SPORTS HEADLINES

Lady Eagles win eighth straight, knock off Bowie

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, January 2, 2019.
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Fresh off winning the NCTC Tournament in Gainesville last weekend, the Decatur Lady Eagles entered Wednesday’s clash with Bowie looking to keep the momentum alive in their final non-district game of the year.

Behind a suffocating defensive effort, Decatur did just that.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

The Lady Eagles held the Lady Rabbits scoreless in the second quarter, running away with a 43-31 victory at home. It was Decatur’s eighth straight win dating back to Dec. 8.

“It was big for us to finish off with a win, just to feel good about ourselves going into district play,” said Decatur coach Lindsay Griffin. “Games over the [Christmas] break are always hard because you’re out of your normal routine.”

Decatur started the game on a 7-0 run before Bowie clawed its way back into the game. The Lady Rabbits ended the frame on an 11-3 run.

Then, Decatur clamped down on defense. The Lady Eagles forced several turnovers in the second quarter which led to easy baskets in transition.

Grace Lowery was one of several Lady Eagles to cash Bowie miscues into points. She led Decatur in scoring with 15, as the Lady Eagles took a 24-11 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“It all starts on the defensive end,” Lowery said. “That kind of brings our offense together.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Out of the intermission, Bowie mounted another run to cut Decatur’s lead to single digits. The Lady Rabbits rattled off seven straight points before the Lady Eagles’ defense flummoxed Bowie down the stretch.

Decatur held the Lady Rabbits to just seven points in the fourth quarter.

“We had a great second quarter defensively, and I felt we came out a little bit relaxed and gave up too many [in the third quarter], but we locked back down in the fourth,” Griffin said. “We try to preach to our program that all your success on the offensive end starts on the defensive end.”

Three Lady Eagles ended the afternoon in double figures. Kylee Fitzgerald finished second with 11 points and Katie Hale added 10.

Decatur improved to 20-4 on the season — its best start since 2014. The Lady Eagles open District 8-4A play Friday at home against Springtown,

“We have three or four girls who can have big nights at any given time,” Griffin said. “I think that makes us tough to guard and it makes us versatile on offense. I think they’re feeling good about themselves. I think they feel like they can guard anybody, and they feel like they can score points. I think for sure they’ve got some confidence going into district play and we’re ready to see what we can do.”

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