Updated Fri, Jan 31, 2014 1:50 am
Although the weather outside was frightful, the energy inside the Wellston gym was delightful, as the home crowd’s energy weighed down the air. Screams and cheers for the home crowd’s Lady Rockets rang out for the full 32 minutes, but it didn’t help Wellston as they fell to the Athens Lady Bulldogs on senior night 50-39.
The biggest story of the night was Athens junior guard Dominique Doseck’s shooting struggles as the Lady Bulldogs (18-0, 7-0) tried to get their game going after a slow start.
Doseck shot 8-of-19 in the game and recorded 21 points on the night, but the junior missed many open shots. She struggled to break through the gritty 2-3 zone from the Rockets (6-11, 2-7) but her teammates provided her with cover and trusted that their leading scorer would break out of her slump.
“I just have great teammates,” Doseck said. “[They] find me when I’m open and they just allow me to score. They’re fine with giving me the ball, they know I’ll find them if they’re open.”
Wellston attempted to take advantage of Doseck’s struggles in the first quarter in the form of junior guard Lexi Humphreys. The experienced guard continued to take the ball down the court and hold up play before blindly rushing the basket to spoil the Rockets’ first few plays.
When this tactic didn’t work, the offense would set picks for Humphreys and look for the roll pass, but it would never come. Humphreys went 1-for-8 in the game but finished with nine points after sinking all seven of her free throws.
The rest of the Rockets offensive production came predominantly from the scorching play of senior guard Chelsea McManaway, who paced Wellston offensively with 14 points, two rebounds and an assist.
After coming out of the locker room with a 25-16 lead, the Lady Bulldogs looked content to hold onto their slim lead, but the team struggled offensively with no major contributions coming from their starters.
Slowly McManaway started bringing her team back into the game, nailing a couple free throws and pumping up her teammates during timeouts and telling them not to quit as they headed into the latter stages of the game.
Facing a 35-25 deficit, there seemed to be a light in the Rockets’ eyes as they inbounded the ball to start the final quarter. But Athens quickly snuffed it out and kept Wellston at arms length by holding onto its double-digit lead to stay undefeated both overall and in Tri-Valley Conference play.
Athens will look to stay undefeated on its second straight road game against Warren on Feb. 1.