Athens extended its winning streak to three games with a 70-48 victory over Wood County Christian School on Saturday afternoon behind a dominant first half performance.
After the Bulldogs lead was cut down to three in the second quarter, they scored 19 straight points. The Athens’ defense shut down WCCS on the offensive end, which led to fast break opportunities.
It was the second straight game Athens (12-4, 8-1 Tri-Valley Conference-Ohio) played really well in the second quarter. On Friday night it had a 23-3 quarter against Nelsonville-York, as the Bulldogs won 62-48.
Logan Maxfield made sure Athens started the game strong. He scored 13 points in the first quarter and 15 in the half. Maxfield finished with a game-high 20 points.
All 11 of Brayden Markins points came in the first half as he has scored in double-digits for four straight games after being moved to the starting line-up when Elijah Williams was hurt. Markins moved back to the bench Saturday when Williams returned, but Markins was still able to score the second-most for Athens.
The 70 points was the most Athens has scored in a game this season. The Bulldogs made seven 3-pointers against WCCS and 19 in the past three games.
“It’s kind of a big deal because people can pack it in on us and now we’re starting to extend the defense it’s a good thing,” Athens coach Mickey Cozart said.
The aggressive defense of Athens was able to force 14 first half turnovers and 22 in total. Athens was able to create fast break opportunities off of turnovers and find easy layups.
The offense continued to play well for Athens as it was able to beat the zone defense with its passing that gave players open shots.
“We were patient and we played together and we shared the basketball,” Cozart said. “We stayed in the flow of what we were doing yesterday.”
Eli Chubb was the third player in double figures for the Bulldogs who had everybody play in the game with nine of them scoring.
It was the second game back for Williams after missing two games.
After playing three games in five days, Athens will be able to get in a little rest before heading on the road to face TVC-Ohio co-leader Alexander (12-2, 8-1 TVC Ohio) on Friday night.
Athens won the first meeting of the season, 49-39, behind 11 points each from Maxfield, Chubb and Butcher.
As the regular season enters its final few games each game is very important for the conference and preparing for the tournament. The following day Athens will host Jackson (12-5) in a nonconference game.