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Basketball: Eagles advance to finals of Decatur Invite with win over Trinity Christian

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, December 8, 2017.
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Behind a strong second half defensive effort, the Decatur Eagles dispatched Lubbock-Trinity Christian 52-36 to advance to the championship of the Decatur Invitational Tournament.

Decatur held Trinity Christian to just six points in the third quarter due in large part to its suffocating half-court defense. Unable to establish a rhythm offensively, the Lions were repeatedly forced into off-balance or contested shots as the Eagles buckled down to secure the victory.

“I thought our guys played [with a lot of effort],” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “We wanted to take away No. 10 [Ethan Duncan]. He’s a really good shooter for them. I thought we did a pretty good job of eliminating his looks at the bucket.”

Duncan was the only Trinity Christian player to finish in double figures, ending the game with 14 points. Decatur, meanwhile, was led in scoring by Grayson Harris, who finished with a game-high 15 points.

But on a night when the offense wasn’t necessarily firing on all cylinders, it was Decatur’s defense that picked up the slack.

At one point in the third quarter, the Eagles turned the ball over on four of their last six trips down the court. Despite the offensive miscues, Decatur’s defense continued to get stops on the other end, flustering the Lions all night.

“We had great talk on defense,” Harris said. “It allowed us to shut them down.”

Junior Wilson Hicks finished second on the team in scoring with 13 points in his second game since returning from football. With the victory, the Eagles move to 6-3 on the season and will play in the finals of the tournament at 4 p.m. Saturday against the winner Eaton or Bowie.

Although he was pleased with his team’s victory, Coffman said he knows there is still work to be done.

“We got really sloppy there at the end,” Coffman said. “We’re going to have to get better at closing [games] out.”

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