Decatur topples No. 1 Brock, advances to Whataburger Tournament semis

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, December 28, 2018.
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When Decatur’s season ended last February in the bi-district round of the playoffs, the Eagles sported a record of 17-17.

It was a trying season for Decatur, as the Eagles were fresh off a trip to the region quarterfinals in 2016. Determined to improve, Decatur spent countless hours together in the offseason, playing and practicing together.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

“All of us played together throughout the spring and summer,” said Decatur senior Wilson Hicks. “I think we played over 100 games together.”

Friday in the second round of the Whataburger Tournament, the fruits of the Eagles’ efforts were on full display.

For the second time in less than a week, Decatur took down Class 3A No. 1 Brock, withstanding several rallies to escape with a 48-42 win at Chisholm Trail High School. The victory moved Decatur to 18-2, as the Eagles surpassed their win total from a season ago with two weeks until the start of district play.

“It means a lot,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “We won 17 games last year and we’ve won 18 before New Year’s. We’ve come a long way in a year. Give our kids a lot of credit for all the hard work they’ve put in.”

Decatur opened the game on a 6-0 run, forcing Brock into a quick timeout. Brock trailed by as much as eight in the first quarter before mounting a run to cut into the deficit.

Brock took its first lead with under three minutes to go in the first half, as Decatur’s offense started to sputter against Brock’s 1-2-2 zone.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

“It gave us problems,” Hicks said. “I don’t really know what to say about it, we just have to find a way to play better against it. We have to finish better around the rim and make shots.”

Hicks led Decatur in scoring with 13, helping even the score at 24 before halftime. Izek Chavana added 11 and Gage Rieger chipped in 9.

Brock then used a 7-0 run to start the third quarter, but Decatur held Brock to just three points in the final four minutes heading into the fourth quarter. The two schools entered the final frame level at 34 until an and-one by Grayson Harris put Decatur up for good.

Hicks delivered the knockout blow with a 3 from the top of the key that put Decatur up 44-38 with 1:10 remaining.

“We struggled half court offense-wise,” Coffman said. “They did such a great job defensively. They made some adjustments from the first time we played them, which is what good teams and good coaches. Give our kids a lot of credit. I think we played really well against a really good team and found a way to win.”

Decatur will play Kennedale at 6:30 p.m. Friday night in the semifinal.

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