With four games left in the regular season and two that are league ones, coach Mickey Cozart and the Bulldogs want to win the rest of their games. But more importantly, they need to if they want any opportunity to win the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division.
The next step in reaching that goal after the Bulldogs won their past four games will be to play Meigs at home Saturday night. Athens beat Meigs to start the current four-game winning streak.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” Cozart said.
The key for Athens to successfully reach its goal will be the strength of its bench.
For most of the season, the Bulldogs have relied on senior Griffin Lutz — for good measure, as Lutz became the third Bulldog to score 1,000 career points earlier this season.
In this winning streak, the bench has played as well as it has all season. Cozart noted the improved play of his bench after Athens' last game, a win against Alexander.
Players like Eli Chubb and Logan Maxfield have been huge parts of this bench success. The two have combined to add 13.8 points per game over the Bulldogs' current streak.
In addition to the four total wins, two of those wins came against teams that beat the Bulldogs last season, in Bishop Watterson and Alexander.
“We took a thumping in this gym last year,” Cozart said. “Some of these guys remember that.”
The Bulldogs will need some help to win the TVC, however.
Vinton County is in the top spot, but Athens is only one game behind. If the Bulldogs can reach their goal of winning the remainder of their games, and Vinton County drops one of their remaining games, Athens will share the TVC-Ohio championship with Vinton County.