Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 17, 2013

2013 WILLS POINT TOURNAMENT: Missed chances

Athens loses first game of season to TCA, 75-64, in championship bout

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

WILLS POINT — “It was a good run while it lasted.”

Those were the words of Athens head coach Gerald Anthony following the No. 23-ranked Hornets 75-64 loss to Trinity Christian-Addison in the championship game of the Wills Point Tournament Saturday night.

With the loss, the Hornets are now 11-1 on the season and will look to get back on the winning track Friday against Cayuga. The contest is set for 2:30 p.m. at AHS gymnasium.

“It was good but we have to stayed focused,” senior Anthony Sanders said of the winning streak. “We cannot let our heads get too big when we are winning and it can’t get too low when we are losing.”

Sanders and teammate Ryan Jefferson were named to the All-Tournament team following the loss on Saturday.

In the championship game, Sanders led the way scoring 28 of his game-high 35 points in the second half of play. Jefferson scored 26 points for the Hornets in the loss.

On the season, Sanders is averaging 31.4 points per game, while Jefferson is scoring 22.4 points per game.

Sanders said the mindset of the team to start off the season was simple in terms of the strong start to open non-district play.

“Really, I feel like everybody loves basketball,” Sanders said. “We just come out here and play the game so we have been ready for this season for a while now.”

In the championship game, the Hornets found themselves in a 33-26 hole at the break before TCA went on a 26-18 scoring advantage in the third quarter of play.

TCA was able to capitalize on easy shots in the lane to keep a double-digit lead on multiple occasions in the second half.

“We could not finish plays tonight and we got in a situation that we could not get out of,” Anthony said. “A couple of guys were sick and they were a good ball club.”

In the fourth quarter, Sanders was able to cut the TCA lead to seven at 63-54 with 5:35 remaining in the game after he nailed a fast break layup off an assist from Ryan Jefferson and then hit the back end of two free throws.

In the opening half, TC-Addison held its biggest lead at 31-23 as Kyle Hardesty received the pass from Matt Paterson for the easy layup with 2:30 remaining in the half.

Sanders then ended the 6-0 run by the Trojans with a three-pointer off an assists from Kynden Crist with just over two minutes remaining.

TC-Addison 75, Athens 64

TCA    14    19    26    16    —    75

Athens    15    11    18    20    —    64

TRINITY CHRISTIAN-ADDISON — M. Patterson, 11; L. Branson, 22; A. Bora, 3; W. Troup, 5; T. Parnell, 3; K. Hardesty, 14; T. Huvener, 10; C. Hutzler, 7.

ATHENS — Ryan Jefferson, 26; Anthony Sanders 35, Courtland Lyons, 1; Josh Garrett, 2.

THREE POINT GOALS — TCA: Patterson, Branson (2), Bora, Parnell. A: Jefferson (2), Anthony (7).

RECORDS — Athens 11-1.

NEXT UP — Cayuga at Athens, 2:30 p.m., Friday.