By Richard Greene
The Decatur Eagles made the needed stops defensively in the third quarter and knocked down the big shots in the final frame Tuesday against Burleson Centennial.
Sophomore point guard Taylor Clayton nailed the biggest, stretching Decatur’s lead to five with 3:45 remaining. The Eagles then held on for the 49-44 win at Decatur High School gym.
“We went dry for a bit, but Brevon [Blaylock] made a great pass after penetrating. I then hit shot.” said Clayton, who finished with 10 points.
“It’s a great win. It sets the stage for Friday when we try to win a second straight district title at home.”
The Eagles will meet Mineral Wells Friday for the District 7-3A lead. The Rams, who beat Lake Worth Tuesday, handed the Eagles their lone district loss last month in Mineral Wells.
“Mineral Wells is coming to our house,” said Decatur coach Roger Brown. “It’s exciting. Our team is excited to take on the Rams again. We know what we need to do.”
The Eagles could help their cause Friday with another defensive like Tuesday in the third quarter. Decatur limited Centennial to five points on two field goals in the frame.
“I was proud of the team defense,” Brown said. “We played defense on some long possessions. There were two to three possessions where it felt like we guarded for a full minute. I was proud of the effort and discipline.”
Decatur ended the third quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 33-29 lead on Austin Givens’ lone shot, a three-pointer from the left corner.
Centennial tied the game at 33 on Trevor Lucas’ basket early in the final frame.
Cameron Mize’s basket off a dish from Austin Lamirand put Decatur back on top and started a 7-2 run that Clayton capped with his three-pointer.
Lamirand protected the lead down the stretch, hitting three of his four free throw attempts in the final 40 seconds. He led the Eagles with 13 points.
Decatur opened the game on a 7-0 run. Centennial fought back to get within four, 12-8, at the end of the first quarter and had the game tied at 24 at halftime.