Walking into the gym Saturday morning after an emotional win less than 12 hours before, Decatur coach Drew Coffman tried to immediately get his team focused on its next challenge.
The coach said it wouldn’t be an easy task for his Eagles, who took down Dallas Roosevelt with a last-second shot, or their next opponent, Frisco Lone Star, who did the same against Triple A Academy.
“Whoever is able to move on to the next game the fastest will have the advantage,” Coffman said. “It’ll be a tough game for both of us to bounce back.”
Decatur took on Lone Star in the Class 3A Region II quarterfinal Tuesday in Denton.
After falling in the area round the past three years, the Eagles are excited to be in the third round. But senior point guard Taylor Clayton said he and the other six seniors are heeding Coffman’s warning and focusing on what’s ahead.
“This game will come down to who can come off an exciting win and be ready,” Clayton said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to fight and get a win.”
Fellow senior Cain Lowe added: “We started worrying about the next game the day after and tried not to think about that. We’re only worried about Frisco Lone Star.”
Several members of the Eagles already know firsthand the roller coaster ride of emotions the postseason can bring. Lowe and Austin Givens were leading receivers on the Decatur football team that went three rounds deep in the playoffs. Clayton led the cross country team to the state meet, winning the individual 3A title.
“A couple of us have been in this situation and know you have to perform in the clutch or it’s over with,” Clayton said. “When we were down six [Friday], I never felt nervous like we were going to lose the game. We were able to stay cool, calm and win the game.”
Coffman points out that the success of the entire sports program at Decatur this year is fueling them.
“It’s unbelievable the year we are having. Every sport has gone at least three rounds deep,” Coffman said. “I don’t know if we have really appreciated it.”