Basketball: Decatur edges Sanger

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, January 31, 2018
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Entering Friday’s game with Sanger, Decatur was determined to not let its one-point loss to Krum linger. In short, the message coach Drew Coffman gave his team was respond to the letdown against the Bobcats – a defeat that featured the Eagles going scoreless for eight minutes in the second half.

KEY WIN – Decatur’s Grayson Harris blocks a shot in a game against Sanger Friday. The Eagles moved into sole possession of third place in District 9-4A with the victory. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

And Decatur wasted no time getting the taste out of their mouths.

Behind the hot shooting from Wilson Hicks, the Eagles picked up a key District 9-4A road win over Sanger, 55-46.

“We talked about being able to bounce back,” Coffman said. “I was really proud of our character tonight to come back and get a win.”

The Eagles moved to 3-2 in district with the victory ahead of a pivotal week with showdowns against Argyle and Bridgeport. Decatur went into Tuesday’s game with Argyle in sole possession of third place in 9-4A.

“[Sanger] is a tough place to play at,” Coffman said. “This is a tough place to get a win at. So hopefully we have a little momentum heading into Tuesday.”

Hicks scored a game-high 21 points, knocking down five 3-pointers and timely free throws. Just as the Indians tried to mount a rally late in the fourth quarter, Hicks blew by his man and finished through contact, converting the and-one to seal the victory.

“That’s what we expect from him. He’s a great player and a great shooter,” Coffman said. “He’s done it before and we expect him to do it again.”

Sanger threw several defenses at Decatur in an attempt to slow Hicks down, from man to zone and even a box-and-one. Notorious for its ability to limit star players, the Indians tried to stifle Hicks with this scheme to no avail.

The Eagles used good ball movement to break down the Sanger defense and get easy baskets at the rim. When those weren’t open, Hicks either commanded double teams or stepped into his shot – finding nothing but the bottom of the net.

“They got in the box-and-one there, which is the first time we’ve seen that this year,” Hicks said. “I just got some good looks from my teammates, who found me open and I was able to knock them down.”

Ethan Southard finished second in scoring with 11 points and was vital for the Eagles on the block. Southard came down with several crucial rebounds down the stretch that helped Decatur pull away.

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