The Cavs took an 8-6 first quarter lead and stretched it to 27-14 at the half off of 12 first half turnovers by Athens.
After the game Coach Meister reflected “For the most part we put ourselves in a position where we had the ability to win it. And then consequently, on the other hand put ourselves in a position to lose it with some of our shots down the stretch. We didn’t guard the dribble as
well as I’d hoped in the late stages of the game and they capitalized on that…”
Chillicothe forced the Bulldogs into 12 first half turnovers.
Entering the third period, Chillicothe got some empty looks and Athens’ Joe Burrow hit back-to-back threes and hit a running layup to cut the Cavs’ lead. The Bulldogs chipped away at the lead and only trailed 34-28 after three.
When Athens pulled to within 10 points in the third, Meister told his team to be mindful of their shot selection. “We knew that with the shot selection we took coming out of the gate in the second half, we needed to be very careful with what we were doing and it just didn’t seem like it resonated. So, they got a chance to run at us and they didn’t look back.”
The fourth quarter belonged to Athens as the Bulldogs opened up with a 15-5 run to start the quarter. Chillicothe was able to get back within one, 47-46, after a Zach Johnson three pointer. On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Johnson stole the ball with a chance to take the
lead but was unable to connect on his dunk attempt. Athens came back down the court and Zaccizh Saltzman sank a three to put the Dogs back up by four.
The Bulldogs ended the game on a 12-3.
“We’ve got guys in the locker room that are really torn up about this game because they invested everything they could and they felt like this was our second season” said Mesiter. “And we came in here without a hesitation, and I’m so proud of that… we fit right in with the best that this District has to offer, just not on enough possessions.”
Johnson led all scorers with 25 points. Nate Rosenbauer added 7, Adam Bixler 6, Tommy Bolte 5, Nolan Taylor 4 and Tim Beard 2.
Athens had three players in double figures with Ibi Watson scoring 20, Zaccizh Saltzman 13, and Joe Burrow 12 points each.
Athens will face Miami Trace in the District Final next Thursday at 6:15pm at the Convo. The Panthers were 48-41 winners over Logan Elm in the night’s first game.