SPORTS HEADLINES

Basketball: Hix, Eagles top Alvarado

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, February 28, 2015
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Mason Hix claimed he was nervous taking the floor for his first playoff game.

MEETING FRESH CHALLENGE – Decatur’s Mason Hix shoots over Alvarado defenders. Hix led the Eagles with 19 points. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The Decatur freshman hid any nerves well, knocking down his first seven shots and helping the Eagles out to an early lead.

Hix finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in Decatur’s 54-35 victory over Alvarado in the Class 4A Region I bi-district game at Chisholm Trail High School gym.

“I was nervous going out there,” Hix said. “But I got used to it and was comfortable at the end.”

With the victory, Decatur moves on to play old district foe Wichita Falls Hirschi in the area round at 3:30 Saturday in Bowie. The win was the Eagles’ fourth straight victory.

“This gives us some confidence going into the next game,” said Decatur junior point guard Cade Lamirand. “We’ve got some momentum going now and we’re rolling.”

Making his playoff debut, Hix got rolling in the first quarter with eight points.

“My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball,” Hix explained.

He also grabbed five boards and made one of his five steals in the frame as Decatur jumped out to the 15-2 lead.

“I expect that of him,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “Even though he’s a freshman, he’s a talented freshman. That’s the difference between him and other freshmen. He stepped up and made plays. It was his night. We don’t rely on one guy. We do it as a team. It was his time to step up and he did a good job.”

Lamirand and the other Decatur guards kept penetrating and getting the ball inside to Hix. Lamirand finished with eight assists to go along with nine points and five steals.

“Whenever you’ve got a 6’6″ kid in there, you just get it to them and hope he can finish over people,” Lamirand said.

Decatur went up 16, 24-8, with 3:05 left in the first half as Hix banked in a shot from 15 feet out.

The Eagles led 30-17 at halftime.

After Hix and fellow starting forward Parker Hicks picked up their fourth fouls in the third, the Eagles struggled to score. Decatur managed just six points in the frame but led 36-25 going to the fourth.

Alvarado pulled within six, 36-30, early in the fourth behind Tim Chatham. A pair of Holt Garner 3-pointers ended Alvarado’s push and gave the Eagles some breathing room at 45-31. Decatur ended the game with a 18-5 run.

“It got tight there and we got in foul trouble,” Coffman said. “Some guys stepped up. Holt hit a couple big shots. Dane Fitzgerald and Jake Warren came in and gave us a lift in the fourth quarter. Jake did a really good job against their number 24 (Chatham), battling him.

“It was an overall team effort. It wasn’t our prettiest performance but this time of year you just win and advance.”

DECATUR 54, ALVARADO 35

Decatur … 15 … 15 … 6 … 18 … – … 54
Alvarado … 2 … 15 … 8 … 10 … – … 35

Decatur (24-10) – Holt Garner 6, Parker Hicks 6, Cade Lamirand 9, Aaron Shetter 8, Bryce Elder 4, Mason Hix 19.

Alvarado (13-18) – Bradley Boulton 2, Trey Nixon 12, Joey Gibson 7, AJ Bates 1, Tim Chatham 13.

Rebounding: Decatur 27 (Hix 9); Alvarado 20 (Chatham 7). 3-pointers: Decatur 2-8 (Garner 2); Alvarado 2-14 (Nixon 2).

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