Basketball: Decatur shoots for consistency

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, January 6, 2018
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Through the first two months of the season, the Decatur Lady Eagles are 12-9.

Having hovered around the .500 mark for most of the year, the Lady Eagles will now look to gain separation heading into District 9-4A play. Decatur opened district Friday at Krum.

GETTING TO THE BASKET – Decatur’s Makenzie Whitaker drives the ball to the basket. The Lady Eagles started district play Friday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur wrapped up non-district play at the NCTC Tournament in Gainesville, going 3-1.

“I feel like at NCTC we played our most consistent basketball,” said Decatur coach Lindsay Griffin. “I think that gave us a little confidence going into district play, because we have kind of been up and down within games and in preseason play.”

The Lady Eagles are averaging 42.4 points per game and are led in scoring by Gracie Isham, who is averaging 9.5 points per game.

Although Decatur does not have a player averaging over 10 points per game, Griffin said she was not concerned about not having a “standout offensive weapon.” Griffin said the Lady Eagles’ balanced scoring attack will make them more difficult to defend.

Sophomore Kylee Fitzgerald is second on the team in scoring, averaging 7.4 points and 5.8 assists per game. Senior Madi Kyle is close behind, averaging 6.1 points a night.

“There are a couple teams in our district who have a standout weapon offensively, and I don’t think we have that,” Griffin said. “But at the same time, I think that’s what will make us tough to guard. We can spread it around.

“Honestly, I don’t know who’s going to be the scorer night in and night out. I think that makes us tough because there’s not one particular person that an opponent can focus in on to try and stop.”

As a team, Decatur is shooting 33 percent from the floor and 25 percent from beyond the arc. Griffin said she hopes the Lady Eagles’ performance in the NCTC Tournament will help spark the offense down the stretch.

“I think we have girls who are talented offensively and have great shots,” Griffin said. “We get great looks at the basket every game that we play in.”

Decatur went 7-3 in district last year, splitting the season series with Krum. The Lady Eagles will also be forced to contend with the defending 4A state champions, Argyle, and the Bridgeport Sissies, who have started the year 13-3.

“We’re just focused on taking it one [game] at a time,” Griffin said. “We’re focused on Krum for now and will go from there. We’ve got one opponent to attack at a time, and [we’re] not trying to compare ourselves to anybody or try to think about where we fit in.”

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