Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 3, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Westwood sneaks out with 44-39 win over Athens

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

Athens — Missed opportunities were the final blow against the Athens Lady Hornets in a 44-39 loss to the Palestine Westwood Lady‚ÄąPanthers Tuesday night at AHS gymnasium.

With the loss, coach Dee Evans team is now 1-6 on the season and head into the Canton Tournament this weekend.

The Lady Hornets will begin play this Thursday against Bullard at 1 p.m., followed by a contest against Canton at 6 p.m.

Palestine Westwood (2-6) pushed a 31-26 third quarter lead into a 39-33 lead as Alexis Hatten swished a jumper from just inside the arc with three minutes remaining in the game.

The Lady Hornets then found a way to cut into the lead as junior Bryla Barker converted an old-fashioned three point play with a rebound basket and free throw for a 39-36 deficit with 2:11 remaining in the game.

The Lady Panthers continued to put on the pressure as Athens committed 28 turnovers in the game and extended the lead back to four at, 43-39, as Jemelia Thomas found a wide open Mi’Kayla Benson in the lane on the inbound pass with 1:12 remaining.

The third quarter was a key quarter for the Lady Hornets as Westwood held a slim lead at the half, 20-16.

In the third quarter, the Lady Hornets had cut into a seven-point deficit as Barker swished the first of two free throws and then teammate Cari Aguilera took control of the rebound and putback for a 27-22 deficit with 3:04 remaining.

AHS seemed to gain some momentum going into the final quarter as Josee McNeece found Barker for the layup with 48 seconds remaining in the quarter to cut the deficit to 31-26.

The closest the Lady Hornets were able to get in the game was three points on several occasions and Shelby Sims found Hadley Cain open for a wide open jumper with just under five minutes remaining in the game.

Athens was led in scoring by Barker with 17 points and Aguilera with 14 points.

In the junior varsity game, AHS won 40-38 led by Haylee Adair with 18 and A’osha Chilton with 10 points.