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Basketball: Eagles win invite, beat Eaton

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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The Decatur Eagles fell down 9-0 in the opening minute Saturday against Eaton in the championship game of the Decatur Invitational.

LOOKING FOR SPACE – Decatur’s Grayson Harris tries to get past an Eaton defender. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Eagles slowly erased the deficit and took the lead for good in the final three minutes with a shot from Dane Fitzgerald in a 56-54 victory.

Grayson Harris and Carson Tibbels finished with 12 points each and Wilson Hicks 10 in the victory that moved the Eagles to 7-3 to start the season.

“We feel good about what we’ve accomplished,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “There’s still a lot of stuff to figure out. The good thing is we’re still trying to figure things out and we’re able to win at the same time.”

The Eagles went 4-1 at the tournament. After losing the opening game against Western Hills, Decatur rebounded to win four straight, including the championship game.

“All five games were against quality opponents,” Coffman said.

After the tournament, the Eagles have only had two days with practices without games for their whole squad. Decatur was off Tuesday to hit the practice floor.

“We’ve always taken the Tuesday after our tournament off. After five games in three days, we need to catch our breath,” Coffman said. “We also need some practice time to fix some things that we’re not doing right.

“The kids have handled the situation well. We’re not winning with a lot of execution right now. We’re winning on just their will to win and fight hard.”

GETTING UP THE FLOOR – Decatur’s Dane Fitzgerald dribbles by an Eaton defender. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur returns to the floor Friday with a big challenge, playing host to 3A’s third-ranked team, Bowie, at 8 p.m. Friday. The Eagles follow that matchup with a showdown at home Tuesday against Burkburnett.

Coffman said the Eagles will open the Whataburger Tournament Dec. 28 against third-ranked team in 4A, Seminole.

“We’re like a lot of the other programs here at Decatur. We want to make sure we play good people to prepare for district and if we are lucky enough to make the playoffs to be ready to play against the Dallas ISD schools and that level of competition,” Coffman said.

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