The Decatur Eagles ran roughshod over the Alvarado Indians Thursday morning at the Decatur Invitational Basketball Tournament, winning 61-44.
Eagles head coach Drew Coffman said his team played well, but the recent ice storm has delayed their conditioning and preparation.
“We are definitely not in full swing yet,” Coffman said. “Overall, I’m proud of what we did, but we need to work on it. We missed two games and four practices and that really put us behind the eight-ball.”
Paul Walker led the scoring with 17 points, followed by Cain Lowe and Harry Boatman with 10 each.
Decatur made 17 of 27 free throw attempts with Walker sinking five out of five.
The Eagles’ dominance started early with several steals, and they hit twice as many shots in the first period as the visitors.
While the Indians were passive near the hoop, they treaded water with a couple of 3-point shots and a long jumper to end the first behind by only six.
Coffman said they took advantage of Alvarado’s weak play in the paint, but overall the Eagles still need improvement.
“We didn’t play as aggressive as I would like for us to have played,” Coffman said. “We still need to get a feel for each other and a feel for what we are doing.”
The second period ended much the same as the first, as Decatur outshot the Indians by nearly 2-to-1 and outscored them by another six to end the half up 28-16.
Decatur continued to force Alvarado turnovers, giving themselves ample scoring opportunities, Coffman said.
“We were able to get a lot out of our defense. That is what we are going to have to live on,” Coffman said. “We don’t have a big-time scorer or a big body inside, so we’ll have to rely on other things.”
The Indians pushed their way to the basket more in the third, but were denied and held to another single-digit period while Decatur pushed their lead to 20 points.
In the fourth period, Alvarado made a last-ditch effort to get back into the game, putting up 19. But the Eagles answered with 16 points of their own and cruised to the win.
Coffman said the team has been working on speed, even though some of the players coming out of the extended football season aren’t in basketball condition yet.