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Athens center Justin Hynes (#32) competes for the ball with Meigs guard Cooper Darst (#24) during the first half of the Bulldogs game against the Marauders on Feb. 8. (FILE)

Athens Basketball: Bulldogs looking to secure sole possession of conference championship

The Bulldogs have already secured a share of the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Championship. On Tuesday, they look to clinch sole possession of the conference in their last conference game of the season.

Athens (15-4, 10-1 TVC-Ohio) ends TVC play with a trip to Wellston (3-16, 2-8 TVC-Ohio) on Tuesday. With the team securing its first conference championship since 2015 in the 55-51 victory over Meigs, coach Mickey Cozart knew it was a special moment and appreciated the growth of the team throughout the years, especially the upperclassmen.

“We’ve worked pretty hard to get to this point.” Cozart said. “Guys like Eli (Chubb) and Justin (Hynes), I’ve had these guys since seventh grade. We couldn’t win a championship in seventh grade or eighth grade, it just felt like we never quite got there, and here they are as seniors getting it done.”

Before the game against the Marauders, Cozart felt that the team didn’t practice well following the big game with Alexander. Attributing those struggles to a “hangover” from a big win, it caused a slow start with Meigs. After securing a share of the TVC Championship, the same worry may be prevalent with the Golden Rockets.

Athens faced Wellston in McAfee Gymnasium on Jan. 8, winning the game 63-40. In that game, Chubb had his season-high 20 points, while Hynes and Elijah Williams both added 11.

That game was also one of five times this year where the Bulldog defense held their opponents to 40 points or under. The defense has been a strength of the team this season and they will look to keep the play going as the Ohio High School Athletic Association Tournament approaches. On Sunday, Athens was named the No. 4 seed in the Division II District bracket and will play Logan Elm on Feb. 22.

Tip-off against the Golden Rockets will be Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Wellston High School.


Tyler Johnson


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