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Brody Ball (3) lays the ball up against Wellston High School on January 13th, 2016 STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER|MATT STARKEY

Athens Basketball: Bulldogs beat Alexander, extend win streak

With four games left to play this season, Athens needs all hands on deck to close out the season on a high note and ride into the playoffs with confidence.

That message continued to show on Tuesday night, as the Bulldogs beat the Alexander Spartans 48-31 to extend their winning streak to four games.

“We’re playing well,” coach Mickey Cozart said. “If you weren’t fired up about coming in this gym to play, then you don’t have a heartbeat.”

Leading the way for Athens were some of the more unheralded Bulldog players — senior Trey Martin, juniors Dalton Cozart and Treyce Albin and sophomores Logan Maxfield and Eli Chubb have stepped up both offensively and defensively.

“Chubb’s playing great and Logan’s playing great,” Mickey said. “Martin’s coming in and giving some good minutes, and Treyce Albin’s defensive presence is known and felt every time he steps out on the court.”

The trio of Cozart, Maxfield and Martin contributed 20 combined points on the night to support the Bulldogs’ usual point-man, senior Griffin Lutz.

Lutz led the team with 16 points and tallied 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.

The increased bench presence has done a world of favors for the Bulldogs. The team has appeared to put the defensive woes from last month behind it, which has decreased the pressure on the offense as the game winds down.

The Bulldogs (12-6, 8-2 Tri-Valley Conference) 48 points is just their third-lowest score this season, but Mickey chalked up the low total to a change in Alexander’s defense that slowed things down.

“We were pretty patient in the fourth quarter,” Cozart said.

As of late, Athens has put a heavier emphasis on rebounding, as the Bulldogs have out-rebounded three of their last four opponents, a trend that wasn’t as consistent earlier this season. 

Athens looks capable of winning out the season, as it continues to build momentum with the regular season coming to a close.

"We're hungry," Cozart said. "We're peaking at the right time."

Athens will play Meigs, the TVC's current third-place team, at home on Saturday night. 

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