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High School Basketball: Bulldogs earn first road win
It’s been a tale of two teams so far this year for Athens High School basketball. One wins at home, the other loses on the road.
Coming into Friday’s game on the road against Meigs, the Bulldogs were 3-0 at home, outscoring opponents on average by over 19 points per game. But they were 0-2 on the road, getting outscored by an average of exactly 19 points.
Friday was different, as Athens finally notched its first road win against Meigs by a score of 52-49, pushing its record to 4-2 on the season.
Athens coach Jeff Skinner said his team was fortunate to come away with the win.
“We have struggled on the road and honestly, last night, we struggled big time,” Skinner said. “We just could not get into any kind of rhythm.”
But Skinner did take some of the blame.
“Our legs were gone. We probably practiced too hard the past couple of days, and that was my fault,” Skinner said. “On the road, our legs just weren’t there.”
While the Bulldogs may have eked out a win with tired legs this time, he said there is no excuse for their road woes this year.
“We’ve just got to grow up a little bit on the road and do a better job,” Skinner said. “I think it’s a little bit of a lack of focus when we go on the road, and we need to get a little more dialed in.”
A balanced scoring attack along with good defense and a few scores at the end of the game put the Bulldogs over the top.
Freshmen Joey Burrow and Ryan Luehrman led the way with 9 points each for Athens. Luehrman also added seven rebounds, tied for the team high with senior guard Josh Skinner. DeVon Sharp added six points, five steals, and three assists, the led the team in the latter two categories.
Luehrman and Skinner hit some big free throws at the end of the game when the Bulldogs needed it most.
“The last couple minutes defensively we were very good, and when it mattered most Ryan and Joshua stepped up to the line and put us over the top at the end of the game,” Skinner said.
Balanced team scoring has been the norm this year for Athens. Coach Skinner said that this balance is good, but he is still looking for a couple players to step up.
“I think our balanced scoring is very important,” he said. “But we’re going to have to get a little more consistent at the top end of our scoring and have one or two people step up and score more points than what they are.”
Skinner mentioned the quartet of Burrow, Skinner, Sharp, and Luehrman as the guys he’s looking to carry the scoring load.
“When it comes to putting points on the board for us we’ve got to look to Joey and Josh Skinner and DeVon Sharp to be consistently our leading scorers,” Skinner said. “We get help from Ryan Luehrman too who at times will be our leading scorer as well.”
Athens hits the road again for its next game against Warren on the December 27.