Updated Sat, Feb 23, 2013 5:24 pm
After rolling over the Sheridan Lady Generals in their first playoff matchup, the Athens Lady Bulldogs squared off against the Unioto Lady Shermans in the district semifinals at Southeastern High School.
While the Lady Shermans threatened early, Athens’ efficient offense and stubborn defensive play proved to be too much to handle, leading to a 58-31 win.
Both teams struggled early offensively, only scoring a combined 16 points in the first quarter.
Dominique Doseck started off strong for the Bulldogs, but didn’t receive much help from her teammates. Shooting woes and turnovers allowed Unioto to stay within four after the first quarter, but from then on, it was the Lady Bulldogs show.
Athens received a defensive spark off the bench in Brooke Kemerer who recorded four steals and sparked the Bulldogs’ fast break offense.
An efficient 46 percent three-point shooting percentage helped the Bulldogs gain an 11-point halftime lead that they would never relinquish.
Unioto’s offense was held to just 31 points and no double digit scoring performances.
Mallory Retherford and Taylor Overly had spurts of production, but never formed a consistent enough attack to combat the Athens defense. Athens’ defense forced five blocks due to their overwhelming length advantage and forced 18 Lady Sherman turnovers.
“We continue to apply pressure offensively and defensively,” Athens Coach Wayne Horsely said. “Pressure busts pipes and tonight we just kept coming after them and I think we rattled them.”
Doseck led in total scoring with 22 points and an efficient 5-of-8 from three-point range, while Olivia Harris overcame early struggles to score eight points. Emma Stanley also made her presence known by dominating the boards and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.
With this win, Athens earns a place in the district final game against the No. 1 seeded Jackson Ironladies in the Convocation Center on Tuesday Feb 26, a matchup that this Athens team has been hoping for since the playoff draws were announced.
“We know each other’s personnel and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Horsely said. “It’s just going to be a matter of who gets the ball bouncing their way and who get’s the opportunities. It’s going to be a great ball game. We’re excited.”