Girls Basketball: Lady Bulldogs Fall in Playoff Opener

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The Athens Lady Bulldogs basketball team (15-6; 9-1) came up just short in their sectional playoff opener against a determined Fairfield Union (18-2) squad, falling by a final score of 47-42.  It was Athens’ first loss since December. 

Although the game ended up being a defensive battle, the Lady Bulldogs got off to a good start, lighting up the scoreboard with 18 points in the first quarter.  The second quarter was a little different however.  The Falcons adjusted and stepped up their game defensively and held the Lady Bulldogs to just 7 points.  

Dominique Doseck is usually a huge asset for the Athens Lady Bulldogs but she had a knee related injury hindered her performance.  She was held to just 11 points.  Fairfield’s star player, Kyleigh Wyeth, nearly doubled Doseck’s production.  Wyeth had 20 points, hitting as many 3’s as the entire Athens team.

The second half a game is just as important, if not more than the first half.  During the second half of a game, each player must fight through pain and fatigue.  They must stick together and work as a team to reach their ultimate goal: a victory.  The Lady Falcons did just that.  They climbed their way back from an 8-point deficit to a tie the game by the end of the third frame.  With the score deadlocked at 33 going into the fourth, the Falcons were motivated to keep on fighting forward. 

The game went back and forth the majority of the final quarter.  With just over a minute left in the game, there was a controversial intentional foul called on Doseck that sent the Falcons to the free throw line with a lead of 42-39.  

“Essentially I think the guy got it wrong, it is what it is,” said a solemn Athens Coach Wayne Horsley after the game, “All of the sudden it’s a 2 possession game and things went down hill from there. There’s not really much to argue.”

After the free throws were converted, Fairfield retained possession, forcing the Bulldogs to foul to stay in this game.  Ending the season so early was devastating for the impressive Athens squad, but the team took solace in the fact that they were perseverant throughout their tough matchup. 

“They’re 18-2 and they’re 18-2 for a reason,” said Horsley, “It was a good matchup, I still feel that way.  We gave them a heck of a battle and I’m proud of my girls.”  

The Athens team is still young and talented.  They have a lot of potential to do great things in the upcoming years.  

“I think that if we do enough fun things in the spring or summer, then we’ll get a good quality off-season out of ‘em and we’ll be ready to go again next year,” said Horsley.