Three players scored in double-digits as Athens defeated Marietta 54-47 on Tuesday night at McAfee Gymnasium in a nonconference game.
Isaiah Butcher had one of his best games of the season, as he scored 14 points and had 13 rebounds in the win.
“We put him in a good position to be successful early in that game,” Athens coach Mickey Cozart said. “He got the looks that we thought he was going to get and he knocked them down.”
Butcher was one of two Bulldogs (10-4, 7-1 Tri-Valley Conference Ohio) to score in the first quarter as he had eight points, including two 3-pointers.
Starting point guard Elijah Williams missed his second straight game for Athens. The Bulldogs turned the ball over 17 times Tuesday.
“We just kept turning the ball over, we just kept making bad decisions,” Cozart said. “It’s been an issue all year and we’re playing without our point guard so it’s a big adjustment for us.”
Eli Chubb and Brayden Markins shared the majority of possessions at point guard. Markins was the main point guard in the fourth quarter. He was able to use his speed to beat his defender.
Markins scored in double-digits for the second-straight game. He and Butcher scored 14 points as the replacement for Williams in the starting lineup.
Throughout the game Athens extended its lead, but was not able to put away Marietta (5-9) as it made mistakes defensively.
“We got a little lazy in our zone and we stopped flying around the court,” Cozart said. “When you stop flying around you give people open looks and they hit them.”
The Bulldogs’ lead was cut to four with just over a minute-and-a-half left in the game with Athens scoring six points straight, including four free throws, to win the game.
The five Athens’ starters scored 52 of the Bulldogs’ 54 points.
Logan Maxfield scored six of his eight points in the final five minutes. He and Markins closed out the game with the final 10 points for the Bulldogs.
It was an important game for Athens to rebound from a last second, one-point loss Friday to Vinton County. It was the the Bulldogs’ first loss in conference play this season.
Athens continues its three-game home-stand with a conference game Friday against Nelsonville-York.