Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 8, 2014

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Flying high

No. 18 Athens wraps up non-district play with 68-52 win over Lindale

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

LINDALE — The No. 18 ranked Athens Hornets wrapped up the non-district schedule with another strong showing Monday night in a 68-52 win over the Lindale Eagles.

With the win, Athens second-year coach Gerald Anthony’s squad heads into District 15-3A play with a 17-1 overall record.

“They are working hard and I was satisfied with the effort tonight,” Anthony said. “They dug down deep and now all the fun games are over with.”

Athens will open the district schedule against Mabank Friday night at home.

“Mabank will be fundamentally sound,” assistant coach Jarrett Hill said. “We need to do better on rebounding. They will play strong half court defense against us.”

The Hornets once again relied on the shooting of Anthony Sanders, Ryan Jefferson and Courtland Lyons as the trio combined for 62 of the team’s 68 points in the game.

Jefferson finished the game with 25 points, Sanders added 23 points and Lyons finished with 14 points and six assists.

“It is good to have the three of us because some teams do not have that,” Lyons said. “We have been able to take advantage of it on our team this year.”

In their win on Monday, Ryan Jefferson was the spark plug of the third quarter as he scored the first nine points of the half.

With 3:20 remaining in the third, Jefferson came up with a strong rebound and putback to give them a, 46-35 lead.

“We were trying to tell each other to quit rushing, stay calm and we were playing their game and not our game,” Lyons said of the Eagles’ third quarter run.

The Hornets had a solid defensive game from Josh Garrett — as he came up with 10 rebounds to go along with two points. Senior post Chris Jefferson chipped in three points and five steals for the Hornets.

Hill said he knew the Hornets could have the potential to be this good early in the season.

“They are a fun group to coach and they work well together and that is what makes this fun and they are very coachable,” Hill said.

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