MABANK — The Athens Lady Hornets traveled to Mabank to face the Lady Panthers in both teams’ respective district opener on Friday. The game was moved up three hours because of inclement weather.
The Lady Hornets controlled the tempo of the game from start to finish, including holding Mabank to 31 points to pick up the 52-31 road win.
Mimi McCollister, Kenzie Hair and Bre’nya Barker each had a three-pointer as Athens opened with the 11-4 lead.
After Laney Davenport cut it to 11-6, the Lady Hornets scored eight straight and built the lead to 19-6.
With 35 seconds in the first quarter, Halle Partridge’s basket snapped the 8-0 run and Mabank trailed 19-8.
It was 19-9 following a free throw by Maddie Reneau. McCollister extended the lead to 21-9 with 4:20 until halftime with her pair of free throws.
After Drew Neighbors’ free throw, Athens dropped nine in a row, including five points by McCollister, and led 30-10 at halftime.
It was 30-15 out of the break when Carley Sapp drained two free throws and Lauren Carter banked a three-pointer.
Another Lady Hornet run, this time at 10-0, built the lead to 40-15. Neighbors put in a basket and Mabank trailed 40-17 going into the fourth.
The Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Hornets, 14-12, in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as Athens never let up and cruised to the 52-31 win to open district.
Athens (15-7; 1-0) hosts the Wills Point Lady Tigers Tuesday at 6 p.m. while Mabank (16-9; 0-1) hosts the Van Lady Vandals at 5 p.m.