The Athens girls’ basketball team made a deep playoff run last season and, after an impressive win on Monday night, may be poised for another playoff run.
The Class D honorable mention-ranked Indians looked sharp as they rolled to a 72-31 victory over the Colon Magi in the opening round of the district playoffs at Athens.
“We like to pressure teams on defense, so our goal was to play good, aggressive defense without reaching,” Athens head coach Calvin Quist said. “We did a good job of that tonight. We also have some good perimeter shooters that stepped up and hit shots tonight.”
The Indians (17-3) played like a team on a mission from the outset of the game.
After Chantel Davenport and Allysha Beal hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the first quarter, the Indians had built themselves a 16-2 lead.
Davenport and Beal combined to score 24 first-half points, leading Athens to a 39-9 halftime lead.
Colon got things going in the third quarter behind seven points from Shaunta Adams, but the Magi couldn’t slow down Athens’ offensive attack as the Indians increased their lead to 58-22 at the end of the third quarter and cruised in the fourth.
Last season the Indians advanced all the way to the Class D state finals where they lost to Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.
Quist admitted that last year’s tournament experience can benefit his team, but he insists the Indians aren’t thinking about making a tournament run right now – they’re staying focused on their next opponent.
And their next opponent is a tough one.
On Wednesday night, Athens will host Class D No. 8-ranked Mendon (19-1), a team the Indians lost to 42-27 last month.
“We had some girls get into foul trouble the last time we played Mendon,” Quist said. “So that’s why we talked about discipline on defense and playing pressure defense without reaching tonight.”
Athens was led by Beal’s 14 points, five assists and five rebounds. Davenport chipped in 13 points, as did Allison Fuller. Fuller also had seven rebounds and Valerie Rubely scored 10 points and had three steals for the Indians.
Colon’s Shaunta Adams scored 10 points, had six steals and three assists. Morgan Czajkowski had seven points and six boards and Makayla Craun had nine rebounds for the Indians.
Mike Leifeld writes for the Enquirer and can be reached at (269) 966-0678 or at email@example.com