Athens Loses Heartbreaker in Tournament

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In the opening round of the girl’s sectional tournament, the Athens Lady Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker to Lady Blue Angels of Gallia Academy 57-56. With six seconds to go Gallia Academy Point Guard Jenelle Stevens hit the game winning lay-up to go ahead by one, and ultimately win the game.

Gallia Academy started out fast hitting the majority of their its shots of the night, while Athens struggled to settle into their offense. Early on in the contest the Lady Blue Angles outplayed the Lady Bulldogs on the glass both offensively and defensively. Turnovers were a big factor in the first quarter as well, which Gallia Academy turned into points. After one quarter Athens trailed Gallia Academy 16-3.

The second quarter saw a completely different Athens team come out on to the court. The Lady Bulldogs defense came out stronger, putting a strong press on the Lady Blue Angels offense.

Athens’ offense settled in and they began to get the ball to their playmakers, Laura Manderick, Kaylee Stewart, and Olive Harter. The Lady Bulldogs began to make bucket after bucket, taking advantage of fouls and turnovers and turning them into points. Athens was playing much more aggressive basketball and close the point gap.

In the final two minutes of the half Athens went on an 11-2 scoring run, where Athens found themselves up 31-26 when the horn sounded. In the first half alone Laura Manderick led all scorers with 15 points.

The second half started the same way the first ended, with aggressive play from both teams, but this is where Gallia Academy began to pull themselves back into the game. The Lady Blue Angels began to hit shot after shot and put themselves back ahead. With 30 seconds left to go, Gallia Academy hit the tying shot to tie it 40-40 and seconds later they hit a short range jumper to go ahead 42-40 at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter is where Athens’ game began to falter. While still playing solid offense, the Lady Bulldogs’ defense began to slip. A free throw by Lilly Mills and a steal by Lauren Adbella turned into three quick points, and put Athens back ahead 43-42. Gallia Academy began to gain momentum on many missed shots by Athens.

In the last five minutes of the game, the lead changed or tied five different times. With 2:30 to go in the game, Olive Harter took the lead back for Athens 56-55, but this game was not Athens’ to win tonight. With six seconds to go Gallia Academy’s Jenelle Stevens hit the game winning lay-up to put the Lady Blue Angels up 57-56.

Leading scorers for Athens were Laura Manderick with 18 points, Kaylee Stewart had 15, and Olive Harter with 13.

Athens finishes its season (5-17) (3-9 TVC). Gallia Academy will move on to play top seeded Sheridan on Wednesday in the second round of the sectional tournament at Logan High School.