SPORTS HEADLINES

Decatur wins eighth straight, knocks off Hirschi

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, January 29, 2019.
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With only a 12-10 lead entering the second quarter Tuesday against Wichita Falls Hirschi, Decatur coach Drew Coffman felt his team needed to pick up the intensity.

Searching for their eighth straight win, the Eagles fell into a lull for the first eight minutes.

“I think our pace of play wasn’t where it needed to be,” Coffman said. “It’s the way you defend — your intensity, how you’re attacking loose balls and how you’re attacking plays offensively. It’s kind of a mindset. I didn’t think we carried that through all portions of this game.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

In the second quarter, Decatur quickly shifted gears.

The Eagles ended the first half on a 16-2 run capped off by a Grayson Harris 3-pointer, pulling away from Hirschi for a 53-31 victory. Decatur’s push, which eventually ballooned to 25-4, helped the Eagles build an eventual 24-point advantage.

“Whenever we play at the pace we want to play at, we’re pretty special,” Coffman said. “We’re going to have to keep that in mind going forward. There have been bits and pieces here lately of us doing that. We’re just going to have to figure out how to do it for 32 minutes once the playoffs roll around.”

Noah Young helped spark Decatur’s first-half run, finding Triston Read for a transition layup to put the Eagles up 27-15. In the third quarter, senior Wilson Hicks found his touch from beyond the arc, knocking down three 3-pointers.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Hicks led all scorers with 24 points and shot 37.5 percent from deep.

“I think what really got me going was getting some looks inside and getting to the free throw line,” Hicks said. “I thought confidence was able to build up and I made some 3-pointers.”

Decatur shot 41.9 percent from the floor. Grayson Harris poured in eight points. Izek Chavana chipped in seven.

Hicks credited Chavana’s ability to drive and kick the ball as a reason for him getting quality shots.

“Izek is really good at pitching it out,” Hicks said. “He gets us a lot of open shots and when we knock those down we’re pretty good.”

The Eagles improved to 28-3 with the victory. Decatur will be back in District 8-4A action Friday in Bridgeport for the second part of the Battle of Big Sandy rivalry. The Eagles took the first matchup 64-21 Jan. 15.

Decatur has not lost since Jan. 4 against Class 5A Wichita Falls Rider.

“I think we’re a tough team to beat,” Hicks said. “I think we’re one of the best teams in the region. It all starts with our effort and energy.”

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