THE PLAINS, Ohio — The Bulldogs weren’t to be denied, no matter how hard the Marauders tried.
The Meigs boys basketball team took Athens to the wire on Friday in McAfee Gymnasium, but the host Bulldogs held on for a 55-51 victory to clinch a share of the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division title.
The Marauders (10-10, 5-5 TVC Ohio) charged out to a 14-10 lead eight minutes into play, connecting on six field goals including a pair of three-pointers.
Athens (14-4, 10-1) —winning the TVC Ohio for a fifth time in school history and the first time since 2015 — rallied back with a 19-to-12 second quarter run and headed into the half with a 29-26 edge.
The Maroon and Gold got two points back in the third period, outscoring the Bulldogs by an 11-to-9 margin to make the AHS lead 38-37 with eight minutes to play.
The guests poured 14 points in the finale, sinking 6-of-7 free throws, but AHS sealed the 55-51 triumph with 17 markers in the fourth quarter.
For the game, Meigs was 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) from the free throw line, where Athens was 4-of-8 (50 percent). The Marauders connected on 20-of-43 (46.5 percent) field goal attempts, including 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) three-point tries.
The Maroon and Gold collected 15 rebounds, including four offensive boards, while committing a dozen turnovers. The Marauders combined for eight assists, seven steals and a rejection in the setback.
Weston Baer led the Marauders with 20 points, featuring a trio of three-pointers. Cooper Darst was next with nine points, followed by Nick Lilly with eight points, to go with team-highs of 11 rebounds and four assists.
Coulter Cleland contributed six points to the MHS cause, Zach Bartrum added four, while Ty Bartrum and Bobby Musser chipped in with two apiece.
Baer and Lilly led the MHS defense with two steals apiece, while Musser rejected a shot.
Justin Hynes led Athens with 14 points, followed by Logan Maxfield with 11 and Elijah Williams with 10. Isaiah Butcher claimed eight points for the hosts, Eli Chubb and Brayden Markins had four each, while Brayden Whiting and Andrew Stephens scored three and one respectively.
The Bulldogs also defeated MHS by a 54-41 count on Jan. 4 in Rocksprings.
The Marauders return to the court on Tuesday at Nelsonville-York.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.