ALBANY, Ohio — A win to start league play.
The Meigs girls basketball team began its Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division slate on the right foot, defeating Athens by a 51-43 count in the inaugural TVC Turn it Gold Classic at Alexander High School on Saturday.
A quartet of first quarter lead changes left the Lady Bulldogs (1-4, 1-1 TVC Ohio) with a 12-11 lead eight minutes into play.
The teams swapped the advantage two more times in the first three minutes of the second quarter, before Athens went up 23-18 with 2:55 left in the half. Meigs (2-1, 1-0), however, closed the first half with a 6-0 run for a 24-23 halftime edge.
Athens was back in front within the opening minute of the second half, but the Lady Bulldogs didn’t make another field goal in the third quarter. The Maroon and Gold ended the period with a 13-to-4 spurt, and led 37-29 with one quarter remaining.
The Lady Marauder lead grew as high as 13 points in the finale, and Meigs cruised to the 51-43 win.
The Maroon and Gold claimed the rebounding edge by a 44-to-37 clip, with Athens taking a narrow 18-to-17 win on the offensive boards. Meigs committed 18 turnovers, and recorded 13 assists, six blocked shots and five steals, while AHS had 13 turnovers, and marked 11 steals, six assists and two rejections.
Meigs made 16-of-51 (31.4 percent) field goal attempts, including 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) three-point tries, while the Green and Gold shot 12-of-53 (22.6 percent) from the field, including 3-of-27 (11.1 percent) from deep. At the foul line, MHS was 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) and AHS was 16-of-33 (48.5 percent).
Leading the Lady Marauders, Bre Lilly sank four three-pointers on her way to 19 points. Rylee Lisle recorded a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, to go with five assists, while Mallory Hawley came up with eight points and 10 rebounds, and also led the team on defense with five rejections and four steals.
Meredith Cremeans contributed six points to the winning cause, Olivia Haggy chipped in with five, Mara Hall added two, while Jerrica Smith pulled in a game-best 13 rebounds.
Laura Manderick ended with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Kesi Federspiel finished with 11 points in the setback, while Harper Bennett claimed six points and team-highs of 12 rebounds and three assists. Kiannia Benton scored three points for AHS, Bailee Davis added two, while Mindi Gregory ended with one.
Manderick and Federspiel led the Athens defense, each recording three steals and a block.
The Maroon and Gold are scheduled to host the rematch with the Lady Bulldogs on Feb. 3.
After hosting Vinton County on Monday, Meigs will take a trip to Nelsonville-York on Thursday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.