THE PLAINS, Ohio — Good teams make their free throws when it counts.
Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division co-leader Athens sank 17-of-18 free throws, which helped the Bulldogs to the 68-62 victory over Meigs Friday night in Athens County.
The Bulldogs (14-2, 5-1 TVC Ohio) took the early lead after out scoring Meigs (8-7, 4-4) 18-to-10 in the opening stanza. Athens expanded its lead to double digits before the half, out scoring MHS 17-to-13 in the second. The Marauders trailed 35-23 at the midway point.
AHS added two more points to its lead in the third period and the Bulldogs led 47-33 with eight minutes remaining. The Marauders rallied for 29 points in the fourth quarter but the Green and Gold scored 21 to seal the 68-62 victory.
The Maroon and Gold were paced by Kaileb Sheets with 20 points and Cody Stewart with 19. Dillon Boyer marked eight points, Ty Phelps added six, while Treay McKinney and Dustin Ulbrich both had four points. Jared Williamson rounded out the MHS scoring with one point on the night.
Stewart finished with nine rebounds for the Marauders, while Sheets finsihed with a team-high four assists. Collectively Meigs had 27 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks and 11 turnovers. Meigs shot 9-of-12 (75 percent) from the line and 24-of-52 (46.2 percent) from the field, including 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from beyond the arc. Sheets drained four triples for MHS while Stewart had the other.
Joe Burrow led the victors with 26 points, followed by Ibi Watson with 20. Jared Elmore had six points, Zacciah Saltzman finished with five, while Adam Luehrman and Ryan Luehrman each had four. Sawyer Summers rounded out the AHS scoring with three points.
Elmore’s nine rebounds led Athens, while Watson led the team with four assists. As a unit the Bulldogs had 26 rebounds, 12 assists, seven blocks, six steals and 11 turnovers. The Green and Gold shot 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) from the line and 23-of-46 (50 percent) from the field, including 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from three point range in the game. Burrow hit a trio of three’s while Saltzman and Summers hit the others.
The Bulldogs had now won a season-high seven consecutive contests. Meigs had its two game winning steak snapped with the loss.
Athens completes the season sweep of Meigs, as the Bulldogs were also victorious on January 19th in Rocksprings, by a count of 69-52.