Week Preview: Crucial Conference Battles Lie Ahead

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With conference play in full swing, our reporters take a look at the week ahead for each team.

BOYS: Athens Bulldogs

On Tuesday, the Bulldogs are seeking a big win as they take on the Spartans of Alexander. Both teams are currently sitting in second place with a 2-2 conference record. The Bulldogs are trying to break a five-game losing streak and what better way to snap that by beating the Spartans. Athens will need senior guard Josh Skinner and the rest of the senior class, to pull this relatively young Athens team together and get back on track. This will be an exciting matchup, as the Bulldogs are itching for a win. –Will Hartman

Alexander Spartans

After jumping out of conference to beat River Valley 43-32 last week, the Alexander Spartans head back into TVC-Ohio play for two marquee match-ups.  On Tuesday the Spartans will take on the Athens Bulldogs led by Head Coach Jeff Skinner.  Friday Alexander will travel to Wellston for another showdown of 2-2 teams inside of the conference.  These two road tests are vital if the Spartans plan on staying the conference title race.  Wellston, Athens, and Alexander all have two conference losses.  If the Spartans plan on contending, they cannot drop another conference game, as Vinton County is still undefeated in TVC-Ohio action. –Brad Hawley

Nelsonville-York Buckeyes

The Buckeyes will have a chance to break a two-game losing streak on Tuesday at home against Wellston. The Rockets won five straight games before dropping Saturday's contest against Southern. The primary focus for the Buckeyes this week will be scoring the basketball. In its last two games, Jay Kline's squad averaged just 46 points. No player from Nelsonville-York managed to score in double figures in both games. The Buckeyes will cap off the week by playing host to a winless Meigs squad on Friday. –Pat Chiesa

Trimble Tomcats

The Trimble Tomcats are still in search of their first TVC-Hocking win, and they have two more opportunities this week. First up is a rematch with Eastern on Tuesday in Glouster, who beat the Tomcats 49-36 earlier in the season. In that matchup Max Carnahan led the Eagles to victory with 17 points while Cyrus Jones scored 12 for Trimble. After that is a trip to Belpre on Friday, who defeated the Tomcats 59-43 back in December. The key for victory in both games for the Tomcats will be to improve their defense, which allows 61 points per game. –Glenn Janos

Federal Hocking Lancers

Yet another week of TVC-Ohio basketball is ahead and the Lancers are ready to compete. This Tuesday, Federal Hocking, (5-6 overall, and 4-4 in conference), will take on Miller, which will be a great game to check out because the Lancers slid past the Miller Falcons back in December. Last Week's "Hero of the Week" Chris Saylor will look to continue his great play as the Lancers try to climb to the .500 mark. –Melissa Wells


GIRLS: Athens Lady Bulldogs

The Athens Lady Bulldogs take on the Meigs Lady Marauders on Thursday. Although Meigs' record is 3-11, this Lady Marauders team will do whatever it takes to beat the new number one team in the TVC-Ohio. The Lady Bulldogs will need an all around team effort if they would like to stay atop in the TVC. Athens needs to stay sharp and cannot afford to let this game slip away from them, considering second place Vinton County will be facing a one win Alexander Lady Spartan team this Thursday. Each game from here on out matters tremendously for this Lady Bulldog team. –Will Hartman

Alexander Lady Spartans

The Lady Spartans broke into the win column last week going into Wellston and shocking the Rockets 40-39.  Now at 1-5 in TVC-Ohio play, Alexander will look to build off their first win of the season as the travel to Vinton County Thursday evening to take on the Lady Vikings.  Starting this week, Vinton County is 4-1 in conference play.  Head Coach Denton Guthrie will be looking forward to the continued maturation of young guards Marilyn Rankin and Allyson Mallone.  The pair dropped 13 points respectively against Wellston. –Brad Hawley

Nelsonville-York Lady Buckeyes

There is no team in the TVC-Ohio hotter than the Nelsonville-York Lady Buckeyes. The Lady Bucks have won eight of their last nine games, a streak that spans all the way back to December 17th. However, Amanda Dalton's team is preparing for it's toughest stretch of games yet. On the calendar this week is a trip to Wellston on Thursday to battle the Lady Rockets. Wellston defeated Nelsonville-York 58-51, the first time these teams met in the confines of Ben Wagner Gymnasium. –Pat Chiesa

Trimble Lady Tomcats

After a huge conference upset over the Belpre Lady Eagles this past Thursday, this week will be one of the most important weeks in conference play for the Trimble Lady Tomcats. They will play three league games all in their home gym, in attempt to shake up the TVC Hocking standings. They start this week hosting the White Falcons from Wahama on Monday. This Wahama team only beat the Tomcats by five in the first meeting at Wahama. They also host South Gallia on Saturday and Federal Hocking on January 30. These are games the Lady Tomcats must win if they want to jump up in the conference standings. Senior leadership must step up for the Tomcats to help rally the troops. Trimble needs to rebound the basketball efficiently and run through their offense and take smart shots if they want to top these three tough league opponents. Look for very close scores in these matchups as conference play really heats up. –Keith Turner

Federal Hocking Lady Lancers

The Lady Lancers take on a hot Waterford team which is 11-2 overall and undefeated in TVC-Hocking play at 10-0. Led by Haley Crawford's 18 points, the Lady Lancers are coming off a thrilling one-point victory over Miller. Can the Lady Lancers win two in a row and pull off the huge upset? The girls are (4-10) overall, and (4-7) in the conference. Let's see what the Lancers bring to the court this week! —Melissa Wells