Week Preview: Coming down the home stretch

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With conference play coming down to the wire, our reporters take a look at the important week ahead for each team.

BOYS: Athens Bulldogs

After their 46-37 victory over Vinton County last week, the Athens boys are through with their losing streak. The Bulldogs have it easy with one game this week, but it will be a difficult test. Athens will be making the trip into Spartans territory to take on Alexander on Friday. The last time these two teams met was in Athens’ last week where the Bulldogs came out with the win 52-38. There has only been one other game in between this Spartan sandwich, so the intensity will still be there as Alexander seeks to even the season series. –-Morgan Eastman

Alexander Spartans

The Alexander Spartans boys’ team must continue to scrap to stay in the TVC-Ohio race. After two difficult losses this past week, the Spartans look to start this week off strong in their game Tuesday at Logan. They lost their chance at snagging second place in the conference with a loss at Athens and fell just short despite a late surge against Wellston. One thing Alexander will look to do is improve its ability to finish. The young Spartan squad started the Wellston contest with a 7-0 lead. They led at half against Athens, but only mustered 11 second-half points in the loss. Alexander will need to secure its early leads to pick up conference wins. Jake Grey and Braden “Pup” Jones are two of the TVC’s most potent young players. Alexander needs them to keep up their solid play to make a late run at the conference. –Brad Parks

Nelsonville-York Buckeyes

The Buckeyes picked up a statement win over Wellston last Tuesday and will try to ride that wave of momentum into February. The Bucks host Crooksville on Monday and then face Wellston yet again on Friday. With Vinton County dropping a conference game to Athens last week, Nelsonville-York is just a game out of first in the TVC-Ohio. Both Crooksville and Wellston are in the same sectional as NY, adding to the importance of this week’s slate of games. –Pat Chiesa

Trimble Tomcats

Trimble cashed in their first conference win last week as they beat Eastern 64-43. The Tomcats were efficient in all areas of the game and looked as though they were pulling it together. But with their first conference win Trimble has a lot to build on looking forward to their week of conference play. This week they host a tough opponent in South Gallia, a team that beat Trimble 68-33 in their last meeting. South Gallia has dropped four out of their last five games. South Gallia’s defense has struggled, and Trimble needs their offense to be on point for the entire game to give them a great chance to beat the Rebels. This is the only game the Tomcats will play this week. Look for senior guard Cyrus Jones to step up and lead the Tomcats. Jones had a very solid game in the win against Eastern, but struggled in the loss to Belpre. The Tomcats need the leadership and strong play of Jones to help the offensive attack. Trimble must play better defense, close out on shooters and rebound the basketball as they have struggled with that throughout the season. If they play solid defense, they have a chance to pull off a few more conference wins. –-Keith Turner

Federal Hocking Lancers


The Federal Hocking boys hit the road Tuesday night facing a difficult test at Wahama. The Lancers have picked up steam having won two games in a row and currently sit in third in the wide-open TVC-Hocking. With a win, they will continue their longest winning streak of the season. Friday, they will return home to take on a second place Southern in a game that will be crucial toward gaining a better seed in the sectional tournament. –-Charlie Walter

GIRLS: Athens Lady Bulldogs

The Lady Bulldogs are looking for their seventh straight win as they host River Valley tonight. This is an out-of-conference game, but then the real TVC fun starts. On Thursday, the ladies will be on their home court again as the Nelsonville-York Lady Buckeyes look to stop Athens’ streak. These teams last battled it out on December 15th when Athens took home the win 47-34. –Morgan Eastman

Alexander Lady Spartans

The Alexander Lady Spartans will be back in action Monday night at Logan coming off a loss at Vinton County. After picking up its first win of the season against Wellston on January 20, the Spartans were looking to carry that pinch of momentum into its next game, but ended up crumbling at the hands of the Lady Vikings, losing 56-27. There’s no question it’s been a difficult run for head coach Denton Guthrie’s girls after finishing first in the TVC-Ohio last season. At this point, Alexander is playing for pride in hopes of a bright future for its young talent. If the Spartans can key on what got them that win against Wellston, they could come out with a few victories down the stretch. Alexander’s freshman guard Allyson Malone and sophomore Marilyn Rankin each dropped 13 points in that win. –-Brad Parks

Nelsonville-York Lady Buckeyes

The Lady Bucks had their three-game winning streak snapped in Wellston last Thursday, putting Amanda Dalton’s squad in a deeper conference hole despite an impressive overall record. The Lady Bucks are 11-5 overall but just 3-4 in the conference, which has them tied for third with Wellston. On the menu this week are Crooksville and Athens. The Lady Bucks will try to avenge a home loss suffered to Athens. -–Pat Chiesa

Trimble Lady Tomcats

The Trimble Lady Tomcats have shown life in their past few games in the TVC-Hocking. They have won three of their last five games and seem to have found the chemistry between one another. This week the Lady Tomcats have a favorable schedule as they play two games in conference. For the Tomcats this week has to be the week of “Redemption.” Monday evening they will host the Federal Hocking Lancers in what will be their last home game of the season. The Lancers defeated the Tomcats by ten points last meeting, but this game is definitely an opportunity for Trimble to revenge that loss. The Lancers are struggling coming into Glouster and Trimble must take advantage and counter with their hot offense, which as of late has been led by a combination of juniors of Demi Moore, and Erica Swart. Also this week they will travel to play Miller, which beat the Lady Tomcats by two back in December. If the Lady Tomcats can achieve two victories this week, the TVC Hocking standings could look a lot more favorable rounding out the regular season. –-Keith Turner

Federal Hocking Lady Lancers

The Lady Lancer's have lost four games in a row but have a great chance to get back on track on the road at Trimble who they beat by 10 earlier in the year. It will be interesting to see if Carly Tabler can replicate her amazing performance of 36 points the first time they met. On Thursday, the Lady Lancers have a meeting with a Wahama team whom they defeated earlier this season. –-Charlie Walter