Locust Fork made a late run, but it wasn't enough to overcome a big early lead for Hayden, as the host Wildcats prevailed 68-59 in boys basketball play Tuesday night.
Hayden led by as many as 25 points, before the Hornets got out of a cold shooting streak and scored 38 points in the final period.
Dylan Bradford was the hot player for the Cats, going 5-for-5 from 3-point land on his way to a 25-point night. He was 7-of-11 at the line in the final period, as Locust Fork was forced to foul to stay alive.
Leonard Johnson and Corbie Craig scored 11 points, and Colby Shirley chipped in 10 for Hayden.
Daniel Goss fueled much of the Hornet rally in the fourth quarter. All 14 of his points came in that period, including a pair of threes. Nick Long also scored 14 points and Todd Goodwin added 11.
The Wildcats (9-5) host Class 5A Area 11 rival Mortimer Jordan on Friday night. Locust Fork (7-8) heads Class 4A Area 10 arch-rival Oneonta that same night.