By Richard Greene
In their final tuneup before starting District 7-3A play, the Decatur Lady Eagles found out their offense still needs a little work.
The Lady Eagles turned the ball over 19 times and shot 31 percent (11-for-35) Tuesday in a 46-32 loss to Class 2A’s third-ranked team, the Krum Lady Bobcats at home.
“We couldn’t get a handle on the ball and get under control,” said Decatur senior Joey Redwine, who finished with four points before fouling out with 1:10 left. “We’d get ahead of ourselves and couldn’t slow down. We usually handle the pressure well. I think we knew it was going to be a hard game, and we were a little nervous to play.”
Decatur will head into the league opener Friday at home against Mineral Wells at 15-5.
“We’ve had a good two-thirds of the season, but no one cares about yesterday,” said Decatur coach Billy Garner. “It’s back to 0-0. District is what you’ve got to concentrate on.”
The Lady Eagles will need to focus on cutting down on the turnovers that plagued them Tuesday. Decatur turned the ball over 17 times in the first three quarters with many coming in the half-court set.
“We had our chances, but it was two steps forward and one step back,” Garner said. “Every time we’d make a run, we’d then turn the ball over.
“We tried to make things happen that weren’t there.”
Despite the troubles holding on to the ball, the Lady Eagles clawed back from an early 12-point deficit to get within three, 31-28, on a Murphy Graham three-pointer with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
Graham led Decatur with 14 points.
Decatur could get no closer as it managed just one field goal the remainder of the game.
“We had three good looks there in the third and couldn’t make them,” Garner said. “Then we couldn’t score enough to get our press set up.”
Krum scored the final four points of the third quarter to take a 35-28 lead.
The Lady Bobcats held Decatur at bay in the fourth quarter going 7-for-13 from the free-throw line. Rachel Wallace hit four of her six tries from the line in the quarter on her way to 10 points.
Julia Schmaltz led Krum with 16 points. She went 8-for-11 from the charity stripe.
Decatur limited Krum, which started the game 6-for-11 from the field, to seven field goals in the remaining three quarters.
“We knew we had to play good defense and we did,” Redwine said. “We just couldn’t get a handle offensively.”
Decatur’s struggles offensively started early as it fell behind 14-2 in the first four minutes. The Lady Eagles pulled within eight, 16-8, by the end of the first frame.
Graham got Decatur with six with a three-pointer in the final minute of the first half. But a back door cut to the basket for a layup by Allison Beck sent Krum into halftime with a 24-16 lead.