By Richard Greene
For three quarters, the Bridgeport Sissies kept the ball out of Decatur’s Joey Redwine’s hands and protected a lead.
Over the final six minutes, the Lady Eagles finally were able to get the ball inside to their 5-11 post and she delivered.
Redwine scored nine of her 14 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lady Eagles to a come-from-behind win over the Sissies Tuesday at Decatur High School gym.
“We finally came alive and finally started playing our game,” Redwine said. “It was very stressful, but we did really good in the fourth quarter and pulled it out.”
Decatur (19-5) moves to 4-0 in District 7-3A.
“I’m proud of the kids for not giving up,” said Decatur coach Billy Garner. “The kids did a good job of doing what they had to do in the fourth quarter to get a win.”
Bridgeport (13-10) fell to 2-2 in the league.
“I wish we would have won,” said Bridgeport guard Lauren Hart, who led all scorers with 19 points. “We had the lead for three and half quarters.”
Bridgeport led by five, 28-23, early in the fourth quarter as forward Sabrina Garza had held Redwine to a pair of field goals and a free throw through three quarters.
“Our gameplan was working great and our kids were performing to the best of their abilities,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor.
Redwine said Garza was making it tough on her down low.
“She had me completely closed out,” Redwine said. “We had to adjust and we got through it.”
As a team Decatur shot 7-for-20 in the first three quarters and turned the ball over 13 times.
“The first three quarters they took us out of our offense,” Garner said. “We didn’t push the ball when we had chances.”
Decatur started calling Redwine’s number in the final frame. She quickly picked up the fourth and fifth fouls on Garza. The fifth came as Redwine laid the ball in off a pass from Allie Handlon with 4:22 left. Redwine’s free throw brought Decatur within a point, 30-29.
Redwine again cut the lead to one with a pair of free throws after drawing a fifth foul on Audra Hart with 3:59 remaining.
Bridgeport had to play nearly the final four minutes with two starters on the bench.
“Not having those starters in because of foul trouble hurt us,” Taylor said. “We ended the game with two sophomores and a freshman on the floor.”
Redwine gave Decatur the lead, 34-32, with another layup-and-one with 2:30 remaining.
“She did a good job of posting up, and when she gets the ball down there usually good things happen,” Garner said about Redwine’s fourth quarter.
Lauren Hart knotted the game back at 34 with a pair of free throws. She finished 9-for-10 from the line, including 6-for-6 in the final frame.
But her free throws and two from Leah Guinn were all the offense Bridgeport could muster in the fourth quarter. Bridgeport went 0-for-6 from the field in the final frame.
“We took some shots that routinely we wouldn’t take in those situations,” Taylor said about the fourth quarter offense.
A pair of free throws from Murphy Graham put Decatur up for good with 2:15 left. She and Bobbi Clemmer added two more free throws apiece in the final two minutes to seal the win.
Clemmer finished with nine points. Handlon added seven, and Graham six.
Garza scored six for the Sissies and grabbed eight rebounds.