By Richard Greene
With a golden basketball trophy tucked under her arm, Decatur’s Macie Dane tried to fight back tears as she walked off the court Friday.
“I’m so happy and I’m trying not to cry,” she said.
Minutes before, the Decatur senior hit two clutch fourth-quarter three-pointers that paved the way for the Lady Eagles’ 48-38 victory over Snyder in the Class 3A Region I area game in Breckenridge.
Dane led a trio of Lady Eagles in double figures with 15 points and eight rebounds. Jaci Isham added 14 and nine boards. Jordan Alker had 11, including the final two free throws with five seconds left.
“This means we get to go to the next level,” Dane said. “I don’t care what it’s called. I’m just glad we won.”
Decatur will move on to play in the region quarterfinal Monday or Tuesday against either Abilene Wylie.
Dane hit all three of her three-pointers in the second half. Her first early in the third quarter gave Decatur a 10-point edge, 25-15.
Snyder cut that deficit to five, 36-31, with 4:44 left.
After a pair of turnovers, Decatur coach Billy Garner called a timeout. Out of the break, Dane got loose at the top of the key and drained a three-pointer to stretch the Lady Eagles’ lead back to eight.
Two buckets from Snyder’s Laura Reigh cut Decatur’s lead back to four, 39-35. Reigh led all scorers with 19.
As Snyder looked to get back in the game, Dane shut the door on it with another three-pointer with 1:25 left to put the Lady Eagles back up seven, 42-35.
“I was so happy when it went in,” Dane said.
Garner added: “It was not particularly the shot I wanted, but she doesn’t have a conscience. She’s one of our best shooters, and she’s got the green light all the time.”
Decatur hit six of its eight free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
After getting out to an early 10-3 lead behind a basket and four free throws from Isham, the Lady Eagles went cold. Decatur did not hit a field goal from 3:22 in the first quarter until 2:24 of the second.
Snyder put together a 12-4 run during the span to take a 15-12 lead. Decatur had 10 turnovers during that eight-minute stretch.
“Their defense was really good and they were trapping really good,” Isham said. “It was crazy out there until we got settled down.”
Decatur turned the ball over 11 times in the first half and 21 times overall.
“We didn’t handle their press well early,” Garner said. “We handled it good enough.”
Alker put an end to the run with a basket that started a Lady Eagles run to close the first half. Decatur closed the first half on a 10-0 run that included six points from Alker.
The Lady Eagles also hit four free throws in the stretch to take a 22-15 halftime lead.