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Basketball: Lady Eagles hold off Sissies to clinch second

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, February 8, 2017
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Bench Support

BENCH SUPPORT – Decatur players cheer in the final minutes of the Lady Eagles win over Bridgeport to secure second place in 9-4A. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

After being whistled for her fifth foul with 3:07 remaining, Decatur senior Hannah Dunning watched from the bench as Bridgeport Sissies made a rally.

“It was tough, but I had a lot of faith in my team. I knew they could get through it,” said Dunning, who scored a game-high 15 points before fouling out.

Freshman point guard Kylee Fitzgerald’s three free throws in the final minute made sure the Lady Eagles would hold on for the 42-35 victory over the rival Sissies.

Fitzgerald finished with 11 points, five in the fourth quarter, including a coast-to-coast layup just before Bridgeport started an 11-2 run to pull within three, 38-35, with 1:30 remaining.

“She got the ball up the floor when we needed and that was a big one when she went to the rim,” said Decatur coach Billy Garner.

Fitzgerald also hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Decatur (16-13, 6-3) clinched the second seed out of District 9-4A with the victory and season sweep of Bridgeport.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said an emotional Garner. “We won the games we had to win. Playing four of five on the road [this half] was tough. The kids did what we asked, especially on defense.”

Bridgeport (22-8) fell to 5-4 in district. They went into Tuesday’s game with Krum needing a win to secure third.

Bridgeport nearly equaled their offensive output for the first three quarters in the final 4:36 with 16 points. The Sissies hit just eight field goals in the first three frames and trailed by 12, 31-19.

“They played that sagging man and our kids stood around and missed 10 free throws,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “The second and third quarters we didn’t execute. The fourth quarter we finally started playing.”

Dunning helped Decatur build on its lead in the second quarter with six points, including a 3-pointer.

She hit a second trey in the middle of the third to start an 8-2 run to finish the third and put Decatur on the path to victory.

“This was my last time to play Bridgeport. This was my favorite game of the last four years,” Dunning said.

Madison Kyle joined Dunning and Fitzgerald in double figures with 10 points to go along with nine rebounds.

Bridgeport freshman point guard Emily Vidal scored 12, including seven during the Sissies’ fourth-quarter rally. Abbi Hatton had 10 points with five rebounds.

“Our shots weren’t falling,” Hatton said. “Our defense kept us in the game.”

DECATUR 42, BRIDGEPORT 35

Decatur … 11 … 12 … 8 … 11 … – … 42
Bridgeport … 9 … 6 … 4 … 16 … – … 35

DECATUR (16-13, 6-3) – Kylee Fitzgerald 11, Shaylee Smith 1, Abbie Heiens 2, Abby Grimes 1, Hannah Dunning 15, Madison Kyle 10, Julianne Tynsky 2.

BRIDGEPORT (22-8, 5-4) – Emily Vidal 12, Morgen Davidson 6, Kristen Grooms 7, Abbi Hatton 10.

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