SPORTS HEADLINES

Point guard leads Eagles past Krum; Clayton scores 17 in victory

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Throughout the season, Taylor Clayton has played his role, setting up scoring opportunities for his teammates.

Friday, the Decatur senior point guard called his own number more frequently to put away the stubborn Krum Bobcats. Clayton poured in a game-high 17 points to lead the Eagles to a 70-48 victory at Decatur High School gym.

TAKING FLIGHT – Decatur’s Taylor Clayton takes the ball to the basket during the Eagles’ victory over Krum Friday. The senior scored 17 points. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“They were keying more on our people that shoot inside. I saw my opportunity, and I figured I needed to shoot,” Clayton said.

The Class 3A state cross country champion, who was planning to visit Texas A&M Saturday, scored nine of his 17 in the second half. His 3-pointer opened the third quarter for Decatur and stretched the Eagles’ lead to seven, 38-31. He later hit a pair of 15-foot jumpers as part of a 10-2 run that built the advantage to 14, 50-36.

“As far as shooting, this was one of the better games that he’s played all year,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. Decatur led by 12 after three, 52-40, and kept pulling away in the fourth quarter. Cain Lowe’s three-point play with 2:37 left extended the Eagles’ lead to 20 at 65-45. Decatur ended the game on a 10-3 run.

The Eagles, ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, moved to 4-0 in District 9-3A and completed the sweep of the league in the first half.

“We want to consistently get better,” Clayton said.

The Eagles are still looking to clean things up on the defensive end after allowing Krum, which is winless in the league, to score 17 in the second quarter to stay within six, 35-29, at halftime.

“Something we have to do is get better on the defensive end,” Coffman said. “We’re going to get this figured out.”

Eight points from Austin Givens in the first quarter helped Decatur out to a 19-12 lead. Givens finished with 10 points.

Krum battled back to get within two, 23-21, with 4:35 left in the first half. Decatur staved off Krum with an 8-2 run to build the lead back to eight with two minutes left in the second quarter.

Including Clayton and Givens, four Eagles finished in double figures. Lowe had 15. Philip Walker added 10.

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