Athens Shows Toughness In Win Over Jackson

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Athens’ boys picked up their first home victory of the season in convincing fashion Tuesday. Ibi Watson led all scorers with 13 points as the Bulldogs never trailed in a 52-22 rout of Jackson.

“I was very excited with the way we shared the basketball,” Athens head coach Jeff Skinner said after the game. “I wanted us to come out and get after it defensively and try to get into a little rhythm. We got so many easy, easy buckets.”

The Bulldogs dominated out the gate, holding the Ironmen without a point until the 1:10 mark in the first quarter. After one, Athens held an 18-2 advantage.

While Jackson doubled its first-quarter output in the second eight minutes, Athens continued to pour it on offensively, increasing its lead to 30-6 by halftime.

In the first half, Athens only conceded three field goals on 24 attempted shots. As a team, the Bulldogs forced 15 turnovers and assisted on 17 of its 21 buckets.

Joe Burrow stuffed the Athens stat sheet with 11 points, seven assists, four rebounds and a couple blocks and steals in a distributing role. Jared Elmore added 10 points and seven rebounds while Adam Luehrman scored six of his eight points in the second half.

“It was nice to get the home win. That was another thing that we focused on was kind of to break the jinx,” Skinner said with a smile.

The win comes at a good time, as Vinton County waits on deck for the Bulldogs. The Vikings share the same 10-2 overall record as Athens, but sit atop the league with a perfect 4-0 conference record.

“There’s no secrets there,” said Skinner about Friday’s TVC-Ohio tilt. “We know what we have to do against Vinton County, and (Vikings head coach Matt Combs) knows what he has to do against us. And they’ve scouted us, and I’ve scouted them. I don’t think we’ll see any big surprises.”