Athens has a chance to take control of the Tri-Valley Conference-Ohio on Friday against Alexander.
The Bulldogs (12-4, 8-1 TVC-Ohio) won all three of their games this past week, including two by more than 10 points.
The three-game win streak was important for the Bulldogs, who lost to Vinton County in the final second a couple weeks ago. It was one of the lowest scoring games of the season for Athens, and the Bulldogs were missing a key part of its team. Elijah Williams missed the loss to Vinton County and the seven-point win over Marietta.
Getting Williams back up to speed is a key for Athens with the game this Friday against TVC-Ohio co-leaders Alexander (12-2, 8-1 TVC-Ohio). Without him in the lineup, Athens doesn’t have a true point guard on the floor and has to give different players the responsibilities of one.
Brayden Markins has stepped up in Williams’ absence and has scored in double-digits four straight games.
Markins has moved back to the bench with Williams returning, but he’s still been an offensive threat, along with being one of the best on-ball defenders on the team.
Williams’ defense helps the Bulldogs, too. His ability to pressure the opposing point guard into turnovers and out of their offensive flow has helped shut teams down. Off a turnover, Williams is able to use his speed to get Athens fast-break opportunities.
Eli Chubb has been the do-it-all player for Athens recently, as he has 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in the last two games. He took some of the point guard responsibilities while Williams was out and has started to make 3-pointers.
Coach Mickey Cozart expected Athens to be a good 3-point shooting team this season. It hasn’t been as expected as the Bulldogs struggled for most of the season.
The Bulldogs have shot much better in the past three games with nineteen made 3s. There is not just one player who has started to make 3s, as five different players have made at least one in the last three games.
Three-point shooting will be crucial for Athens against Alexander, as it will have to deal with 6-foot-10-inch tall Caleb Terry in the post.
When the teams played Dec. 21, Athens came out with a 49-39 win, holding Terry scoreless.