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Basketball: Eagles hold off Burkburnett

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 2, 2016
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Happy Finish

HAPPY FINISH – Decatur’s Cade Lamirand (3) and teammates celebrate the victory over Burkburnett Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

A year ago in the area round, a young Decatur Eagles squad took a lead into the fourth quarter but couldn’t reach the finish line.

Friday night, an eerie feeling of deja vu started settling in as Burkburnett drained three 3-pointers to cut a 10-point margin to just three with 14.5 seconds left. Needing a closer, the Eagles found Parker Hicks, who killed nearly 10 seconds in the open court and then drained a free throw to finally seal the 61-57 victory over in the 4A Region I area game at D.L. Ligon Coliseum in Wichita Falls.

“Last year, we struggled there at the end not being able to control the ball. [Hirschi] made a run and got us,” Hicks said. “This year, we’re more composed and understand what the playoff-type atmosphere is going to be. We understand it’s going to be a fight the whole way through. Even if we are up 20 or down 20, you’re going to have to play the whole game.”

Hicks finished with a team-high 15 points to lead the Eagles into the region quarterfinal to play Abilene Wylie Tuesday night.

“This is another win on the board,” Hicks said. “We’ve got to come back tomorrow and get ready for whoever is next. This is what we’ve been working for all year since Oct. 28.”

Decatur took a lead in the middle of the first quarter and never trailed again. The Eagles led by as many as 14 in the third and took a 43-31 lead into the fourth quarter.

Burkburnett started the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run and had Decatur’s lead down to six with under six minutes to go. After four straight turnovers, Hicks pulled a wild pass to prevent another turnover and took it to the hoop for a layup to stop the Burkburnett run.

The next trip down the floor Hicks found a cutting Bryce Elder at the basket for a layup to restore the lead back to 10.

“That’s just a big-time player,” Coffman said about Hicks. “That’s what he is. We needed some plays at that point in time. He has a knack for that. Whenever something needs to be done, he tries to find a way to get it done.”

After sitting on the bench for a large portion of the third quarter, Mason Hix came on in the fourth to help the Eagles hold off Burkburnett. The sophomore center hit a shot with 1:12 left to put Decatur up by 10. Then after Burkburnett’s Chase Caldwell and Martarius Wilson hit 3s, Hix hit a pair of free throws.

Hix finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

“He didn’t play well early. He came back the fourth quarter and made some big plays for us – a couple big rebounds and a putback,” Coffman said. “He played really well in the fourth quarter. I was proud of him for keeping his composure and coming back to do that.”

The Eagles’ bench provided 18 points. Elder scored nine and Ethan Sij six. Elder closed the first-half with a buzzer-beating trey. Reserve point guard Wilson Hicks hit a 3-pointer midway through the fourth.

“Bryce Elder, Ethan Sij and Wilson Hicks – all three of them came in there and played fabulous for us,” Coffman said. “I really don’t know if we win the game without those three and the way they played tonight.”

After the game, the Decatur locker room erupted in celebration. It was much different feeling than a year ago. As Coffman pointed out, it’s a different team.

“I think we showed the maturity that we lacked a year ago in that situation,” Coffman said. “We still remained calm and continued to do the things we had to do to pull it off.

“This is what it’s about. This is the fun time of the year. We just don’t want it to end. We want to keep on going – one game at a time. Each step of the way gets a little harder. But I think we’re prepared for that.”

DECATUR 61, BURKBURNETT 57

Decatur … 17 … 14 … 12 … 18 … – … 61
Burkburnett … 12 … 12 … 7 … 26 … – … 57

DECATUR (24-8) – Wilson Hicks 3, Parker Hicks 15, Cade Lamirand 9, Tannor Jackson 6, Ethan Sij 6, Bryce Elder 9, Mason Hix 13.

BURKBURNETT (21-9) – Chase Caldwell 12, Jalen White 2, Darion Chafin 18, Martarius Wilson 14, Shonne Carter 6, Trace Davis 2, Alex Hirata 3.

FIELD GOALS – Decatur 24-45; Burkburnett 21-67. 3-pointers – Decatur 4-10 (Wilson Hicks 1, Lamirand 1, Elder 1, Hix 1); Burkburnett 8-22 (Wilson 4, Caldwell 2, Chafin 1, Hirata 1). Free throws – Decatur 9-14; Burkburnett 7-12.

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