The Athens Review
The magical run for the Athens Hornets ended in the regional quarterfinals to the Kilgore Bulldogs, 69-44, at TJC’s Wagstaff Gymnasium.
With the loss, the Hornets wrapped up the season at 29-2 with one of the school’s best seasons in school history.
The Hornets season ended last year against Kilgore as they lost in the bi-district round, 67-51, at UT-Tyler.
For the second straight year, the Hornets could not figure out how to contain the fast paced offense of the Bulldogs dominated on the offensive glass throughout the game.
The tale of the first half for Athens was Anthony Sanders scoring 17 of the Hornets 25 first half points. Sanders scored 25 points in his final game in an Athens uniform.
The Hornets offense could not get anything going in the first half of play nailing only six shots in the opening 16 minutes of play.
Kilgore went into the locker room at the half with a 35-25 lead over the Hornets as Trey Conrad, Clery Delmas and Nick Orange provided 31 of the Bulldogs points in the opening half.
With two minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Sanders cut into the Kilgore lead nailing two free throws to give them their closest deficit of the game at, 12-11.
Athens continued to have their struggles in the half as Clery Delmas was aggressive in the paint against Athens defenders Chris Jefferson and Josh Garrett. Delmas scored 12 points in the opening half.
In the second half, the Hornets tried to cut into the deficit but the Kilgore defense continued to give Athens headaches as Athens nailed only seven field goals.
Ryan Jefferson scored 11 points for the Hornets, while Courtland Lyons added five points.
The Hornets finished out the season as the District 15-3A champions as 13 seniors played their final game.
Orange led the way for Kilgore with 19 points, while Delmas chipped in 15 points and Trey Conrad added 14 points.