Last season, Athens started strong against River Valley. The Bulldogs won 69-31 in the first game of the season.
It was a tone-setting game that kick-started a 9-win conference season.
This season when Athens and River Valley play, the Bulldogs will look for the same type of tone-setting performance to kick start their season.
Except this isn’t the first game of the season, it’s the fourth. And the Bulldogs are 0-3 and looking for a turn-around.
“We need a win, there’s no doubt about it,” coach Mickey Cozart said. “But we really just need to put a full game together.”
A strong fourth quarter Saturday against Bishop Watterson and a good first half Tuesday against Warren have shown promise for the Bulldogs this season, but they still haven’t won a game. Putting together that full game can help get that first win.
“Four quarters of what we want,” Cozart said. “We can’t score ten points in a half of basketball, we can’t have quarters where we score six points”
Last season, when the Bulldogs lost, it was because they didn’t play that full game Cozart wants. They didn’t make shots, or they didn’t rebound or they didn’t defend.
That’s what has happened so far this season. They played good defense in that fourth quarter Saturday, their offense played well in the first half Tuesday, scoring 22 points in the second quarter, doubling the highest scoring performance in a quarter this season.
One of the bright spots for the Bulldogs has been junior Logan Maxfield. He has led the team in points in the last two games. He has been effective on the fast break, making layups and getting to the free-throw line.
“We have to find a way to get some of our better players in our offense,” Cozart said.