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Athens Bulldogs Warren Warriors
(Kendall Kraft/WOUB)

Late Game Heroics Sends Bulldogs Home in Defeat

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MARIETTA, Ohio- After getting the Warren Warrior monkey off their backs last Friday, Athens found themselves with a completely new challenge; having to battle a tenacious Marietta Tigers team.

This game had a heavyweight fight type of feel with both teams trading blows throughout the contest with the largest lead only being seven for Marietta, and several lead changes taking place down the stretch.

The Bulldogs scratched and clawed to have a one-point lead and the ball with only seven seconds remaining in the contest.

After missing the front end of a one-and-one Marietta grabbed the rebound and quickly hustled up the floor for a chance at one final shot to win the game.

The Tigers quickly got the ball across half court and found senior guard Adrian Avendano in the corner right in front of his team’s bench.

The pass was delivered right into Avendano’s pocket and he fired up a tray as the buzzer sounded.

The shot fell. Avendano was mobbed by his teammates. The roar of the crowd inside the gym was electric, and the Bulldogs were left in heartbreak, falling to the Tigers 70-68.

Avendano provided a spark off the bench all game for Marietta, playing feisty defensively coming up with a trio of steals along with his 18 points.

Athens (10-4, 5-1) got a taste of their own medicine from the first half when the buzzer beater dropped.

Off an inbound play with less then a second left in the first half it was Will Mathers for the Bulldogs knocking down a three from the top of the arc to, at the time, have Athens trailing by three at halftime.

This was just Athens second loss over their last nine games, both of those losses coming by two points each.

This loss did not overshadow the performance of Isaiah Butcher, who continued his hot form of play recently with another jaw-dropping performance.

Butcher, the senior center, turned in yet another double-double along with his season high in points scored with 26. Butcher was also a machine on the offensive glass, as a good chunk of his points came off second chance opportunities.

Brayden Whiting also turned in a solid performance dropping 19 points, nine of which came from beyond the arc.

Despite the gut-wrenching loss, Athens’ road does not get any easier this week. The Bulldogs got a shot at revenge against the Alexander Spartans, who knocked off the Bulldogs 50-42 earlier in the season at Alexander.

This game could end up having major ramifications for who takes home the TVC-Ohio title this season.

The game is set for Friday night at McAfee Gymnasium with tip scheduled at 7:30 p.m.