Athens Bulldogs Lose Big One to Meigs< < Back to
Despite a flu bug that closed schools in the area, the Meigs Marauders competed Friday night against the Athens Bulldogs in their most heated game of the season.
“Here we are night in-and-night out when we’re scheduled to play, we come and play with the guys that we have,” said Meigs Coach Jeremy Hill. “I could never do that: cancel basketball games because I might have some guys with the flu. Nope. We come with what we have and we play. ”
The Bulldogs started the game with a strong lead. With less than a minute left in the first quarter, Will Matters got a rebound, passed it to Nate Trainer, who assisted Brayden Whitins for a three-pointer giving the Bulldogs a six-point lead.
Quick on their feet, the Bulldogs looked to convert a basket every chance they could get. With less than 10 seconds left in the second quarter, Breyden Markins played iso-ball and made a three-point buzzer beater to give the Bulldogs a lead of 36-33.
But the Bulldogs’ hopes of maintaining that lead were squandered when the Marauders caught up and started leading 43-39 with 5:36 left in the third quarter.
Keen to convert baskets, Matters made a deep three-pointer in the first minute of the fourth quarter, raising the stakes of the game. Building on that same momentum from the third quarter, the Marauders came back with a 49-46 lead. The pumped-up coach and crowd erupted into cheers.
“The Basketball gods wasn’t so kind to us in December but they were very kind to us tonight,” Coach Hill said. “We started the game out a little sluggish, but we told them that they had to play for 32 minutes… It’s full 32 minutes. They stuck to the game plan. They were focused for 32 minutes of basketball. Then we come out victorious.”
The last time the Marauders faced off against the Bulldogs, Athens won by only two points after being down 25 points in the game.
However, the intensity of the game rose to its highest in the last 30 seconds. The Bulldogs didn’t let a second go to waste as they got a three-pointer to tie the game but failed to hold onto their lead as Marauder Coulter Cleland got a layup of his own. Two free throws from Brayden Markins once again brought the game to a tie, but ultimately, a Bulldogs’ foul gave Cleland free throws in the last 10 seconds. The Marauders held their lead and won 69-67 as enthusiastic fans and Coach Hill stormed the court.
“We never give up. We just don’t. We don’t know what that means,” said Bulldogs Coach Mickey Cozart. “They’re gonna battle till the end. I was proud of my guys tonight.”
The Athens Bulldogs look to improve at home Tuesday against the Vinton County Vikings, while the Meigs Marauders will play Saturday against Eastern at their home.