Hardwood Heroes

Our Zach Knight recaps the matchup between the Athens Bulldogs and Wellston Golden Rockets on February 7th, 2023

Athens Bulldogs hold on in win over Wellston, keeping playoff hopes high

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Wellston, Ohio (WOUB) – After falling to Nelsonsville-York Friday, the Athens Bulldogs head back on the road to face the Wellston Rockets. Athens would win this conference matchup 59-40, as they become 6-5 in the Tri-Valley Conference, and will remain in that fourth place spot. 

Before the game got underway, Wellston would celebrate their senior night for their winter sports teams and their boys basketball seniors. Many family members, friends, and community members came out tonight to celebrate this occasion.  

To start out the first quarter. Athens would start with a 5-0 run, but Wellston wouldn’t be out of the game yet as the first half would be a back and forth contest between the two teams. Both teams would make multiple shots from beyond the three-point line, which would keep things close, but with the Bulldogs in a zone defense, Athens would limit the offensive possessions for Wellston. 

The Rockets would be in this ballgame during the first half by multiple turnovers from the Bulldogs. Athens would end the first half with 7 turnovers, but would still hold a first half lead. The Bulldogs would end the second quarter leading the Rockets, 27-23. 

The third quarter is the quarter where Athens would blow the game wide open. The Bulldogs would end up scoring 18 points in this quarter, while holding the Rockets to only 6 points. Athens would have multiple second chance opportunities to add on more points. 

According to senior shooting guard, Nathan Shadik, there was more to this third quarter that meets the eye, especially for their upcoming games, “We just need to build everyone’s confidence, and I feel like we will take this into Friday. We gotta focus on rebounding… and we gotta take care of business.” 

The Bulldogs would still lead the Rockets at the end of the third, 45-29. 

With the fourth quarter underway, Wellston was able to get the Athens second half lead down to ten. But with a quick timeout from the Bulldogs and some defensive adjustments, they were able to pull away from the Rockets and win this ballgame, 59-40.

The major contributors for this conference win for the Bulldogs were Nathan Shadik, Levi Neal and Zachariah Mullins. 

For the night Shaik had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals. Neal contributed 11 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds. Then Mullins added 11 points and 3 rebounds of his own. 

Looking towards the future for the Bulldogs, Athens will play Hillsboro in the sectional play-in game for their first postseason game and get the opportunity to make advancements in the tournament.