Updated Thu, Jan 26, 2012 2:39 pm
In what may have been Athens’ most crucial women’s basketball game in five years; the Lady Bulldogs snatched the number one spot in the race for the TVC-Ohio crown away from the Vinton County Lady Vikings with a decisive 55-40 victory at Charles McAfee Gymnasium.
Dominique Doseck led the Lady Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a quality 22-point performance, but the part of the freshman’s game that was highlighted tonight was her big-play ability down the stretch.
After Vinton County nearly erased a 15-point deficit all of the momentum was on the side of the Lady Vikings. Athens’ head coach Wayne Horsely called a timeout to settle his girls down. Doseck walked out of the huddle and calmly stole the ball from a Vinton County player, dribbled down the length of the court, laid the ball into the basket with the poise of a senior, and took a hard foul in the process. Doseck knocked down the ensuing free throw and the Lady Vikings never again threatened to take a lead.
After avenging a loss at Vinton County in early December, coach Horsley was pleased with the improved effort from his team.
“We went down [to Vinton County] for the first league game of the year and [the Lady Vikings] took it to us a little bit in the effort category,” said Horsley, “My girls have been ready for this game since that day and we had a great week of practice and the intensity showed tonight.”
Athens seniors Elena Lein and Gracie Staten also were key cogs in the Lady Bulldogs offensive engine. Lein had 14 points and eight rebounds, while Staten also went over the double-digit mark in points with 11.
Lein and junior Emma Stanley led another solid defensive effort from the Lady Bulldogs. Their control of the paint forced Vinton County to the outside to shoot from behind the arc. Even though Megan Dixon and other Lady Vikings were able to put up some good looks, their shooting was too inconsistent to mount a charge on Athens’ lead.
Dixon led Vinton County in scoring with 14 points; she also had four rebounds.
Both teams have just one conference loss (against each other) and are looking to finish the season strong in order to capture a TVC-Ohio championship and make a playoff appearance, but at this point every game going forward will be a must-win for these two competitive squads.