Sitting in his office reviewing a stat sheet, Brad Boy echoed the message he told his Decatur High girls basketball team in the locker room just a few minutes earlier.
Fighting through adversity, Decatur was on the verge of a significant upset against Buckhorn, but the Red Raiders couldn’t find enough offense down the stretch to keep up in a 52-43 loss to the Bucks Friday night in the second round of the Decatur Orthopaedic Clinic Classic.
Buckhorn advances to face Bob Jones in the tournament semifinals, while Decatur plays Mountain Brook in the tournament’s consolation bracket at 5 p.m..
“I told them to never forget the feeling of coming so close, only to have it slip away,” Boy said. “That was a very good Buckhorn team, and we played them toe to toe. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in that, and that’s what we told the girls. But we’ve still got to find ways to score.”
With smothering full-court pressure, Decatur created chaos for Buckhorn (15-2) throughout the game. The Red Raiders forced 19 turnovers, scoring 18 points in transition off steals.
The strategy nearly worked.
Decatur overcame an early 10-point deficit to rally in the second half, taking its first lead of the game early in the fourth period on a pair of Tatyana Jones free throws.
A Charity Watkins layup stretched Decatur’s lead to four with 5:40 remaining in the game, but Buckhorn closed out the game with a 17-4 run, despite having two starters foul out in the closing minutes.
“It was frustrating,” Decatur center Constance Steele said. “But Coach Boy told us not to get down on ourselves because we’re getting better, and we all know that we’re getting better.”
“Right now, we’re better at every part of the game except shooting percentage,” he said. “Scoring is something that we’ve got to work on, but we’re going to find a way to improve on that, too.”
Taneisha Johnson led Decatur with 13 points, while Steele added 10 points with 12 rebounds.
Huntsville 50, Austin 49: For the second straight night, Austin overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half.
But this time, the late rally wasn’t enough.
Lindsay Douglas made the go-ahead basket with 25.8 seconds remaining, sending Huntsville to the tournament semifinals. The Panthers play Madison Academy today at 9:30 a.m. Austin faces James Clemens at 3:30 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
Austin took its first lead of the game on a layup from Aaliyah Rice with 6:39 remaining in the fourth period, completing the double-digit comeback.
There were four lead changes in the final minutes, and Austin had a one-point cushion with 36.4 seconds remaining after a pair of free throws from Takisha Jordan, but Douglas got an open shot after breaking Austin’s full-court press on the next possession.
Ta’Naisha Hill led Huntsville with 17 points, while Alaina Strong added 14.
Rice paced Austin with 14 points, while Jordan added 10.
Lawrence County 59, Vestavia Hills 44: Adrien Coffey led Lawrence County with 22 points and seven rebounds, helping the Red Devils advance in the tournament’s consolation bracket.
Lawrence County plays Columbia today at 2 p.m.
Freshman Rachel Childress added 21 points and seven rebounds for Lawrence County.
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|