Updated Sat, Jan 12, 2013 12:11 am
Alexander (3-9, 0-5 TVC-Ohio) squared off against a tough Athens Bulldogs (8-2, 2-1 TVC-Ohio) team Friday night in attempt to get their first conference win of the season. A stagnant first half put the Spartans in a hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of, with Athens taking home the win, 68-53.
It was a packed house in The Alley, which is no surprise for such rivals in the TVC-Ohio, but the Bulldogs proved that they are the team to beat, especially on the road. Athens remains undefeated when travelling and only have two losses at home.
The Bulldogs jumped on to an early lead over the Spartans in the first quarter. Joey Burrow got two quick fouls in the first, resulting in him being taken out of the game for the rest of it. He showed no mercy and came back firing in the second quarter, scoring 10 of Athens' 20 points of the quarter, which extended their lead to 38-16 at the half.
“Joe is our physical and emotional leader and he’s one of the two or three best players in the conference,” Head Coach Jeff Skinner said. “He is finally getting healthy and in shape and the last couple games it has really started to show.”
Burrow wasn’t done yet though. In the third quarter he scored another 12 points adding to his 24 total on the night. Athens had two others in double-figures to add to Burrow’s impressive play. Adam Luehrman had 14 points and Jared Elmore put up 11 points.
Burrow wasn’t the only hot-hand of the night. Alexander’s Braden Jones lit up the floor after he struggled early on in the game. He led the Spartans with 24 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Jordan Mosley added nine points and Seth Richardson had eight for the Spartans.
The Spartans made a run in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-11. With 2:37 left in the game, Alexander got within 10 points of Athens, but after they missed two crucial free throw towards the end, Athens pulled ahead once again.
Athens goes on the road again Saturday to take on Fairland at Chesapake. Alexander heads to Nelsonville-York for their next game on Friday, Jan. 19 to start the second half of league play.