High School Basketball: Poor shooting dooms Bulldogs on the road

In their second game of the season, the Bulldogs were handed their first loss of the year on the road against Warren by a score of 46-34 in a physical, low-scoring contest.

Athens was plagued by poor shooting all evening. The Bulldogs struggled from the field, shooting only 11-32. The Bulldogs hit just three of 21 attempts behind the 3-point line and three of eight from the free-throw line.

Coach Jeff Skinner attributed the team's shooting woes to solid defense as well as fatigue.

“The defense was just tremendous,” Skinner said. “Fatigue set in with us probably more so than Warren because we were in such horrible foul trouble that we had to leave guys on the floor for longer stretches than we normally would have.”

Senior guards Josh Skinner as well as freshman Joey Burrow received little rest, as both played over 30 minutes in the 32-minute game. 

While the Bulldogs especially struggled from behind the arc, Skinner said he was not fazed by the amount of threes his team took, and that it will be part of the team’s game-plan this year.

“We’re going to shoot a lot of threes. We’ve got some good three-point shooters but they didn’t go tonight,” Skinner said. “Every shot was contested. An open look at the three-point line was very rare for everybody.”

While the shooting can be fixed, a lack of depth does seem to be a concern for Athens, especially when foul trouble occurs. At the very least, Skinner said it cost them the game tonight.

“The foul trouble hurt our depth, and I think Warren’s depth is probably what put them over the hump,” he said.

For Warren, the game was won on the free-throw line, where it had 26 attempts.

“Free throws were the difference in the game,” Skinner said.

Despite the loss, Skinner said he was proud of the team’s performance and that the Bulldogs are keeping a positive outlook heading into Friday’s matchup against Vinton County (0-1).

“We’re very happy with the effort and our performance. Sometimes you do well and you don’t win,” Skinner said. “We just reflect on the good things and take some positives from it, don’t dwell on it, and move on and get ready for Vinton County.”


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