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Lady Eagles shoot down Krum

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Decatur’s Katie Isham led a relentless attack on the inside in the first half to put Krum in a deep hole. Murphy Graham then buried the Lady Bobcats from the outside in the third quarter.

The potent inside-outside duo combined for 32 points in leading the Lady Eagles to a dominating 70-48 victory Friday at Decatur High School gym.

RISING OUT OF A CROWD – Decatur’s Murphy Graham gets a shot off in the middle of Krum defenders Friday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur led by as many as 30, 57-27, in the fourth quarter on the way to knocking Krum out of a first-place tie atop District 9-3A.

Decatur (19-5) and Krum, who split regular season meetings, are both 4-2 in the league and a game back of league leader Gainesville (5-1).

“If we want any shot at a district title, this was one we needed tonight,” said Decatur coach Billy Garner.

Decatur players wanted to exact some revenge against the Lady Bobcats after blowing a lead in a six-point loss at Krum earlier this month.

“I wanted to win this more than any other game, especially because we had them last time and let it get away,” Graham said.

Decatur proved that point on both ends of the floor. The Lady Eagles held Krum to 10 points combined in the first and third quarters on 3-for-18 shooting.

“We played good defense,” Garner said. “What we try to tell them is there are going to be nights where the ball is not going to get in the hole; but you can always play good defense.”

The Lady Eagles held Krum guard Caylee Thomas to 13, and limited opportunities for post Kylee Myers inside. Myers, who picked up three fouls in the first half, managed 10 points.

“Defensively we did good and got [Myers] in foul trouble in the beginning,” Isham said. “That made a big difference.”

With Myers trying to avoid contact, Isham, Traci Hale and Macen Stripling punished Krum inside. The trio scored 20 of the Lady Eagles’ 31 first-half points in the paint.

“We worked in practice at getting the ball inside,” Garner said.

Decatur shot a blazing 13-for-21 in the first half, 61 percent, to build a 31-19 lead. Isham, who finished with 14 points, had 10 in the first half.

The Lady Eagles never cooled off even after moving the shots outside to Graham in the second half. The guard drained the first of four 3-pointers 50 seconds into the third quarter. The next trip down the floor, she hit another trey from three feet beyond the arc. Midway through the frame, she hit back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the Decatur lead to 20, 45-25.

“Because our plays were so strong, they couldn’t stay with one aspect,” Graham said. “It’s late in the season, but I’m finally finding my stroke.”

Graham finished with a game-high 18, shooting 6-for-9 from the field. She hit five 3-pointers.

“It was good to have her on tonight,” Isham said.

Shelby Drews added 11 points for the Lady Eagles. Stripling finished with six points and six rebounds. Hale also scored six and grabbed five boards.

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