Athens Senior Night Spoiled by Feisty Lady Raiders< < Back to
THE PLAINS, Ohio- For Athens head coach Seth Matheny, this was an emotional senior night. The senior class of four for the Lady Bulldogs were just sophomores when Matheny took over the Athens girls’ basketball program.
Matheny has seen seniors Laura Manderick, Mindi Gregory, Emmarald Jean-Francois, and Nevada Rhoades grow up right in front of his eyes, and it is a group that he will not soon forget.
“They mean a lot to me,” Matheny said. “They’re the ones that I have been around the longest. It’s going to be real tough to see them go.”
Despite emotions and adrenaline running high for the Lady Bulldogs (3-18, 3-9), River Valley (12-9, 5-6) avenged their previous loss to Athens earlier in the season with a 49-39 victory to send the Lady Bulldogs seniors home with a loss in their final game at McAfee Gymnasium.
Athens came out of the starting gate hot as Laura Manderick and Mindi Gregory scored 13 of Athens 16 points in the first quarter to grab an early lead.
The Lady Raiders rose to the occasion, however, in the second quarter. River Valley outscored Athens 18-4 and forced the Lady Bulldogs into 12 turnovers in the first half. The Lady Raiders rolled into halftime leading 28-20.
Athens would try to battle back in the second half with a valiant effort from Laura Manderick. The senior capped off her storybook campaign with the Lady Bulldogs, including climbing to fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list, by scoring 20 points and grabbing nine boards.
This effort was not enough for Athens as River Valley would protect their first half lead all the way through the second half in route to the victory.
Lauren Twyman led River Valley in scoring dropping 17, including being lethal from the charity stripe, going 11-for-11.
Despite the loss, Athens players were in good spirits after the game, remembering the fond memories that took place throughout their four years at Athens high school.
The Lady Bulldogs season is far from over. They prepare to play the Meigs Lady Marauders, a conference foe that the Lady Bulldogs have already seen twice this season.
Despite losing to Meigs twice in the regular season, Athens played them tough and coach Matheny is looking forward to another crack at them.
“We match up pretty well with them,” Matheny said. “We kind of let the games get away from us the last couple times we played them. What’s going to be important in that is just playing fundamental basketball.”
What’s often been talked about with this Athens team this year is their youth, but Matheny has seen the progression throughout the season to be confident in his girls being able to win in a key playoff game.
Athens squares off with Meigs Feb. 10 at Logan high school. Tip-off is set for 6:15 p.m.