When Decatur needed a lift against their rival Friday, Murphy Graham came to the rescue.
Trailing 17-16 to Bridgeport (13-12, 0-2) late in the first quarter, the junior hit the final shot of the period and scored 10 more points in the second, giving the Lady Eagles (14-10, 1-2) a nine-point halftime lead and eventually leading them to a 65-43 win.“She [Graham] did a great job tonight, and the ball went in the hole for her consistently during the game,” Decatur coach Billy Garner said. “I’m hoping that’s a sign of things to come.”
Graham finished the night with 24. It was the performance that Decatur needed after Katie Isham found herself in foul trouble early in the game.
Bridgeport took advantage of Decatur’s foul miscues, scoring 12 of their 25 first-half points from the charity stripe.
“Half their points in the first half were from the foul line,” Garner said. “We have to do a better job of keeping the girls in front of us and not fouling. We did a much better job of that in the second half.”
The Lady Eagles scored the first six points of the third period and continued to build their lead. Shelby Drews had eight in the third frame.
On the other end of the court, Decatur’s defense thwarted any hope of a Bridgeport comeback.
“Execution of the game-plan was excellent in the first half of play, but a third quarter full of turnovers and lack of intensity killed any momentum we had,” Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor said. “We needed to put a complete game together tonight, and it just did not happen for us.”
Besides Graham, Decatur was led by Drews with 11 and Isham with nine. Jasmyne Tate added seven. Haley Dennard and Traci Hale each had five.
Sabrina Garza led the Sissies with 13. Landrie Walsh and Bailey Thompson each had eight. Tylar Chapa and Cheyenne Davidson both added five. Elaina Peyton chipped in four.
The Sissies will host Gainesville Friday, while Decatur will travel to Sanger.