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Robert Winkelman (5) watches the ball sail out of bounds against Wellston High School on January 13th, 2016 STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER|MATT STARKEY

Athens Basketball: Athens falls short in overtime to Fairland

With six seconds left in regulation, Griffin Lutz converted a layup to put the Bulldogs up two points.

Fairland then went down the court, and tied the game as time expired.

Athens was looking to finish off a game where it led by as much as 12 points but let the lead slip away throughout the second half, eventually giving up the lead with 5:35 left in regulation. After that point, the two teams traded the lead for the rest of the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs eventually lost in overtime, 81-77.

Athens turned the ball over 17 times, and many of those turnovers came in the second half.

Fairland scored 16 points off those turnovers, which allowed them to get back into the game

Even though Athens blew a double-digit lead in the second half with those 17 turnovers, coach Mickey Cozart said it was the best his team played all year.

“It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t come out on the top end of that,” Cozart said.

Fairland came into the game as the 39th ranked team in Ohio, according to MaxPreps, and the 96th ranked Bulldogs took Fairland to overtime.

“I thought we weren’t scared of a high-ranked team,” Cozart said. “We left it all out there.”

Once the game was tied and the two teams began to trade baskets, they also began trading trips to the foul line.

With 45 fouls between the two teams, free throws became the difference in the game. Fairland got 26 points from 34 attempts at the free throw line, and the Bulldogs only scored 8 points on 13 attempts.

“When the game gets that physical, there’s got to be a lot of calls because it could get out of hand,” Cozart said.

The Bulldogs looked a lot stronger against a good out-of-conference opponent than they did Tuesday against Parkersburg (West Virginia), which could give them confidence going into the rest of their conference schedule and during their playoff run at the end of the season.


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