ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — A tough way to go out.
The Meigs boys basketball kept up for a half, but an 18-2 third quarter surge ultimately allowed visiting Athens to finish unbeaten in league play following a 65-39 decision Thursday night in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division finale for both programs.
The Marauders (8-12, 4-6 TVC Ohio) battled hard in their final game at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium this year, as the hosts fell behind by a slim 14-11 margin after eight minutes of play. The Bulldogs (17-3, 10-0) followed with a small 12-11 second quarter spurt, allowing AHS to secure a 26-22 edge at the intermission.
Meigs was never closer the rest of the night, as the Green and Gold surrendered a single field goal to Damon Jones in the third canto while making its charge — allowing the guests to claim a comfortable 44-24 cushion headed into the finale.
A.J. Kopec hit a trio of trifectas down the stretch, but the Bulldogs closed regulation with a 21-15 run to wrap up the 26-point triumph. Athens won the previous matchup 63-31 margin back on Jan. 24 at McAfee Gymnasium.
The Marauders connected on 16-of-55 field goal attempts for 29 percent, including a 5-of-20 effort from three-point range for 25 percent. The hosts were also a perfect 2-of-2 at the free throw line and committed just nine turnovers in the setback.
Isaiah English led MHS with 11 points, followed by Damon Jones and A.J. Kopec with nine markers apiece. Colton Lilly was next with four points, while Jordan Hutton, Ty Phelps and Cody Bartrum rounded out the scoring with two markers each.
Jones led the Marauders with seven rebounds and three steals, while Phelps chipped in a team-best two assists. It was the final game on the hardwood for seniors Damon Jones and Jordan Hutton in the Maroon and Gold.
Ibi Watson paced Athens with a game-high 20 points, followed by Joe Burrow and Ben Scott with 11 markers apiece. The Bulldogs were 5-of-8 at the free throw line for 63 percent.