The Aurora Houn' Dawgs took an early exit from the Crane Tournament to open the season, falling to Mt. Vernon 52-40 in the consolation semifinals. The defeat last Friday knocked the Dawgs out of the tournament and gave Coach Dylan Curtis's team an 0-2 record after a week of basketball.

The Dawgs got into a hole early, giving up five unanswered points before getting on the scoreboard at the 4:10 mark of the first quarter when senior Garrett Boyd drained a trey from the top of the key. Boyd, however, injured his right ankle on the play and remained on the sideline for the remainder of the contest.

A minute after their opening score, Aurora tied the game at five on a shot by senior Logan Lauffer. But Mt. Vernon would go on a 10-4 run to end the quarter with a six-point lead.

The Aurora offense struggled again in the second quarter, going scoreless for almost three minutes to open the period and only recording six points before the half. Down 25-15 at the intermission, the Dawgs headed to the locker room looking for a way to regroup and take control of the game.

In the third quarter, Aurora scored right away on a bucket by senior Kaden Clark, but Mt. Vernon's outside shooting continued to be a difference-maker. The Mountaineers' lead increased to 37-25 with one quarter to play.

The fourth quarter saw an impressive individual effort by Aurora senior Casey Weathermon, who scored 11 in the period, but it would not be enough to make it a game for the Houn' Dawgs.

Weathermon finished with half of Aurora's points on the night, racking up 20. Jess Williams recorded five, while Clark and Carson Barr added four each. Boyd finished with three, and Lauffer and Jaesik Friggle contributed two each.

Aurora will be back in action on Tuesday with a home opener against Hollister, a new conference opponent in the Big 8 East.