After a strong regular season last year, the Decatur Eagles saw their playoff run cut short with a 66-43 loss to Dallas Roosevelt in their postseason opener.
That loss still fuels the Eagles (23-5), especially the team’s seven seniors as they get ready for their playoff opener next week.
“That left a bad taste in our mouths,” said Cain Lowe. “We want to use that as motivation to get a win in the first round.”
The Eagles are still waiting to find out who they will play for the Class 3A Region II bi-district title. Aubrey and Celina tied for fourth in 10-3A and were scheduled to play Friday. Decatur will play the winner.
Last season as 9-3A champion, Decatur received a bye to the area round. This year with a fourth team added to the playoffs, the Eagles now will play a bi-district game. It’s a change coach Drew Coffman welcomes.
“I hated that bye,” he said. “I don’t know if I like four teams going to the playoffs, but I hated having that bye. I’d get a warm-up game, but it was hard to get your team up when the game didn’t matter. It’s good there’s no more byes.”
The eighth-ranked Eagles finished the regular season Monday with a win over Krum and will be off at least a week before taking the court for their playoff game.
Coffman wasn’t worried about the layoff. He’s seen his team pick up the intensity in practice.
“From the last few practices, you can tell there is some extra motivation,” he said. “It’s the last chance for our seniors, and they want to make a run. Let’s see how far we can take it.”
Lowe said he and the other seniors know a loss will mean the end of their high-school careers.
“We’re aware one loss and we’re done,” he said. “We’re giving it our all in practice. We are going to give it our best effort and play as a team in the game.”