Decatur loses heartbreaker to Argyle on buzzer-beater

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, January 12, 2018.
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Decatur and Argyle added another heart-stopping chapter to their rivalry Friday night.

A low-scoring, defensive affair, the two were tied at 33 with less than a minute remaining. Argyle wound the clock down to 15 seconds before calling a timeout to set up the final shot of regulation. When the ball was inbounded, Argyle looked confused, nearly committing a few turnovers before settling down at the top of the key.

It looked like the two were poised for overtime, but as the clock neared zero, Argyle lobbed a pass to the rim that was tipped in at the buzzer. The officials conferred momentarily before signaling to count the basket, sending Decatur home with a heartbreaking 35-33 loss in their District 9-4A opener.

“I think they thought we were going to be in man and we went zone, which kind of worked to our advantage there for a while,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “With about five seconds to go he called a late play and they just threw the ball up and their guy went and got it.

They made a tremendous play to win the game. Give them all the credit.”

Despite trailing 16-11 at halftime and managing just two points in the first quarter, Decatur came out swinging in the third quarter. Decatur started the second half on a 7-0 run, quickly forcing an Argyle timeout.

Looking to push the pace in transition, Decatur immediately seized momentum of the game, and at one point led by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we played more aggressively [in the second half],” Coffman said. “I thought our kids played really, really hard.”

But just when Argyle needed an answer, they got one.

Argyle hit back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to pull the game to within a possession, then got a key stop on the defensive end.

Wilson Hicks led Decatur in scoring with 11 points, and was the only Decatur player to finish the game in double figures. Dane Fitzgerald and Gage Reiger each added eight points of their own. Trent Feely led all scorers with 13 points, hitting several key shots for Argyle down the stretch.

“We showed a lot of character to come out here and battle a really good team,” Coffman said. “I was proud of what we did. We’re just one play away from winning this game.”

The loss moves Decatur to 11-12 on the season and 0-1 in District 9-4A play. Decatur hosts Bridgeport on Tuesday in the Battle of Big Sandy.

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