Logan Holds Off Lady Bulldogs

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To get an idea of a high school basketball team’s success, look no further than their success against the 2-3 zone. Every team is going to run into it, and run into it often. Both the Logan Lady Chiefs and the Athens Lady Bulldogs employed the most common zone defense in basketball Thursday, with disparate degrees of success.

For Athens it wouldn’t be in its favor as the Lady Bulldogs would lose, 58-44.

The game opened with some miscues defensively from both sides, as both teams seemed as if they weren’t quite awake on that end. Both teams were definitely awake offensively though, and after only three minutes of play the score stood 12-7 in favor of Logan. The pendulum would swing the other way, and as the first quarter progressed neither team could buy a bucket.

However, Logan asserted themselves on the offensive glass, illustrated best by a sequence with 3:30 left in quarter one, where the Lady Chiefs pulled in four offensive rebounds before Kaymbre Zimmerman got fouled and split her free throws on her way to a 11-point, four rebound performance.

As the first quarter ended with Athens down 17-9, Logan tightened up its zone, while the same defensive mistakes continued to plague the Lady Bulldogs.

Athens would try to get the ball inside, but too often found their passes intercepted. Perimeter ball movement did not yield many results either, as the Lady Chiefs would recover quickly any time the Lady Bulldogs swung the ball, resulting in some contested looks. Athens was crippled by their turnovers and lack of rebounding, and went into the half trailing 14-27. Athens’ head coach Seth Matheny spoke about his team’s shot selection after the game.

“We settled for too many shots outside. Settled for way too many shots outside in the first half,” Matheny said. “Second half, we settled for too many shots outside but they were going in. I think Laura [Manderick] had 18 in the second half. That’s a pretty good game for some people. But we just settled too much.”

Athens did indeed shoot better in the second half, starting the last 16 minutes on a 9-2 run. But Logan, propelled by six rebounds from both Lexis Fickel and Bethany Starlin, would uphold their dominance on the glass and stop any Lady Bulldogs run before it could truly get off the ground. The Lady Chiefs would go into the last quarter up 46-29.

Quarter four entailed a shift in playstyle for Athens, as they played at a breakneck speed in hopes of cutting into their large deficit. Manderick and Kaylee Stewart spearheaded this new approach, and the Lady Bulldogs were able to take shots before Logan could settle into their 2-3, which had stifled Matheny’s squad for much of the night.

“We were definitely pushing,” Matheny said. “We were definitely pushing there, we dug ourselves a pretty big hole that first half … You’re not going to come back from that just walking it up the court. So we were definitely trying to advance it quickly.”

Athens’ quick strikes brought the contest within 10 at times in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs would fall nontheless. With the loss, Athens’ five-game winning streak ended and the team moved to 7-8. Meanwhile, Logan moved up to 5-9.

Athens will seek redemption at Morgan Monday night.