Athens tried multiple defenses in its game against Logan on Friday. But no matter what it tried, it simply had no answer for Bo Myers, who finished with a career-high 37 points on his senior night.
In a pristine display of talent on both ends of the court, Myers couldn’t be denied. He was unstoppable.
The senior racked up 37 of his team’s 71 points as Logan rolled over Athens, 71-46. He outscored Athens at the end of the first quarter and also matched the Bulldogs’ point totals at the conclusion of the second and third quarters. At one point late in the third, with 1:25 left on the clock, he eclipsed its point total once more.
“Myers is the real deal — I mean, he’s the real deal,” Athens coach Mickey Cozart said. “It didn’t matter what we did. He’s shooting five feet behind the 3-point line. What do you do with that?”
The Bulldogs struggled to keep up with the pace of a speedy and proficient Chieftain lineup. They lacked a defensive presence along the perimeter and allowed the Chieftains to drain nine 3-pointers in the game. The Bulldogs didn’t hit a 3-point shot for the entirety of the night.
“Well, we didn’t make a lot of two-pointers, either,” Cozart said. “We shot the ball very poorly and we give Logan a lot of credit for that. Their defensive pressure is very intense and our guys didn’t handle it well.”
When the Bulldogs did find offensive success, it was in the post with senior Justin Hynes and junior Isaiah Butcher. The paint duo led the Bulldogs in scoring. Butcher finished with a team-best 10 points, while Hynes tallied seven.
For the success the Bulldogs saw in the post though, they weren’t looking to go there consistently enough. And Cozart said by the time his players started finding Hynes and Butcher, it was too late.
“We didn’t follow the game plan,” he said. “We wanted the ball in the post and we chose not to do that until probably the third quarter. That’s why you practice — you implement game plans and you got to stick to those game plans. No matter what the pressure, what the environment, you’ve got to be able to keep your head, and do your job.”
Along with his team-high in points, Butcher also led the Bulldogs in rebounds with eight and in assists with four. Hynes had the second-most boards with seven.
Eli Chubb finished with seven points for Athens.
The Bulldogs’ bench players were responsible for 18 points. Brayden Whiting recorded five points, while Brayden Markins and Josh Mace each added four. Gauge Penrod tallied three and Andrew Stephens had two.
Starters Logan Maxfield and Elijah Williams each added two, as well. Williams went down with a minor injury midway through the second quarter and did not return for the rest of the game.
Outside of Myers, Logan was helped on by an impressive performance from Caleb Bell. He finished with 12 points.
At the root of the Bulldogs’ scoring deficiency was the lack of a clear offensive identity. They tallied 17 turnovers, compared to nine of the Chieftains, who are ranked 12th in the latest OHSAA Division I rankings.
The Bulldogs were simply outmatched, according to Cozart. He was quick to point out the contrasts between the two teams on the floor Friday.
“Sometimes the matchup is just not there and we did not match up well with these guys,” he said. “We’re big and we’re slow, and they’re small and they’re extremely fast. It just was not a good night for us.”
Athens won’t have much time to think its loss over and recover before it hosts Jackson in another big non-conference matchup for its regular season finale on Saturday.
The loss was the first in eight outings for the Bulldogs, and with tournament play on the horizon, it could generate some concerns going forward.
Although even a bad loss down the stretch of the regular season sometimes serves as a wake-up call for teams, Cozart believes his team can’t take anything away from the loss to Logan. But, there is one exception.
“When you get hammered like we did, there’s no good there, unless it makes our guys mad,” Cozart said. “We’ll see how we respond. We just didn’t play very well. We didn’t execute very well and we’ve got some work to do.”