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Eagles soar into playoffs

By Clay Corbett | Published Wednesday, February 20, 2013

With a District 9-3A championship under their belts, the Decatur Eagles (21-10) are playing the waiting game after earning a first-round bye in the playoffs.

NICE FINISH - Decatur's Phillip Walker helps cut down the net after the Eagles district championship clinching win over Krum. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

NICE FINISH – Decatur’s Phillip Walker helps cut down the net after the Eagles district championship clinching win over Krum. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

With their win over Krum last week, the Eagles clinched the title and will play either Melissa or Dallas Roosevelt in the area round Friday.

Decatur coach Drew Coffman was happy how his team won key games down the stretch to capture their first goal.

“Well, it was goal No. 1 for us,” Coffman said about the district title. “It was very exciting, especially in the fashion we had to do it. We had to win two big games the week before with Krum and Sanger. Then we had to go beat Gainesville.”

Although he is pleased with the first-place finish, Coffman is not a fan of the time off.

“I hate it. The UIL is thinking about going to four teams in the playoffs in 3A next year, and I think it would be a good idea,” Coffman said. “You get in such a routine as a player and a coach.

“It probably bothers the coaches more than it does the players. You can play the warm-up games, but its just not the same.”

The Eagles broke up the down time Saturday morning by losing to the District 10-2A champion, Whitney, 56-51.

Maybe it was the 10 a.m. start in Burleson, but Decatur was not firing on all cylinders.

“It was a tough matchup because of the way we played,” Coffman said. “We could have played the ‘Grateful Dead,’ and it wouldn’t have mattered. We played bad and not with much enthusiasm.”

Parker Slate led the team with 15 points Saturday, and Austin Givens had 14. Paul Walker tossed in 10.

Slate has been battling illness the last few days, but feels the team’s energy will return by Friday.

“We struggled on Saturday,” the senior said. “Our energy wasn’t there, and we weren’t ready to play. We will recover from that.”

Coffman says they will handle the off time this week by trying to get better each day.

“Still trying to improve as a team,” Coffman said. “We have a week here to prepare, and hopefully we’ll get a little better than the day before. If you don’t play at your best your season is pretty much over with.”

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