By Richard Greene
The Decatur Eagles set the tone early defensively and never let up Tuesday in a rout of the Sanger Indians.
The Eagles (14-6) limited Sanger to 10 field goals and forced 21 turnovers in a 54-27 victory at Decatur High School gym.
“We’re playing good defense and holding people’s field goal percentage down,” said Decatur coach Roger Brown.
The victory was Decatur’s fifth straight since a loss to Vernon right before the Christmas break.
“We’re becoming more of a family,” said Decatur sophomore point guard Taylor Clayton. “We had some bumps early but we’ve taken care of them.”
Clayton had eight points for an Eagles squad that received contributions from the entire roster. All 10 Eagles either scored or grabbed a rebound.
Austin Lamirand led all scorers with 21 points, including three three-pointers. Brevon Blaylock added eight points.
Shayler Carlton and Caleb Hogan took turns controlling the glass. Hogan had nine boards with four points. Carlton failed to score but grabbed eight rebounds.
Lamirand got the Eagles off to a fast start with a leaner in the lane and a three-pointer in first three possessions. Decatur started on a 7-2 run and led 11-6 after the first quarter.
“We got the ball to Lamirand early and he hit some shots,” Clayton said. “If you get him hot, you can win games.”
The Eagles broke the game open in the second quarter with another seven points from Lamirand. Decatur outscored Sanger 14-3 over the final six minutes of the first half to take a 25-11 halftime lead.
Clayton put Decatur up 20, 31-11, with a three-pointer 2:39 into the second half. Decatur took a 17-point edge, 34-17, into the fourth quarter.
After Sanger got within 12 early in the final frame, Decatur responded with a 19-0 run to take its largest lead 31, 53-22, with 1:49 left.
Collin Crutsinger led Sanger with 10 points. Tanner Thomas added six points.