Buckeyes Fall to TVC-Ohio Leading Bulldogs

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Nelsonville-York has been dominated by Tri-Valley Conference rival Athens for most of the two schools 80-plus year rivalry, but especially over the last seven years.

The Buckeyes went another season winless against Athens after falling to the Bulldogs for the 15th consecutive time Friday night 62-48 at Charles McAfee gymnasium.

Even though Nelsonville-York (6-10, 3-5 TVC-Ohio) and Athens (11-4, 8-1 TVC-Ohio) seasons have gone very different, the gym was packed for the Bulldogs’ senior night and the latest installment of the rivalry.

Last time the two played, Nelsonville-York came close to upsetting Athens and finally securing some bragging rights. Early in Friday’s game, the Buckeyes looked like they might finish the job they had failed to do in December.

Nelsonville-York looked competitive early. After a quarter of solid defense and good shot selection the Buckeyes led 13-9.

But soon Athens would figure out coach Jamie Justus’ zone defense.

“[Athens] length gave us trouble tonight,” Justus said. “They have size, they’re athletic and we didn’t execute that well. We played scared at times.”

Athens’ Logan Maxfield (10 points), Elijah Williams (10 points) and leading scorer Brayden Markins (12 Athens Logan Maxfield (10 points), Elijah Williams (10 points) and leading scorer Brayden Markins (12 points) found holes through the Buckeyes’ scheme and made them pay with wide open 3-pointers. Soon it became a shootout, and with Nelsonville-York shooting 9-of-26 from the field, the Buckeyes were unable to keep up. They trailed 32-16 at halftime.

In the second half, Athens depth was too much for Nelsonville-York to handle. The Bulldogs had four players score double figures and made life difficult for Ethan Boyer (four points) and Buckeye leading scorer Justin Perry (nine points) to get points and move the ball.

The loss is another tough one for Nelsonville-York. After giving Athens a competitive game early in the season, it was the Bulldogs that were able to make the key adjustments.

And because of that, the Bulldogs will keep possession of the bragging rights.

“[Athens] set the bar and that’s what we are striving to do,” Justus said.

Nelsonville-York will look to bounce back from another conference loss when it faces Trimble on Jan. 26.