Updated Sat, Feb 25, 2012 10:22 am
The Athens Bulldogs (12-9) really came up big with a win over the Logan Elm Braves (15-6). It had spectacular offensive and defensive plays, emotion, physicality, and free throw shots that led to a down to the wire potential game winning three-pointer.
The Bulldogs came out ready to take on the Braves. Joey Burrow started out the game hitting two three’s to put Athens up 8-0. The first quarter ended with the Bulldogs leading 10-6.
The second quarter was a different story however. It was a defensive showcase. Two minutes went by before the first points were scored by Logan Elm. Nearly another two minutes before Logan Elm scored again. The Braves went on a 9-0 run as the Bulldogs remained scoreless in the second quarter until there was just over 2 minutes to go.
Despite outscoring the Bulldogs 9-2 in the second quarter, they turned the ball over ten times in the first half and ended the game with twelve. The Bulldogs had most of their turnovers in the second quarter as well, ending with a team total of thirteen. The score remained 12-15 with Logan Elm leading as the first half concluded.
Coach Jeff Skinner really amped up the team during the halftime break as the team went on an 8-0 run to put Athens up 20-15. This is exactly what Athens needed to keep them in the game. Athens added another 8 points outscoring the Braves 16-9 in the third quarter. Leading Logan Elm 28-24 going into the fourth quarter, Athens showed they were not to be underestimated.
In the fourth quarter, the game was starting to become more physical as the fouls started piling up. Logan Elm had 18 fouls throughout this game while Athens had 11 of their own. Both sides of the ball were fouling back and forth which kept the score extremely close. This went on for nearly a minute and a half of game time.
It all ended up coming down to 11 seconds. Joshua Skinner was at the line and the Bulldogs are up 39-38. He sank the first free throw which forced Logan Elm to call a timeout. Skinner missed the second free throw, and the Braves were able to grab the rebound. They set up Blake Riffle for a wide-open three at the buzzer but he was unable to connect to give the Bulldogs the upset.
“Our younger kids play older than they are,” said Skinner, “Our seniors Joshua Skinner, Nick Stanley, and Kramer Simmons were just phenomenal tonight.”
Nick Stanley was a big contributor in tonight’s victory putting up thirteen points and only missing two shots the entire game. Freshman Joey Burrow had eleven points while hitting 100% of his three’s. They will play for the district semi-finals February 29th at the Convocation Center at Ohio University.