ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — In the end, it came down to the end.
Visiting Athens broke away from a one-point contest with a pivotal 16-4 fourth quarter surge on Friday night to claim a 54-41 victory over the Meigs boys basketball team in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium in Meigs County.
The host Marauders (4-7, 1-3 TVC Ohio) built a quick 14-13 lead after one period of play, but the Bulldogs (7-2, 5-0) responded with a balanced 12-4 run that allowed the Green and Gold to secure a 25-18 advantage at the break.
The Maroon and Gold, behind eight points from Weston Baer, countered with a 19-13 third period surge that allowed MHS to cut the deficit down 38-37 as both teams entered the stretch run.
Athens, however, again limited the hosts to just two field goals while closing out another half, and the Bulldogs gradually pulled away to remain unbeaten in league play.
The Marauders netted 15-of-55 field goal attempts for 27 percent, including a 3-of-18 effort from behind the arc for 17 percent. The hosts were also 8-of-10 at the free throw line for 80 percent to go along with grabbing 26 rebounds, handing out eight assists and committing nine turnovers.
Baer paced MHS with 13 points and Zach Bartrum was next with 10 points. Coulter Cleland and Nick Lilly each contributed eight points, while Bobby Musser completed the scoring with two markers.
Baer led the hosts with seven rebounds and Lilly hauled in six boards. Cleland also dished out a team-high five assists in the setback.
Logan Maxfield led Athens with a game-high 19 points, followed by Elijah Williams with 10 points and Eli Chubb with eight markers.
Brayden Markins and Justin Hynes respectively added seven and six points, while Isaiah Butcher completed the winning tally with four points. AHS was 6-of-13 at the free throw line for 46 percent.
Meigs returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Nelsonville-York in a TVC Ohio contest at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.