Our Andrew Bowlby breaks down the matchup between the Meigs Marauders and Athens Bulldogs on February 10th, 2023.

Meigs Marauders hold off late Bulldog push to spoil Athens’ senior night

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – A 20-point Meigs lead was cut to four in the fourth quarter, but the Marauders held on to sneak away with a 52-45 victory.  

It was senior night in Athens as the Bulldogs celebrated Landon Wheatley, Nathan Shadik, Kieran Murphy, and Levi Neal who were all in the starting lineup.  

But quickly, it was Meigs who set the tone as sophomore guard Cayden Gheen came out firing in the first quarter. Gheen knocked down a pair of threes, and totaled eight points in the first eight minutes as the Marauders jumped out to a 17-10 lead. Gheen finished the night with 17 points.  

“The future is bright,” head coach Jeremy Hill said. “We have a lot of guys who gained varsity experience. The season hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to but it’s definitely something we can build upon.”  

Another thing the Marauders can build on, their perimeter defense. Athen’s struggled from behind the arc in the first half which led to long rebounds and transition opportunities for Meigs. The Bulldogs only managed to total four points in the quarter with the Marauders extending the lead to 15 after a half court heave from sophomore guard Conlee Burnem as time expired.  

The lead swelled to 20 in the third quarter with everything clicking for Meigs. The lone senior in rotation for the Marauders, Brody Butcher, got in on the action with a putback and-one.  

“Tonight Brody played his last game of the regular season,” Hill said. “There were a lot of plays made by Brody tonight.”  

Athens was able to trim the lead to 13 before the end of the third thanks in part to a pair of triples from Wheatley.  

The Bulldogs used that momentum to carry them into the fourth. Athens chipped away by speeding up Meigs with the press forcing empty possessions and knocking down threes on the other end.  

Late in the fourth, things got tense after Wheatley and Shadik hit back-to-back threes to get within 10. Meigs took a timeout to regroup and came out of the huddle focused. They slowed down and forced Athens to foul. 

The Marauders put the game on ice at the line and escaped with a win just before the postseason.  

“We might have folded if that happened earlier in the season,” Hill said. “But the guys gutted it out. … Hats off to Athens they never gave up fighting all the way to the finish. We were just fortunate to be the ones going home victors.”  

Now Meigs shifts its focus to the postseason. The Marauders have a round one matchup set against the Chesapeake Panthers.