The Athens Lady Hornets and Hornets had two victories Friday at AHS Gymnasium. In the Lady Hornets victory over state-ranked Bullard, Athens (10-2) won 34-33 on a last second buzzer beater by Tori Williams. In the Hornets contest, Athens (3-4) defeated Fairfield 67-60. The Hornets then faced Quinlan Ford Saturday in Quinlan and picked up a 66-57 victory. Both teams return to action Tuesday as the Lady Hornets open District 14-4A play at Van.
“Our defense had carried us,” Athens coach Jeff Teague said. “Bullard is good at mucking things up, so we have to make sure our defense can stop the other team. Our scoring will come and we have to make sure to stop the other team.”
The Hornets host Jacksonville with games starting at 5 p.m. in the main gym. Here is the Baseline Review for the games against Bullard and Fairfield.
ATHENS 34, BULLARD 33
— HARD WORK: On the buzzer beater shot by Williams, Kenzie Hair had shot the final three pointer, and Williams was in the right place at the right time to take care of the victory. It was the only points the Lady Hornets scored in the fourth quarter as they were outscored 10-2.
Teague said the second half was one where players got tired.
“To be honest with you, No. 5 (Mimi McCollister) got tired. We are not very deep with Coronavirus and all that other stuff. If you look at our printed roster, there are more scratch outs than our players. We just got tired and we knew we would come out strong in the third quarter. That is our bread and butter. We have got to finish stronger, but with the depth that we have it is tough. 2020 is a tough time to be playing basketball.”
— BEATING BULLARD TWICE: To face a Top 20 team twice in 10 days says a lot about the Lady Hornets. Back on Dec. 1, Athens won 47-42 in Bullard. “To beat that team twice is probably one of the best series of victories that we have had since I have been here. To beat them two times in a row that close together is pretty good for us.”
— FINAL PRODUCTION: When the final buzzer sounded, McCollister led the team with 15 points. Karlie Cook had 12, Williams had four and Emily Mahmoud had three. “We were working to get our shooters a little more space. We wanted to make sure that we went to more man defense and that was our biggest adjustment.” HORNETS ATHENS 67, FAIRFIELD 60
— FIGHTING HARD: With the Hornets down by six at the break, coach Cliff Thompson found a way in the third quarter to get his guys their first lead at 42-40 late on a 3-pointer by Jonte Johnson off an assist from Connor Clay. The Hornets were able to head into the fourth quarter tied at 47. In the fourth quarter, Athens went on a 20-13 run to take control of the game with strong defense and clutch shooting at the free-throw line.
— FINAL PRODUCTION: When the final horn sounded, Athens was led by Jaden Crane with 22 points. Clay had 10, Johnson had nine, Derek Killingsworth had eight, Jacorian Hemphill had seven and Jorian Ray and Eli Rincon had five each.
— WIN OVER QUINLAN FORD: Crane led Athens with 19 points, while Johnson had 14, Clay had nine, Ray had seven and Killingsworth and Rincon had six points to lead the team.