McKenzie Hair drives past Van defender

Athens senior McKenzie Hair looks to drive past Van Lady Vandals sophomore post Ella Barrett in a 61-51 victory Friday at AHS Gymnasium. Hair scored 11 points in the win.

The Athens Hornets and Lady Hornets continued their winning streaks in district play with a sweep of the Van Vandals Friday.

In the No. 22-ranked Lady Hornets game, Athens won 61-51.

With the win, the Lady Hornets extended their win streak to four games.

The game was the first of two meetings in a week’s time for the two schools. The first contest that was scheduled for Dec. 15 will be played Friday in Van. It was rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns. In the Hornets game, Athens won by a score of 60-50 to extend their win streak to three games.

Both teams are scheduled to return to action Tuesday at Brownsboro. The Lady Hornets tip at 6:15 p.m., with the Hornets to follow around 7:30 p.m.

The Lady Hornets game against Brownsboro is a Top 25 matchup in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches rankings.



The Lady Hornets came into the contest with only seven players, but that did not change the way they played Friday against Van.

The Lady Hornets held a 32-24 lead at the half behind the strong shooting of senior McKenzie Hair. She hit three 3-pointers in the first half to lead the team with 11 points.

Van led 8-3 early in the contest as senior post Skylar Savage found sophomore Landry Jones for a 3-pointer with four minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Athens (15-5 overall, 5-1 in District 14-4A play) then went on a 7-0 run capped off by a Hair 3-pointer for the 10-8 lead.

Van would counter the run with a 6-2 run to take a 14-12 lead into the second quarter. The run ended with a rebound basket by Van’s Maci Jones.

In the second quarter, the Lady Vandals took a 19-17 lead as Abby Clyburn scored on a fast break layup.

Athens would then put the pressure on Van as they went on a13-5 run the remainder of the quarter.

In the second half, the Lady Hornets found a way to keep the lead in double digits behind strong play from Mimi McCollister, with 16 of her 25 points in the second half.

Athens had 14 points from senior Karlie Cook, six points from junior Tori Williams, two points from senior Kyra Dawson and one point from junior Emily Mahmoud.

Van was led by Landry Jones Savage with 14 points each. Maddi Clyburn had 10, Maci Jones had nine, Jordan Ryan had four and Abby Clyburn and Elizabeth Nixon had two points each.

VAN (51) – Landry Jones 14, Abby Clyburn 2, Maci Jones 9, Maddi Clyburn 10, Elizabeth Nixon 2, Jordan Ryan 4, Skylar Savage 14.

ATHENS (61) – Kyra Dawson 2, Emily Mahmoud 1, Mimi McCollister 25, Tori Williams 6, McKenzie Hair 11, Karlie Cook 14.



Athens took control of the game in midway through the first quarter and never relinquished the lead for its sixth win of the year.

The Hornets are now 6-7 overall and 3-1 in District 14-4A play.

In the win over the Vandals, Athens was led by Jorian Ray with 17 points and Connor Woodard with 16. Eli Rincon had a strong first half with 10 points, which was his total for the game. Jaden Crane had eight, Derek Killingsworth had seven and Connor Clay had one point.

The Vandals were led by KD Erksine with 11, Aiden Carter with 10, Canon Rust with nine, Jackson Rainey with eight, Luca Kozhev had five, Javonta Thomas with four and Kaison Stanford with two.

Athens held a 31-25 lead at the half and took control in the early part of the third quarter.

The Hornets extended the lead to 14 points at 39-25 with just over five minutes remaining on a basket by Ray, a 3-pointer from Ray off an assist from Crane and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Killingsworth.

The Vandals scored the game’s final basket as Rainey had a fast break layup for the 60-50 finale.

VAN (50) – Luca Kozhev 5, Jackson Rainey 8, Javonta Thomas 4, Aiden Carter 10, Canon Rust 9, KD Erskine 11, Kaison Stanford 2.

ATHENS (60) – Jaden Crane 8, Connor Woodard 16, Jorian Ray 17, Connor Clay 1, Eli Rincon 10, Derek Killingsworth 7.

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