LOGAN, Ohio — The third time wasn’t a charm.
After earning a sweep during the regular season, the Meigs girls basketball team didn’t have any answers for visiting Athens down the stretch Monday night following a 54-47 setback in a Division II sectional semifinal contest held at Jim Myers Gymnasium inside of Logan High School.
The 16th seeded Lady Marauders (6-17) were in for a battle from the start as the Lady Bulldogs (4-19) — a 17 seed — kept pace through eight minutes of play after ending up deadlocked at 6-all.
The Maroon and Gold, however, started to find their offensive rhythm early in the second period as the hosts used a quick 7-1 surge to secure their largest lead of the night at 13-7 with just under five minutes left in the half.
Laura Manderick countered with consecutive trifectas while sparking a 10-1 surge over the next four minutes, giving AHS its largest first half lead at 17-14 with 1:48 left.
MHS quickly countered with consecutive baskets from Rylee Lisle, then a Mallory Hawley bucket capped a 6-0 spurt that led to a 20-17 edge with 55 seconds remaining.
Bailey Davis added a basket for Athens just 14 seconds later, cutting the deficit down to a single point entering the break.
Both teams traded leads midway through the third quarter before ultimately ending up knotted at 26-all with 3:41 remaining.
Harper Bennett capped a 12-2 run with a basket, giving the Green and Gold a 38-28 advantage with just 50 seconds remaining. Hawley tacked on a basket with nine second left for a 38-30 contest entering the finale.
Meigs went scoreless for over three minutes down the stretch, and Keri Federspiel scored five points during a 7-0 run that gave the Lady Bulldogs their largest lead of the night at 45-30 with 5:09 left in regulation.
A Lisle putback with 3:31 left capped an 8-0 counter by Meigs that trimmed the deficit down to seven points at 45-38, then a Hawley bucket capped another 5-4 spurt that whittled things down to 49-43 with 1:55 remaining — but the hosts were ultimately never closer the rest of the way.
The Lady Bulldogs reeled off five straight points over the next 40 seconds for an 11-point edge. Meigs closed the final 31 seconds with four unanswered points to wrap up the 7-point outcome.
The Lady Marauders won both Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchups by counts of 51-43 and 51-39. It was also the first tournament win for Athens since the 2015 campaign.
The Lady Bulldogs advance to the D-2 sectional final at 6:15 p.m. Thursday and face top seeded Circleville at Adena High School.
Meigs made 16 total field goals — including four 3-pointers — and also went 11-of-22 at the free throw line for 50 percent.
Hawley paced the hosts with a game-high 22 points, followed by Lisle with 11 points and Hannah Durst with nine markers. Durst also hauled in a team-high 14 rebounds.
Mara Hall was next with three points, while Jerrica Smith completed the tally with two markers. There were no seniors on this season’s roster for Meigs.
The Lady Bulldogs made 18 total field goals — including three trifectas — and also netted 12-of-23 charity tosses for 52 percent.
Manderick paced AHS with 19 points and Federspiel followed with 16 points. Bennett and Gregory were next with six points each, while Davis and Olivia Banks respectively completed the winning tally with four and three markers.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.