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Basketball: Heartbreak – Buzzer-beater sinks Decatur

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Tangled Up

TANGLED UP – Decatur and Argyle players battle for a loose ball. Argyle edged Decatur on a buzzer-beater. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur and Argyle added another thrilling chapter to their rivalry Friday night.

In a low-scoring, defensive affair, the two were tied at 33 with less than a minute remaining. Argyle wound the clock down to 15 seconds before calling a timeout to set up the final shot of regulation. When the ball was inbounded, Argyle nearly committed a few turnovers before settling down at the top of the key.

It looked like the two were poised for overtime, but as the clock neared zero, Argyle lobbed a pass to the rim that was tipped in at the buzzer. The officials conferred momentarily before signaling to count the basket, sending Decatur home with a heartbreaking 35-33 loss in its District 9-4A opener.

“I think they thought we were going to be in man and we went zone, which kind of worked to our advantage there for a while,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “With about five seconds to go, he called a late play and they just threw the ball up and their guy went and got it.

“They made a tremendous play to win the game. Give them all the credit.”

Despite trailing 16-11 at halftime and managing just two points in the first quarter, Decatur came out swinging in the third quarter. Decatur started the second half on a 7-0 run, quickly forcing an Argyle timeout.

Looking to push the pace in transition, Decatur immediately seized momentum of the game and built an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we played more aggressively [in the second half],” Coffman said. “I thought our kids played really, really hard.”

But when Argyle needed an answer, they got one.

Argyle hit back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to pull the game to within a possession and then made a key stop on the defensive end.

Wilson Hicks led Decatur in scoring with 11 points, and was the only Decatur player to finish the game in double figures. Dane Fitzgerald and Gage Reiger each added eight points of their own.

Trent Feely led all scorers with 13 points, hitting several key shots for Argyle down the stretch.

“We showed a lot of character to come out here and battle a really good team,” Coffman said. “I was proud of what we did. We’re just one play away from winning this game.”

The loss dropped Decatur to 11-12 on the season and 0-1 in District 9-4A play. Decatur took on Bridgeport Tuesday in the Battle of Big Sandy.

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