Published Sat, Dec 15, 2012 12:35 am Dateline
Emotions and tensions were running high at McAfee Gymnasium for the Athens Bulldogs’ home opener against the Wellston Golden Rockets. Unfortunately for Bulldog fans, the visiting Rockets came away the victor tonight with a 48-46 nail-biting win.
The game came down to the final seconds, as Athens had the ball and a chance to win the game in dramatic fashion, but sophomore guard Joe Burrow’s shot rolled off of the rim and into the arms of the Wellston defenders.
“Joe (Burrow) was running out of time and just took it to the hole, like he should, and didn’t get it to go” Athens head coach Jeff Skinner said.
Athens was paced by a breakout performance by their freshman guard, Ibi Watson. Watson finished with a game-high 19 points to keep the Bulldogs in the game.
A high-energy Wellston squad was lead by their 6-foot-6-inch senior Justus Ousley. He set the tone for the game with a big block in the first quarter. Ousley finished the game just short of a double-double, contributing eight points and eight rebounds for the Golden Rockets.
The schedule does not get any easier for Athens from here on out. They must play six straight games on the road, and as Coach Skinner said, that’s a very tough thing to do with a very young team.
“We’re going to have to grow up fast,” he said.
Athens (2-1) will travel to Logan Elm tomorrow night for a rematch of the sectional championship of last year’s tournament.
Wellston (4-1) will host Rock Hill next Tuesday.