Updated Fri, Jan 25, 2013 11:18 am
The Athens Lady Bulldogs moved one step closer to a TVC-Ohio championship Thursday night, taking down third-place Nelsonville-York, 57-32. Dominique Doseck led all scorers with 21 points to push Athens to 15-2 on the season (8-0 TVC-Ohio).
Athens established a high level of intensity on both ends of the floor early on, jumping out to a 9-0 lead and forcing the Lady Buckeyes to call timeout just four minutes into the game. The Lady Bulldogs continued their dominance through the first quarter and secured a 19-3 advantage after one.
“We play good defense, but it makes it so much easier to play good defense when you hit a couple shots, and that jump started us,” Athens coach Wayne Horsley said after the game.
Emma Stanley was disruptive on defense in the first quarter. The senior forward had three blocks in the game’s first eight minutes and altered a few more shots, making things difficult for reigning Girls Hero of the Week Madison Davis.
“Defensively, (Stanley) is really irreplaceable for us,” Horsley said. “She just takes up a lot of space, she rebounds, she altars shots, you know, she blocks them if she has the opportunity. She stays on the floor, and she defends the post really well.”
After the nerves passed, the Lady Buckeyes were able to find their offensive flow beginning in the second quarter. Nelsonville-York scored 11 points in the quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs still increased their lead. Athens held a 35-14 advantage at the half.
Jennah Addis led Nelsonville-York out of the break on defense, giving Doseck problems on the ball. The Lady Buckeyes were able to get easy buckets in the third quarter and chipped away at the Athens lead, coming as close as 14 points. But Doseck and Stanley combined for all nine of Athens’ points in the quarter to keep the Bulldogs ahead by 16 entering the fourth.
Athens held on for the 25-point win, taking all rotation players out of the game for the bench unit at the 1:35 mark in the fourth quarter. Doseck finished with six assists and four steals to go with her 21 points.
“We just wanted to have fun, play our game and keep pushing the ball,” said Doseck. “We shared the ball really well and looked around the floor to get easy shots in transition.”
Stanley finished with seven points, five rebounds and five blocks. Elyse Lutz and Olivia Harris added 12 and nine points, respectively, for the Lady Bulldogs.
“We knew (Nelsonville-York) was going to come in and give a first-rate effort, and they did,” Horsley said. “We had to be sharp tonight, and we were.”
Addis led the Lady Buckeyes with eight points and two steals, and Davis contributed seven points and six rebounds. The Lady Buckeyes shot just 31 percent from the field on the night.
After the loss, Nelsonville-York falls to 11-4 on the year, with two of its three TVC-Ohio losses coming to Athens.
The Lady Bulldogs wrap up their home season Saturday, as Oak Hill travels to McAfee Gymnasium for Athens’ senior day.
“Even though it’s not our last game of the season, it’s (the seniors’) last game here, last (home) game of their career,” Horsley said. “Natalie (Coschigano), Lauren (Thomas) and Emma (Stanley), they’ve played together for at least six years for Athens City Schools…Hopefully we get the same type of effort, same enthusiasm, and it will be a positive night for them.”