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The Eagles returned the district championship Tuesday to Decatur by routing Krum in a hometown grudge match, 68-45.
In 2012, Decatur gave up the title in a heart-breaking loss to Mineral Wells – the same team the Eagles beat to be 2011 district champs. Decatur found themselves in a similar position as in 2012, tied for first place with a rival team and going to the playoffs.
If Decatur had let the game slip to Krum, the Eagles would have had to face Gainesville in a tie-breaker.
“We were already in and we were just playing to win the district tonight. It was kind of a trap game in a way,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “We still had to win the game to win district so there was a lot riding on it.
“It was fun beating Gainesville, but I sure don’t want to play them again.”
Austin Givens led the scorers with 18 points, followed by Cameron Mize with 13 and Parker Slate with nine. Givens said the win felt good.
“Last year we let it slip away, but we went out and got it,” Givens said. “We prepared for all the set plays and all the motion they run. Now, we want to go out there and win some playoff games.”
Decatur leapt in front early in the first period with strong plays from Givens and Slate. Krum was feeling the pressure as the team quickly fell behind 15-8.
But Krum rallied midway through the second period with a savage 8-0 run on the Eagles, bringing the beleaguered Bobcats back into contention and only two points shy of an equalizer, 18-16.
“They are a quality team and while the record may not indicate that, they lost five or six game by only a couple of points,” Coffman said. “We made a run back up after they made theirs so it was good.”
The Eagles answered the rally with a sweeping 9-2 surge, ending the first half ahead 27-18.
“We played in spurts the first half and didn’t capitalize on some of our opportunities,” said Coffman. “In the second half we did forget about defense at times, but overall it was a good win.”
Decatur came into the third period already ahead by nine points and never looked back. The Eagles more than doubled their lead to 54-34 in the third and put Krum away in the fourth.