Early Season Struggles Continue to Plague Athens

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A very up and down week for the boys and girls from The Plains. The boys earned their second victory of the year but dropped their last two and the girls losing streak has now hit four games.

The boys opened up their week with a home contest against the Meigs Marauders.  Again, the Bulldogs offense was slow right from tip-off. The Bulldogs scored just ten points in the opening frame, but came out strong in the second quarter with 18 points to take the lead into the locker room 28-24.

Meigs regained the lead in the third quarter but the stingy Bulldog defense held the Marauders to just seven points in the fourth quarter to earn the 54-45 victory.

Elijah Williams led Athens with 14 points, followed by Dalton Cozart with 13 and Eli Chubb with 12. Logan Maxfield scored nine points, while Justin Hynes finished with seven points.

Then Athens had back-to-back contests on the road at Alexander on Friday and at Logan on Saturday.

The Bulldog offense continues to struggle in the first quarter, causing coach Mickey Cozart to change his offense and defensive style dramatically.

“We’re going to figure it out. Once this team gets it going, they’re a really tough team to play.”

Athens dropped their contests to Alexander 50-44 and then to Logan 61-44.

All of the four games that Athens has lost have been double-digit losses. With non-conference games coming to a close, the Bulldogs need to start the game with tenacious defense and an efficient offense to prevent them from playing catch up for the rest of the game.

The girls continued to struggle this week as they dropped their three games to Vinton County, Nelsonville-York, and Logan.

Despite only losing one senior the graduation the Athens offense has struggled, while the defense has been inconsistent.  The Bulldogs are averaging 37.5 points per game while surrendering 53 points.

This was a struggle last year for the Bulldogs as their young starting lineup faces more experienced groups.

As the season progresses the Bulldogs will figure out how potent their offense is. Led by sophomore Laura Manderick and duel-threat guards Kaylee Stewart and Olive Harter, the Bulldogs have the potential to be a serious sleeper in the TVC.

First year head coach Seth Matheny understands the early season struggles will only give the team motivation as the season progresses.

“I’m proud of the way our team fights every single time we take the court. We continue improving and competing. We’re going to be just fine.”

The Lady Bulldogs have three games next week as they try and snap their four-game skid.

Next week’s Athens schedule includes: For the girls, home against River Valley on December 18th, at Jackson on December 21st and at Gallia Academy on December 23rd.

For the boys, they travel to Marietta on December 19th, and return home to face rival Nelsonville-York on the 22nd before having a week off between games.