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Schools struggle to end season strong

After losing the first five games of their season, Alexander came within one game of a .500 regular season. Coming off an emotional win against Athens, the Spartans lacked the focus required to get that final win.

They fell in the last game of the season in a 46-43 loss to Amanda-Clearcreek.

"We were still on an emotional high from beating Athens," coach Blaine Gabriel said. "We were not very focused on that game."

Another contributing factor to the loss was the team's poor free shooting (7-16). Going into the game tonight, Gabriel knows that his team must play better and make their free throws.

"(We need to) make foul shots and take every game one at a time - because there is no tomorrow," Gabriel said.

Gabriel is also expecting Crooksville to slow the ball down on offense and play 1-3-1 zone in order to inhibit Alexander.

To counter, the Spartans will use a more up-tempo style of play and take shots from the perimeter in order for players like Jack Hart to find space.

"We have to make shots from outside to open things up in the middle," Gabriel said.

Buckeyes suffer another loss

Nelsonville-York lost their 15th and final game of the regular season in an all-too-familiar fashion in its 59-50 loss to Meigs.

"(It) followed our basic script; (we) started slowly, got down by 10 at half, and we were only down two with three minutes," coach Jay Kline said. "We could not get a crucial rebound, and they got a couple of easy put backs."

The Buckeyes face Federal Hocking next after defeating the Lancers by three earlier in the year.

Kline said his team will have to be aware of the Lancers' 7-footer Chris Saylor and the Lancers' 1-3-1 zone.

Of his own team, Kline said that offense needed consistency, and the defense needed to play hard.

"We need to be as consistent as we can on offense ... both teams are going to be fighting to keep their season alive," Kline said.

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