Bulldogs Dismantle River Valley in TVC Opener

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Sometimes it’s more telling what your team does after a loss rather than a win, especially early on in the season.

The Athens Bulldogs dropped their first two non-conference games to a couple of solid opponents but had an opportunity to start their conference season off on a positive note against the River Valley Raiders.

The Bulldogs (1-2, 1-0 TVC-OHIO) kept the pressure on the Raiders (0-3, 0-1) throughout the game, forcing 31 turnovers on the night.

River Valley’s inability to keep shots and take care of the ball was the ultimate decider in this game, as it led to a 69-28 victory for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs had struggled with taking care of the ball in their first couple of matchups this season, and it was an emphasis for them in this game to do a better job with the orange.

“We did a better job tonight. The first two games were brutal, but we’ve put a lot of focus on it and I think we’ll get better as we go along,” said Athens head coach Mickey Cozart.

The game plan from the beginning for Athens was to pressure the Raiders and force them into mistakes. The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 15-2 lead in the first quarter pressing River Valley and they never looked back after that as they led the entire way.

Senior Eli Chubb was a key component for Athens as he got it done in many ways for the Bulldogs. Chubb led the team in points with 12, and filled up the stat sheet in many ways adding five rebounds, three assists and four steals.

The Bulldogs also had some valuable play from their bench during the game. The bench combined for 27 points and provided some valuable minutes for the Bulldogs to give the starters a rest, as they have to turn around and play again Saturday.

When talking about his team’s chances of winning the conference this season Cozart said, “Our expectation is always to compete for a title. I mean, if we don’t have that expectation then we probably shouldn’t be doing this. We expect success – we’ll figure it out as we go.”

It’ll be a quick turn around for Athens as they have another non-conference match-up with the Chesapeake Panthers on Saturday night.

Tip-off is set for 7 pm.