Second Half Push Not Enough for Bulldogs

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It’s been 14 days since the Athens Bulldogs last game, and it showed Tuesday night in the Plains.

In their first game in 2016, the Bulldogs (3-6, 2-2) struggled offensively in the first half scoring only 15 points in their 72-51 loss to the rival Warren Warriors.

The Warriors (7-2, 0-0) outscored Athens 26-5 in the second quarter to put this game away early.

“We only have two varsity players back from last year,” Athens Assistant Coach Ron Ricketts said. “Besides them, they are all young kids and I think they were caught up in the excitement and we didn’t get off to a good start.”

Kyler Dennis and Chase Weihl dominated for the Warriors in the first half. Dennis had 16 points and went 4-7 from beyond the arc, while Weihl was a beast on the boards grabbing 8 rebounds and adding 12 points and two assists.

Griffin Lutz struggled in the first half with his first field goal of the game coming at the 1:50 mark in the second quarter. He finished the night with 11 points. Zacciah Saltzman couldn’t find a rhythm and finished the night with only five points.

Warren went into the locker room with a 47-15 lead.

“We are still getting better as a team,” Ricketts said. “Before tonight’s game we won three of the last four and the last thing we wanted was to have two weeks off but that’s the way the scheduled worked. Tonight, we just wanted to come out in the second half.”

That’s what the Bulldogs did.

Athens outscored Warren 36-25 in the second half. Warren slowed the tempo on offense but with the Bay Rodgers and Nick Lutz hitting from beyond the arc, the Bulldogs were able to get in a rhythm on offense in the second half.

Dalton Cozart, Griffin Lutz and Saltzman didn’t see a whole lot of time in the second half for the Bulldogs with the Warriors holding a solid 17-point lead and a huge game Friday night against Alexander.

This is the second straight victory over Athens for Warren. Bulldogs alumni Joe Burrow, Ryan and Adam Luehrman, Nick McDonald and Sam Vanderven were all in attendance after losing 75-45 to the Warriors in Vincent last season.

The Bulldogs return to the court Friday night when they take on TVC-Ohio rival Alexander.