The Huntland High School Hornets lost to the Rhea County Eagles 72-68 at Whitwell High School Wednesday in the third-place game for the Whitwell Thanksgiving Tournament.
The Hornets rallied from a 13-point deficit to tie the score in the final minute, but their comeback attempt would come up just short as they finished fourth in the bracket.
The teams traded the lead a few times in the opening period with the Eagles ending the first quarter with seven straight points to build an early advantage. Zeier Golden scored seven of Huntland’s 10 points in the first quarter.
The Hornets trailed 16-10 after one quarter.
The Hornets opened the second quarter with a 13-4 run to take the lead, but the Eagles responded with a matching 13-4 stretch to bring the deficit back to its original position.
Huntland trailed 33-27 at halftime.
The Eagles maintained a steady lead throughout the third quarter with the Hornets facing a 51-44 deficit going into the final period. Noah Thompson scored 10 of Huntland’s 17 points in the third quarter.
After falling behind by a score of 59-46 early in the fourth quarter, the Hornets went on a 22-9 run which was capped off by a 3-pointer from Braylen Phillips to tie the score at 68-68 in the final minute.
However, the Eagles would quickly retake the lead and ice the game with free throws in the closing seconds as the Hornets lost by four. Phillips scored 18 of Huntland’s 24 points in the fourth quarter.
Phillips led the Hornets with 34 points for the game, followed by Thompson with 18 points and Golden with 11.
Trace Kilpatrick scored four points and Jarren Kinslow scored one.
With the loss, the Hornets moved to 2-3 on the season.
They will next play Monday at home against Culleoka High School. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.