Alexander Lady Spartans: Dec. 20-27

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Grind isn’t the word typically used to explain a 44-24 win over a local rival, but nothing about Alexander’s sole game of the week against Athens could be considered pretty basketball.

The Lady Spartans (7-1) were coming off a heart-breaking overtime loss to Nelsonville-York — Alexander’s only loss of the season so far — and wanted a win over the lowly Athens Lady Bulldogs (1-8) to get some momentum back.

Athens set out to disrupt the Lady Spartans, which put baskets at a premium for both teams. The Lady Bulldogs struggled the most on the offensive end though, as Athens shot 27 percent from the field and 0 percent from 3, while Alexander shot 24 percent from 3 and 34 from the field.

Leah Richardson and Jala Mace combined for almost half of the Lady Spartans’ points, each had 10, and continue to lead the way for Alexander’s offense, which is complimented by its sharp defense.

The Lady Spartans have only given up over 45 points once this year, in that loss to the Lady Buckeyes, and if Alexander’s defense can keep this up, it will put the Lady Spartans in prime position for a strong playoff run in the coming months.

But for now, Alexander coach Cory McKnight will keep his girls focused on continuing to play a high-tempo offense and crunching defense to keep doing what the Lady Spartans have done all season: win by large margins and be able to grind it out when it’s required.