After a season-opening loss at Commerce, the Athens Hornets’ basketball team went to Kaufman on Tuesday to face the Lions, dropping that game, 59-53.
Three layups from Aryn Rodriguez, Rhejhi Sherfield and Garrett Hayes got the Hornets on the board first, 6-0.
The Lions picked up some momentum and went on a 13-2 run for the 13-8 lead with 4:05 in the first quarter.
Two layups from Sherfield and a jumpshot from Hayes made a brief 6-4 run and allowed the Hornets to close the first quarter trailing 17-14.
After Dylan Gunter opened the second quarter with a dunk for the Lions, Sherfield's layup and Cam Ray's jumpshot pulled the Hornets within a point, trailing 19-18 with 5:41 until halftime.
The Lions closed the first half with a 7-1 run, including five points in that span from Gunter, to lead 26-19 at halftime.
A layup from Godwin plus a pair of free throws and a three pointer by Ray made a 7-2 Hornets run as Athens trailed 28-26.
Kaufman used a commanding 16-4 run and built its lead to 44-30 with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
A couple of Hornet layups pulled Athens within ten points at 44-34 going into the fourth quarter.
Trailing 55-44 with less than four minutes, the Hornets sank a trio of layups — two from Sherfield and one from Rodriguez, to trail 55-50 with 2:27 left in regulation.
A free throw by Mckinley Sanders and a jumpshot by Jamar Mccray built the Lions advantage to 58-50 with 44 seconds left.
Ray sank a three-pointer and the Hornets trailed 58-53 with 41.7 seconds left, but the Lions sank a free throw and ran out the clock to win 59-53.
Sherfield led the Hornets with 18 points. Cam Ray follows with 10, Aryn Rodriguez with seven, Grant Wood with six, and Rowdy Godwin with four. Derek Killlingsworth and Garrett Hayes had two apiece.
The Hornets continue their season-opening road trip at the Corsicana Tigers on Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m.