Updated Wed, Feb 12, 2014 2:07 am
The Spartan faithful of Alexander High School kept the noise levels high in “The Alley,” as a huge crowd came out to cheer on their boys basketball team as they faced off against Athens High School on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The Bulldogs rolled into town boasting their 15-3 record while the Spartans stood at 10-7. With attendance and spirits high during the night, it wasn’t enough to help the Spartans, as they fell to Athens, 65-39.
Both programs assured it would be a great game from the start and it was evident the second the ball was tipped off. Athens sophomore Ibi Watson drew first blood and would continue to have his number called multiple times throughout the night.
Fast offense and aggressive defense was the name of the game for Athens, as they maintained the lead for all four quarters. Creating a strong presence on the paint allowed the Bulldogs to find good opportunities for layups, getting clean shots off when the defender couldn't cover his man.
Alexander played aggressive defense and caused plenty of turnovers, but their inability to set up offensively is what cost them the game. Passing back and forth along the outline of the arch, the Spartans had a tough time finding a fellow teammate that had a decent shot at the basket.
The Bulldogs played some very heavy man defense, making a drive for a layup a risky attempt. Players like Watson caused big plays like a turnover followed up by a quick nice lay up, keeping the Spartans defense on their toes. He would lead the team with a game-high 29 points on the night.
At times, Alexander gave gasps of life when their offense was able to establish some solid tempo and begin to puts points on the board consistently. Sophomore Seth Richardson showed some true leadership on the hardwood. Handling his team and the frustration of the game, he put up 10 points on the night. Regardless, the Bulldogs’ defense applied that heavy pressure as expected and would not give up, quieting any chance of a comeback for the Spartans.
The Bulldogs came away from the night, improving their record to 16-3, while Alexander added to their loss count, now 10-8.