For three quarters, Athens looked to be in pretty good shape in Monday's game against Grissom. However, a fourth-quarter avalanche of turnovers and points buried the Golden Eagles and doomed them to a 60-46 defeat.
“We just made a lot of bad decisions with the basketball,” Athens coach Stace Tedford said of the fourth quarter. (Grissom) is really good, and when you turn the ball over as carelessly as we did, that happens.”
For the first three quarters of the game, Athens was able to control its turnover problem and force several turnovers of its own in a scrappy game against the Tigers.
Athens led 26-21 at halftime and started the second half quickly. A 3-pointer by Antonio Shoulders gave Athens its biggest lead at 31-21 early in the second half, and it looked like the Golden Eagles would be able to take a win over the Class 7A Tigers.
However, Grissom called a timeout after Shoulders' basket and came out of the timeout with a renewed defensive energy.
Grissom cut the lead to 34-33 before Tyree Patterson hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in the quarter, putting Athens up 37-33.
However, the fourth quarter was all Grissom. The Tigers played the game at a fast pace, which Athens had trouble keeping up with. Grissom's defense forced numerous turnovers, which the Tigers were able to turn into fast-break points.
Grissom started the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run and wound up outscoring the Golden Eagles 27-9 in the final period to pull away for the win.
“We've just got to do a better job being stronger with the ball,” Tedford said. “I thought that's where our advantage was, and we didn't do a really good job of exploiting our advantage. We got caught up in playing their style, and we've got to do a better job of making people play how we want to play.”
Keenan Hambrick and Antonio Shoulders led Athens with nine points each, while Braden Gross and Jaden Jude each scored eight.
Grissom's R.J. Johnson led all scorers with 21 points.
Athens fell to 3-2 with the loss, but the team has played a tough schedule to this point. Tedford said his team should improve as the season goes along.
“We've got a lot to do, but we're still young in the season,” Tedford said. “I really like our group of guys, but we've just got to play a little better with adversity. We're going to be OK.”
Athens 43, Grissom 33
Athens once again put in a dominant defensive performance that led to a 10-point win over Grissom Monday.
The Golden Eagles (6-2) have held every opponent this season to fewer than 40 points, a trend that continued in Monday's win.
Athens trailed 8-6 after one quarter, but outscored the Tigers 28-9 over the second and third quarters to take a 34-17 lead before coasting to victory in the fourth quarter.
Kyndall Crutcher led Athens with 13 points, while Caroline Bachus had 12 points and eight rebounds in the victory. Nahriyah Timmons had six points to go along with eight assists and four steals for the Golden Eagles.
Grissom was led by Bri Moore, who scored a game-high 17 points.