By Richard Greene
The Abilene Wylie Lady Bulldogs and Peyton Little brought an end to the Decatur Lady Eagles’ season for a second straight year Tuesday night.
Little poured in 32 points, including five three-pointers, in the Lady Bulldogs’ 71-38 victory in the Class 3A Region I quarterfinal at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
“Unbelievable,” said Decatur coach Billy Garner about Texas A&M signee Little. “But everyone was hitting for them. She makes everyone better.”
The loss ends the Lady Eagles’ season at 27-6. The 27 wins were the most ever for a Garner squad.
“We’re really proud of our season,” said Decatur point guard Allie Handlon.
Handlon was one of five Decatur seniors that played their final game. All five came off the floor together with 30 seconds remaining.
“They did a good job,” Garner said. “We didn’t have much playoff experience. I thought all the kids did a great job. No one expected us to be where we are. It shows how hard they worked.”
Decatur dug an early hole with turnovers that Little and sidekick Punkin Mack only made larger.
Decatur turned the ball over 13 times in the first half, including 10 in the first quarter. The Lady Eagles went a stretch of three minutes in the frame without a shot, committing six straight turnovers.
The Lady Eagles had just four field goals in the first half.
“I thought we’d play better,” Garner said. “We turned the ball over way too much early. We played not to lose and instead of trying to win.”
Decatur finished with 20 turnovers.
Little and Mack poured in 17 of Wylie’s 19 points in the opening quarter as the Lady Bulldogs took a 19-7 lead.
Mack scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Little’s third three-pointer put Wyile up 20, 31-11, with 3:02 left in the first half.
Hailey Brown’s trey stretched Wylie’s lead to 37-13. It was one of four three-pointers in the half for Wylie. They hit eight in the game.
“We didn’t expect everyone to be as good [as Little],” Handlon said. “They didn’t miss a shot it seemed.”
Wylie shot 13-for-30 in the first half and 24-for-51 for the game.
Even with her team up by 24 going into the second half, Little wasn’t finished. She opened the third quarter with a pair of drives to the basket. She added two three-pointers as part of a 15-point frame.
Wyile led by 40, 65-25, going into the fourth quarter.
Joey Redwine led Decatur with 10 points. Handlon and Murphy Graham added seven points each.