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Winter Break Review: New Year, Same Bulldogs

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The Athens Bulldogs boys basketball team has been all business this season, and things haven’t changed. 

Following the 51-37 victory over New Lexington, Athens defeated the Nelsonville York Buckeyes 65-48. 

After starting the season 3-0, the Bulldogs saw their first loss from the hands of the Alexander Spartans and fell to the Chesapeake Panthers soon after.

Looking to get back on track, Athens won their last two games of the decade with a 57-55 victory over Meigs and a 65-52 victory over Vinton County.

“We knew we just needed to get back to work,” head coach Mike Cozart said. “We were not going to panic.”  

The Bulldogs finished the year 5-2 and won two of their last three games heading into 2020.

The Bulldogs welcomed the new decade with a home game against the Circleville Tigers. 

Despite the change in year, the Bulldogs continued to dominate as they outfought the Tigers in a 70-57 victory.

The duo of Isiah Butcher and Brayden Markings were the key players of the game as they had 19 of the team’s 36 first half points, and 40 of the team’s 70 points. 

Athens had three players score in double figures in the victory. The leading scorers for the Bulldogs were Butcher and Markins who each scored 20 points. Brayden Whiting was the next highest scorer with 14 points.

Athens will look to continuously improve as they progress through the season.
“We need to keep getting better at the little things,” coach Cozart said. “Patience, taking care of the ball and keep getting better defensively.”

With this win, the Bulldogs improve their record to 6-2. The Bulldogs boys’ basketball team look to continue their win streak as they host Lancaster on Jan. 11. 

The Bulldogs girls’ basketball team, on the other hand, had a troubling start to the season. 

Following the loss to Meigs in the “Turn It Gold Classic,” Athens won their second game in a thrilling 51-45 overtime victory over Wellston.

Since then, the Bulldogs faced a rough patch, losing their last three games to Vinton County, Nelsonville-York, and Gallia. 

The Athens girls lost four of their last five and finished the year with a 2-7 record.

The girls’ basketball team will look to start the new year off on the right foot as they host the Alexander Spartans on Jan. 6.