Hardwood Heroes Sports

Athens Bulldogs Vinton County Vikings
(Jack Demmler/WOUB)

Bulldogs Climb to First in Conference with Win Over Vinton County

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THE PLAINS, Ohio– Following a devastating two-point loss at Meigs on Friday, the Athens Bulldogs were looking to bounce back as they welcomed the Vinton County Vikings to the Plains on Tuesday.

After a back-and-forth affair, the Bulldogs were able to pull away in the fourth quarter, winning 72-63.

The game started off slow, with the score showing a 9-8 Vinton County lead with two minutes left in the first.

However, things started to pick up for both sides as Brayden Whiting hit his first 3-pointer of the game with a minute remaining in the first. Thanks to Gavin Arbaugh’s seven point first quarter, the Vikings had a 17-15 lead.

Brayden Markins and Nate Trainer played a big role for the Bulldogs in keeping the game close as they carried the load.

Whiting started to pick things back up as he dropped eight points in the second quarter to finish with 11 in the first half. Brayden Markins finished the first half with 10 points as the Bulldogs took the lead 32-31 heading into the locker room.

A big part of the Bulldogs offense came from their defense forcing 11 turnovers. Will Matters played a big role defensively as he tallied four steals.

Vinton County continued to put up a fight coming out of the locker room. Arbaugh dropped six more points to help retake the lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Word spread that Meigs defeated Alexander before the fourth quarter started. This meant that the TVC-Ohio was up for grabs.

“We heard going into the fourth quarter I told my guys that Alexander was losing,” Athens head coach Mickey Cozart said. “That energized them a little bit. You use whatever you can to motivate the basketball team.”

It seemed to take a while before the news kicked in as Arbaugh led the way for Vinton County. Arbaugh dropped six of his 10 fourth quarter points to tie the game with five minutes left.

(Jack Demmler/WOUB)
(Jack Demmler/WOUB)
(Jack Demmler/WOUB)
(Jack Demmler/WOUB)
(Jack Demmler/WOUB)
(Jack Demmler/WOUB)
(Jack Demmler/WOUB)

The Brayden bunch each dropped 23 points and led the way in the fourth quarter down the stretch.

“I thought they put on a show tonight” Cozart said. “They are two exceptional basketball players.”

Brayden Markins had a big bucket in the paint followed by a Brayden Whiting put-back to put the game out of reach.

With this victory, the Bulldogs are now half a game ahead of Alexander for first place in the TVC-Ohio.

Athens will hope to extend their first place lead as they travel to River Valley on Friday.