ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Simply returning the favor.
The Meigs boys basketball team — which dropped a 57-55 decision at Athens on Dec. 17 — defeated those same Bulldogs in Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division play on Friday in Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, with MHS sophomore Coulter Cleland sinking a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining to give the Marauders a 69-67 victory.
Athens (12-5, 7-2 TVC Ohio) — which started the night in a tie for first place in the league — was ahead 18-12 eight minutes into play. The Bulldogs scored 18 more in the second quarter, but Meigs (9-8, 6-3) poured in 21 in the stanza and headed into halftime down 36-33.
A 16-to-12 third quarter gave the Marauders a 49-48 edge at the start of the finale. Athens scored 19 points over the final eight minutes, hitting five three-pointers, but the Maroon and Gold sealed the 69-67 win with 20 points, including a quartet free throws.
Meigs — which hit eight of its 25 field goals from beyond the arc — was 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) from the foul line, where the Green and Gold made 12-of-15 (80 percent).
Cleland led the Maroon and Gold with 22 points, combining five two-pointers, a pair of triples, and a 6-of-8 day at the line. Weston Baer hit a team-best four three-pointers and finished with 18 points, while Cory Cox claimed nine points, all after halftime. Wyatt Hoover scored eight in the win, Bobby Musser added six, Ethan Stewart chipped in with five, while Cameron Burnem tallied one.
Leading the Bulldogs, Brayden Markins and Nate Trainer each hit a trio of three-pointers en route to 22 and 15 points respectively. Brayden Whiting was next with 14 points, followed by Will Matters with 10. Joey Moore and Reece Wallace rounded out the AHS scoring column with three points apiece.
After a non-conference bout with Eastern on Saturday, Meigs will visit league-leading Alexander on Tuesday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.