By Richard Greene
In her final game in the gym where she helped lead the Decatur Lady Eagles to a pair of volleyball and basketball district titles, Joey Redwine made a lasting impression Tuesday.
The senior poured in a career-high 28 points to go along with six steals and five rebounds in the Lady Eagles’ 62-24 win over Burleson Centennial at Decatur High School gym.
“I came out ready to play from the beginning,” Redwine said. “Why not go out with a bang.
“It’s sad to know that I’m not going to play here anymore. I’m definitely going to miss it a lot.”
The victory closed out a perfect 10-0 run through District 7-3A for the league champions.
“For [Coach Billy] Garner we wanted to go undefeated,” Redwine said. “He’s done so much for us. We wanted this for him.”
It’s the second time one of Garner’s team has swept a district. It is the first time since 2005-06, his first year on the Lady Eagles’ bench.
“They did a great job and played hard all year,” Garner said about this year’s team. “It was awesome. I’m proud of our seniors. Hopefully, we have a few more games with those seniors.”
Decatur will have a bye through bi-district and will open the Class 3A Region I playoffs with an area round game next weekend.
Redwine was one of five Decatur seniors honored before the game, joining Allie Handlon, Amanda Delka, Amanda Rivera and Bobbi Clemmer. The five seniors started the game and also were on the floor for the final buzzer.
Playing aggressive from the starting whistle, Redwine made sure she and the other seniors could celebrate. She hit her first four shots from the field. Her layup-and-one with 3:11 left in the first quarter put Decatur up 16-1.
Redwine scored 13 in the first quarter.
“She played under control early and was good offensively,” Garner said about Redwine.
A second foul against Redwine late in the first quarter put her on the bench for the entire second quarter.
Centennial went on a 10-0 run to pull within five, 16-11, with 1:20 left in the opening frame. That would be as close as it would get the rest of the night.
Decatur shut out Centennial in the second quarter, forcing 11 turnovers. Centennial was 0-for-6 from the field in the frame.
It was the second quarter in the two meetings between the two teams that Decatur did not allow a point.
For the night, Decatur forced 36 turnovers and allowed only eight field goals. Centennial went more than 14 minutes from late in the first quarter until the 3:43 of the third quarter without a field goal.
“It was one of our best defensive efforts,” Garner said.
With the stingy defense in control, Decatur led 31-12 at halftime. The Lady Eagles built the lead to 40-14 with 2:23 left in the third quarter on Handlon’s three-pointer.
Handlon finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Lady Eagles kept pulling away in the fourth quarter, building their largest lead of 38, 57-19, on Redwine’s layup and free throw with 3:10 remaining.