THE PLAINS, Ohio — The Marauders, with the assistance of some foul difficulty, had a proverbial leash on Athens’ Griffin Lutz.
Meanwhile, they didn’t let the other Bulldogs get loose either —and enjoyed a parade to the free-throw line down the stretch.
In capturing an important Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division boys basketball victory on Saturday night, visiting Meigs defeated Athens 60-49 inside McAfee Gymnasium in The Plains.
The contest was a makeup matchup from Jan. 6, when it was postponed due to inclement weather.
Meigs made the most of the return match, gaining a season split —after Athens won the initial meeting, 75-63.
The Marauders outscored the Bulldogs 16-13 in the opening quarter, then took the second stanza 11-9 to lead 27-22 at halftime.
The biggest gap, however, came in the third frame — when Meigs made its move with a 13-7 output and extended its advantage to double figures (40-29).
Over the middle two quarters, the Marauders made off with a 24-16 cushion.
Both teams tallied 20 points in the fourth quarter, but the Marauders made a hefty 14-of-15 free throws in the period to seal the win.
Both clubs are now 8-3 in the TVC-Ohio, while Meigs improved to 13-8 and Athens dipped to 12-7.
The Marauders’ victory also assured Vinton County of its second straight outright Ohio Division championship.
The Vikings have already swept both Athens and Meigs.
While the Marauders made their free throws, including 16-of-20 for the entire game, Athens only attempted six and meshed four —three of which were in the final period.
In addition, Lutz —the reigning Southeast District Division II Player of the Year —was saddled with three first-half fouls, and picked up his fourth in the third.
Lutz, who led the Bulldogs with 14 points on seven baskets, landed 10 of those markers in the opening half.
Christian Mattox paced the Marauders and all scorers with 17 points —posting seven field goals and 3-of-3 free throws.
Eleven of those 17 came in the opening two cantos.
Zach Bartrum, on four buckets and 8-of-11 foul shots, bagged 16 points —as he went a perfect 7-of-7 at the stripe in the fourth quarter.
Luke Musser mustered both of the Marauders’ three-point goals, as he added a deuce and two freebies for 10 points.
Jared Kennedy chipped in eight points — on three field goals and 2-of-2 free throws.
Dillon Mahr, on two baskets and a split of free throws, managed five —while Weston Baer in the second stanza and Devon Hawley in the fourth finished with a field goal apiece.
Brody Ball added 11 points to follow Lutz for the Bulldogs, including a pair of fourth-quarter three-pointers.
Justin Hynes had four field goals and a free throw for nine points, while Eli Chubb chalked up a pair of threes for six.
The Marauders will close out the regular season on Friday night — when they host River Valley in the TVC-Ohio.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106