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Coach Mickey Cozart poses for a portrait at Athens High School on Jan 11th, 2017 MATT STARKEY|STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Athens Basketball: Bulldogs look to get back on track this weekend

After a disappointing showing Tuesday night against Parkersburg, Athens coach Mickey Cozart was ready to move on.

That kind of mindset should be crucial towards a bounce back weekend for the Bulldogs (6-2, 3-1 Tri-Valley Conference) as they take on Wellston (2-8, 1-3 TVC) on Friday night and Fairland (10-1) on Saturday night.

To come out of the weekend with a pair of victories, the Bulldogs will have to regain their overall offensive rhythm. They scored 45 points Tuesday, which was their second-lowest this season. Athens has averaged 69.2 points per game.

“Last night we were missing some guys, we weren’t playing very well, we didn’t get some calls,” guard Griffin Lutz said at practice Wednesday. “We’re going to bounce back.”

Wellston has lost five-consecutive games and has yet to eclipse 65 points in a game this season, giving Athens a good opportunity to re-discover the fast-paced offense and tight defense that has kept it near the top of the TVC standings.

The positive momentum starts with improved performances from the team’s top two offensive players, guards Dalton Cozart and Lutz.

Lutz’s strong ability to drive to the hoop was absent in Tuesday’s loss, while Cozart struggled to find a working stroke beyond the 3-point line. The duo accounted for just 19 combined points Tuesday.

This weekend serves as a promising but challenging opportunity to turn things around, as Athens plays in back-to-back games for the third time this season. The previous two times, however, resulted in a pair of wins, with the Bulldogs outscoring their opponent by an average difference of 32 points in each of the past four games.

A pair of wins should bolster the Bulldogs back into their identity as they attempt to move ahead of Meigs and into second place in the TVC.

“It’s going to depend on what team we bring out and if we’re ready to go,” Cozart said. “We’ll see.”

@anthonyp_2

ap012215@ohio.edu

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