Athens was the underdog going into its game Thursday against Zane Trace and needed to play one of its best games of the season to win.
The Bulldogs did not do that, as they struggled to find anything that worked against the Pioneers and lost 48-28 to end the season in the District Semifinal.
All season long, Athens (17-7, 11-1 Tri-Valley Conference Ohio) found its success through working hard on defense and using that to create enough offense to win.
Everything was tried by the Bulldogs on Thursday, but for one of the only times all season nothing worked well. Shooting 1-of-18 beyond the arc and struggling to get the ball into the post, the Bulldogs had their lowest scoring output of the season.
The seven seniors have led the team in working hard trying to find what works and then focusing on that to win games for Athens that people were saying should be lost.
Point guard Elijah Williams was doing everything he could at The Convo. He scored all five of the Bulldogs' points in the first quarter and finished with 13 to lead the team.
He was all over the court trying to do anything to get Athens back in the game with four steals, and putting constant pressure on the Zane Trace ball-handlers.
It was going to be tough for Eli Chubb on Thursday as he was battling a sickness. He still started, but was not at full strength. By the fourth quarter and with the deficit staying at 20 points, Chubb stayed on the bench as he saw the final minutes tick away.
With less than two minutes left in the third quarter, Logan Maxfield got the ball on a fast break and as he made a layup and was fouled, falling to the ground. Instead of going to the free-throw line to complete the 3-point play, Maxfield was headed to the locker room with an injury.
Maxfield could have not played this season to avoid injury, due to the opportunity to play football in college, but wanted to play with this team.
Justin Hynes was going to be needed for Athens with Isaiah Butcher out for the first half. All season, Hynes has come through in the clutch for Athens, including the game-tying free throw with 16 seconds left against Logan Elm in the Sectional Final.
It was not the way the seniors wanted the season to end, but to win both the TVC-Ohio and sectional titles the season was a success.