Decatur sets new school record in bi-district win over Godley

By Reece Waddell | Published Monday, February 18, 2019.
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With 3:36 remaining in the first half Monday night, Decatur senior Wilson Hicks stepped into a 3-pointer from the wing and found bottom.

Messenger photo by Kelly Basting.

The trey gave the Eagles a 35-13 advantage and punctuated a 21-4 run that put Decatur up for good. But the Eagles weren’t finished.

Decatur’s run extended into the second half, as the Eagles made a 55-15 push to knock off Godley 82-47 and win the 4A Region I bi-district title at Weatherford High School. With the victory, the Eagles (33-3) also broke the school record for most wins in a season.

“It’s pretty cool now,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “I’ll be honest with you, we never talked about it as far as a goal as a team. Obviously, in our program with great coaches and great teams, it definitely means something to us because we know how good teams were that played at Decatur in the past.”

Decatur moves on to the 4A Region I area round and will take on the winner of Greenwood and Hirschi later this week.

Messenger photo by Kelly Basting.

“When you’re in these one-game scenarios, they’re tricky,” Coffman said. “Even though you may feel like you’re better than the other guy or whatever it may be, you still have to show up and play. I was proud of how we approached the game. I thought we got after it well. The next round will be a little bit tougher and hopefully there’s a round after that. It’s a one-game season every game.”

Four players ended in double figures for Decatur, led by senior post Ethan Southard. He led all scorers with 18 points.

Gage Rieger added 15. Hicks poured in 13 and Grayson Harris chipped in 10.

“The ball movement was fantastic,” Southard said. “The guards swinging the ball got me open inside, and when I wasn’t open, I was able to kick it out for a 3 for the guards.”

Decatur took its largest lead of the game late in the third quarter, when Southard passed out of a double team to Rieger, who buried a 3-pointer to put the Eagles up 60-19.

During its lengthy run, Decatur generated several offensive opportunities in transition off Godley miscues. The Wildcats coughed the ball up nearly 20 times as the Eagles’ defense clamped down.

““I think our defensive intensity is probably where you can find our success or our failure — how we play on that end of the floor,” said Coffman said. “We were able to create some turnovers and generate some transition opportunities.”

The Eagles have won 13 straight games dating back to Jan. 4. After getting bounced in the first round last season to eventual 4A runner-up Dallas Carter, Southard admitted he was relishing the victory, but knows each game from here on out is win-or-go-home.

“I’m extremely excited,” Southard said. “The year can end at any time — and hopefully it doesn’t end soon”

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