SPORTS HEADLINES

Injury stricken Decatur falls to Gainsville

By Clay Corbett | Published Saturday, January 26, 2013

In the span of two games, injuries have overshadowed the outcome for the Decatur Lady Eagles.

Decatur lost Murphy Graham with a torn ACL in their win over Sanger, and Tuesday night Jasmyne Tate suffered the same fate in Decatur’s 49-27 loss to Gainesville.

The two join Boyd’s Shae Williams as players that have lost their season with a torn ACL.

MY BALL - Decatur's Haley Dennard and Gainesville's Ariannah Kemp fight for the basketball Tuesday. The Lady Leopards won 49-27. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

MY BALL – Decatur’s Haley Dennard and Gainesville’s Ariannah Kemp fight for the basketball Tuesday. The Lady Leopards won 49-27. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

It is a tough pill to swallow for a team that was riding high after two straight district wins. Now the Lady Eagles must face the rest of the season without two of their floor-leaders.

Decatur loses their top scorer and a top rebounder in Graham. Without Tate the Lady Eagles lose their assist leader, one of their best ball-handlers and a top rebounder.

“It’s tough,” Decatur coach Billy Garner said about losing two starters. “Somebody’s going to have to step up and say they are going to do the job, handle the ball and get the offense set up.

“We don’t have anybody to do that right now, so we are going to have to keep working.”

Tate went down in the final minute of the first quarter, just as Decatur was off to a great start. They trailed the Lady Leopards 8-7 at the end of the first, but tied the game 8-8 to open the second on a Katie Isham free throw.

The game stayed back and forth until Gainesville went on a 5-0 run to end the first half, taking a 19-14 halftime lead.

It was a great defensive first half, but Decatur couldn’t keep up the intensity in the final two quarters.

“Our defense was pretty good tonight,” Garner said. “We just couldn’t do anything with the ball.”

Gainesville began to pull away in the third period, outscoring Decatur 16-5 in the frame.

A Shelby Drews jump shot got Decatur within 35-21 early in the fourth, but they would never get any closer.

Haley Dennard led the way for Decatur with eight, and Drews had seven. Traci Hale added four, and Isham tossed in three.

Gainesville was led by Ariannah Kemp with 21, and Brittany Royal had 10.

Decatur will host Bridgeport Tuesday. Tip-off is schedule, for 6:30 p.m.

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