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

Athens Basketball: Athens comes out flat in first game of the new year

Coming off a long break, Athens was hoping to carry its four-game win streak into the new year and keep pace atop the Tri-Valley Conference.

But a stingy Parkersburg defense took advantage of the Bulldogs' rustiness Tuesday, as Athens fell 71-45 for its first game in 2017, moving its overall record to 6-2.

“Parkersburg (is) really good,” Athens coach Mickey Cozart said. “They’re big, they’re long, they’re aggressive. We didn't make shots. Really simple.”

The Bulldogs got off to a slow start and could never gain momentum, as poor passes and lousy ball control plagued the offense, making it hard for Athens to build any positive scoring runs.

“I saw shots in the paint, I saw missed layups, I saw open 3-pointers that didn't drop tonight. We had a bad shooting night,” Cozart said. “We’re not going to cry about this. We’re going back to work tomorrow, we’ve already forgot about it.”

The Big Reds were able to shut down the Bulldogs' offensive flow by stopping Griffin Lutz’s powerful drive and Dalton Cozart’s 3-point shot. The two combined for just five points at the half. Lutz would finish the night with 15 points, while Cozart was only able to muster four.

The Bulldogs' last game took place on Dec. 27, and after a postponement of their Jan. 6 matchup with Meigs to tip off 2017, the team looks to have regressed from the level they were playing early in the season.

Athens will look to shake things off and regroup Friday on the road against the Wellston Golden Rockets.

@anthonyp_2

ap012215@ohio.edu

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