SPORTS HEADLINES

Decatur blasts Aledo in home opener

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
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Wilson Hicks scored a game-high 22 points and Decatur’s suffocating defense forced 19 turnovers, as the Eagles routed the Aledo Bearcats 56-28 at home Tuesday afternoon.

Hicks had 16 points by halftime, knocking down a contested 3 at the buzzer to give Decatur a 28-13 lead at intermission. The former all-state quarterback said having a full offseason to prepare for basketball has helped develop his game.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

“It’s a lot different for me having a full offseason, but I’ve spent a lot more time playing basketball this fall and I think it’s really paying off here lately,” Hicks said. “I’ve gotten smarter [and] more experienced. I’m trying to lead the younger guys and have had more time to work on my jump shot.”

Junior Grayson Harris finished second on the team with 15 points. Carson Tibbels added 7 and Gage Rieger 5.

The Eagles held Aledo to just five points in the first quarter and just 18 going into the fourth. Decatur used a 12-2 run in the second quarter to build its double-digit lead.

“These guys scored [64] against Peaster yesterday and beat them,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “[We] held them under 30, so I was really pleased with our defensive effort.”

Six different Eagles scored in the victory. Triston Read buried a 3 and Anthony Rodriguez had 2. Through three games, Decatur is averaging 56.3 points.

In their three wins to start the season, the Eagles have held opponents to just 40 points per game.

“That’s what we love to do. That’s what we pride ourselves on,” Hicks said. “We think we can be an elite defensive team.”

Decatur has returned a majority of its team from last season. Coffman said several of the Eagles’ key players have grown and matured in the offseason.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

“We were really young last year. I think we had seven sophomores on our team. We only had two guys come back with any varsity experience,” Coffman said. “They know what to expect and know what needs to be done. I think you’ll see that throughout the year for the rest of the guys.”

For Hicks, the senior all-district selection from 2017 is averaging 22.3 points through his first three games. Tuesday against Aledo, he shot 57 percent from beyond the arc.

“I think he’s gonna be the guy, there’s no doubt about it,” Coffman said. “He’s been playing really well and he’s seeing the basket really well right now, so we’re going to just keep feeding him the ball.”

Decatur will host Arlington Heights next Tuesday.

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