Decatur blasts Stephenville 82-26 behind Southard double-double

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, December 18, 2018.
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Ethan Southard celebrated his 18th birthday in big fashion Tuesday night.

Southard notched a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double as the Decatur Eagles pummeled Stephenville 82-26 at home.

“I was hoping for 18 points and 18 rebounds on Dec. 18, 2018,” Decatur coach Drew Coffman joked. “I always have an opinion people play well on their birthday. I thought it was important we got the birthday boy the ball and I thought he played pretty well for us.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Southard led all scorers and rejected two shots, spearheading the Eagles’ suffocating defensive effort. Decatur outscored Stephenville 44-12 in the second half and forced 20 turnovers.

“That’s our calling card and what we hang our hat on,” Coffman said. “We were able to create some offense off our defense. We’re still trying to figure some things out offensively and get guys playing as well as they can play, so the defense is kind of pulling us through right now.”

Decatur opened the game on a 10-0 run, forcing Stephenville into a quick timeout.

The Eagles then outscored the Yellowjackets 19-8 in the second frame, feeding Southard in the post. The 6-7 big man did the rest, cashing in easy looks around the basket to push Decatur’s lead to 38-14 at halftime.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

“Especially tonight, [he was a mismatch],” Coffman said. “They didn’t have much size inside. I think he was able to take advantage of it. Give our guards credit for giving him the ball in places he could score.”

Decatur’s guards combined for 45 of the Eagles’ 82 points. Gage Rieger scored 17. Izek Chavana was the third Decatur player in double figures with 10. Wilson Hicks added nine.

“[Our guards] have been very key,” Southard said. “We’ve had great ball movement and that gets me open inside.”

Decatur improved to 14-2. The Eagles checked in at No. 14 in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A poll.

In 16 games this season, Decatur is holding opponents to 43 points per game. The Eagles’ average margin of victory has been 19.9 points.

Coffman said he was pleased with his team’s effort start to the season, but added they are not focused on their record or ranking.

“We humble them pretty much every day,” Coffman said. “I hope we have guys whose ambitions are not to be ranked or 14-2. Hopefully we have higher ambitions than that, but we’re proud of where we’re at. There’s still a lot of work ahead of us.”


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