line and finished with 23 points for the game. Both players play like they have a couple of years under their belts, and their composure in a hostile environment was impressive.
The victory tonight for Athens keeps them in the think of the TVC-Ohio standings with the end of the season in sight. Athens travels to Marietta this Tuesday while the Spartans host M.L.K tomorrow afternoon.