Updated Thu, Jan 9, 2014 11:10 am
The Athens Bulldogs boys basketball team had a set of home games this past week, both of which were double-digit victories for Athens.
The point leaders for both games brought familiar faces with Joe Burrow and Ibi Watson leading the way in points. Athens was able to grab both wins with some strong defense, accompanied by their consistent ability to put points on the board.
On Friday, Jan. 3, the Bulldogs stomped the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes with a big 64-36 victory at home.
Coming off their tournament trip to Florida, which featured some of the most elite teams in the nation, inter-conference play proved to be easy work for head coach Jeff Skinner and his guys. They seemed to be on another level, racking up points when needed and providing stifling defense otherwise.
Skinner is clearly looking to continue building chemistry among his players, especially the starting five, who could all return next season barring any injuries or transfers. While every game is important for the Bulldogs, they seem to just be preparing for their powerhouse opponents like who they’ll see in tournament play.
On Saturday, Jan. 4, the Bulldogs provided a similar result as the night before, finishing with a 62-43 win over Circleville.
While the Bulldogs have plenty of height, they didn’t need it during their pivotal third quarter run, knocking down six threes in that third quarter. They might not have needed their length to drain treys, but they definitely found it helpful on defense, disrupting the flow of Circleville’s offense constantly. Freshman Griffin Lutz had a pair of blocks and is proving to be a valuable asset for Skinner, specifically when his team has enough depth to bring him off the bench.
The Bulldogs will take on St. Vincent-St. Mary, the alma mater of NBA superstar LeBron James, on Friday. Skinner will try to match the high-powered Fighting Irish offense with his own weapons, as it will prove to be one of the team’s biggest challenges this year.
The Athens girls’ basketball squad had a few days off from play but continue their season on Monday, Jan. 6, against the Warren Warriors. The girls team is currently undefeated, led by strong play from top scorer, Dominique Doseck.