Updated Tue, Mar 5, 2013 10:35 am
After the Fairfield Union Lady Falcons bounced the Athens Lady Bulldogs in the first round of the sectional playoffs last year, Athens find themselves in a position to gain some revenge in this year’s Regional Semifinals.
The Lady Falcons got the better of the Bulldogs in last year’s matchup and advanced after a 47-42 win, while Dominique Doseck struggled with an injury and didn’t provide the regular offensive spark that the Bulldogs were used to seeing out of her.
That same performance from Doseck seems highly unlikely this year, as she has been an offensive force, showing up in closing moments to lift her team.
Doseck scored eight-straight Bulldog points in the fourth quarter against Jackson last Tuesday, bringing her team back from behind to steal a win from the No. 1 seeded Ironladies.
But, as the season has progressed, Athens has become much less one-dimensional, receiving bursts of production from players like Emma Stanley and Olivia Harris.
The full Athens arsenal will need to be in place to combat a balanced attack from the Fairfield Union Lady Falcons, who return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. The Lady Falcons (22-3) are fresh off of a 46-32 win over Miami Trace (19-5), the team who defeated them in last year’s playoffs as well.
The Lady Falcons missed 17-consecutive shots spanning over three quarters, but their defense, balanced pressure and an offensive explosion in the fourth lifted them over Miami Trace. Four different players recorded at least eight points, but, according to Lady Falcons coach Steve Clippinger, offense isn’t his team’s focus.
“We believe that we play sound defense and apply ball pressure,” Clippinger said. “We have a good senior core.”
Clippinger commented on the Doseck and imposing post presence of Emma Stanley, but when asked about any weaknesses of the Lady Bulldogs team that he would focus on exploiting, Clippinger responded with, “weak teams are watching at this point.”
The Bulldogs and Falcons tip off at Zanesville High School at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday for a chance to move on to the Regional Finals against the winner of West Holmes and Bishop Hartley.