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Athens High School sits in The Plains, Ohio. (FILE)

Athens Basketball: Athens cruises to opening night victory over River Valley

Every team hopes to start off the season on the right foot, and there’s no better way to do that than an opening night win on the road.

The Bulldogs carried out exactly that Friday night with a 70-31 win against the River Valley Raiders.

Athens found no trouble putting points on the board throughout the entirety of the game, shooting well from the field and playing a tight defense. The Bulldogs' zone forced a lot of turnovers and made River Valley take low-percentage shots.

For new coach Mickey Cozart, the night served as a strong start to the young season.

"I thought we opened the season like we wanted to," Cozart said. "We played well, but we still had too many turnovers, and we still have some things to work on, but I thought we played well tonight."

Leading the way for the Bulldogs was guard Griffin Lutz, who contributed 29 points on the night, all of which were in the first three quarters before he was put to rest for the game's final eight minutes. Lutz found himself at the line often as the Raiders defense struggled to contain his drives.

Also adding to the dominant performance was guard Dalton Cozart, who tallied 14 points.

"Dalton can shoot the ball," Cozart said. "He's one of the better shooters on our team."

The Bulldog’s impressive showing allowed Cozart to pull his starters after just three quarters of play — a good sign that the team was already in midseason form after just 32 minutes of league action.


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