Athens Upsets Alexander

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Griffin Lutz nearly recorded himself a triple-double Friday night as the Athens Bulldogs upset the visiting Alexander Spartans 55-40.

Athens (4-6, 3-2) had a steady first half and led 28-20 at the break, but Alexander (8-3, 3-2) imploded at the beginning of the third quarter as the Bulldogs opened on an 11-2 run. The Spartans forced nine Athens’ turnovers in the second half, but the Bulldogs still won every quarter as they earned their fourth win in their last six games.

“The way we played defensively tonight at the beginning of that third quarter and the shots we got, which were good, quality shots, running an offense, that helped us get away,” Athens coach Jeff Skinner said.

Lutz finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks, but it was his efficiency that was too much for Alexander to handle. Lutz shot 8-of-13 from the field and 9-of-9 from the line, and shut down Seth Richardson on the other end of the court. Richardson was the Spartans’ leading scorer with 11 points, but he had a tough night shooting, only hitting 3 of his 19 field goal attempts.

Alexander was doing a good job on offense of working the ball around and getting open shots, but the Spartans couldn’t hit anything. The Spartans converted on just 23 percent of their attempts, and shot 2-of-18 from beyond the arc. Despite that, they hung around for most of the game and had a couple chances to make a run after cutting the deficit to eight. However every time that happened, Griffin Lutz would respond with a big bucket and push the game out of reach.

“Things are looking up,” Skinner said. “We’re going to use this game to show the kids that these are the things that we have to do.”

Both Athens and Alexander will be participating in the sixth annual Beasts of the Southeast Invitational at Chesapeake High School on Saturday Jan. 9.