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Justin Hynes goes up for a shot in Athens' 60-54 loss to Waverly December 1. Hynes finished with a team-high 20 points.

Athens Basketball: Dominant second quarter gives Bulldogs their ninth win in ten games

Logan Maxfield scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half as Athens beat visiting River Valley 63-44 on Tuesday. 

Maxfield was all over the court for Athens as he added to his point total with nine rebounds, four of which were offensive rebounds.

"(Maxfield) did what great players do,” Athens coach Mickey Cozart said. “He took control of everything."

With Athens struggling to find an offensive flow in the first quarter and turning the ball over five times, Maxfield kept the Bulldogs ahead by scoring 10 straight points, helping them hold an 18-15 lead at the end of the quarter.

"We came out sluggish, and it just happens,” Cozart said. “there wasn't a lot of energy in here tonight.” 

During a 19-2 run in the second quarter, Athens (9-3, 7-0 Tri-Valley Conference) was able to string together passes and spread out its scoring, with eight players making baskets in the first half. 

The bench was crucial for Athens — it contributed 19 points. Brayden Whiting led the group with 10 points. The sophomore is one of the key contributors off the bench for the Bulldogs. 

“(Whiting’s) needed a game like that,” Cozart said. “It's been a little while and we know his potential — but we also know he's a sophomore, so we're going to be patient with him." 

The Bulldogs have struggled to string together good quarters this season, and that’s one thing that Cozart wants the team to focus on.

Tuesday’s win gives the Bulldogs seven straight wins to start TVC play, and nine wins in their last ten games. 

Athens heads on the road Friday to take on Vinton County (6-5, 4-3 TVC). The last time the two teams met — Dec. 14 — the Bulldogs won in a narrow 41-38 game.


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