BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity basketball team used a late surge to pull away from county rival Snow Hill, 58-50, in a battle of county high school heavyweights in front of a huge crowd at home on Tuesday.
Something had to give Tuesday night when county rivals Decatur and Snow Hill hooked up in front of a standing room only crowd with early season bragging rights on the line, and the Seahawks responded with an impressive eight-point win over the Eagles to remain unbeaten. For the better part of three quarters, the two teams slugged it out in a see-saw game before Decatur started to pull away.
The Seahawks jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first quarter and led 10-2 about half way before the Snow Hill offense got on track. After a flurry of points by the Eagles cut the lead to 10-9 with 2:26 remaining in the first, Decatur’s Dyonne Powell hit a jumper to extend the lead to 12-9 before Snow Hill hit a three-pointer with 22 seconds left to tie the game at 12-12.
In the second quarter, Decatur’s Cedrick Johnson hit a jumper to put the Seahawks ahead, 14-12. Johnson, who transferred from a prep school in Frederick, helped Snow Hill win a state Class 1A title two years ago before returning to the area to play at Decatur this year. Less than a minute later, Snow Hill hit a three-pointer to take its first lead of the game at 15-14. After Snow Hill extended its lead to 17-14, Decatur’s Tom Lubeski scored on a running hook shot and Powell scored on a put-back to put the Seahawks back in front 18-17 with over four minutes left in the half.
Decatur went up 20-17 as the first half wound down, but Snow Hill scored on three free throws to tie the game at 20-20 at the intermission. In the third quarter, both teams exchanged baskets early before Decatur’s Montre Andrews went on a mini-run of his own to get some separation for the Seahawks.
Andrews hit a jumper in the paint to make it 27-24 in favor of Decatur and scored on a put-back 30 seconds later to extend the lead to 29-24. Snow Hill cut the lead to 30-29 before Andrews scored two more baskets within a minute of each other to put the Seahawks ahead, 34-30. However, Decatur’s attempt at an alley-oop from Johnson to Andrews failed, resulting in a fast-break for Snow Hill down the other end and the Eagles cut the lead to 34-33.
With just over a minute left in the third, Johnson threw an inbound pass off a Snow Hill defender and converted the basket to put the Seahawks ahead 36-34, then scored a few seconds later on a steal and a fast break to extend the lead to 38-35, but Snow Hill hit a jumper at the buzzer to cut the lead to one point at 38-37 as the quarter expired. After three tense quarters, Decatur led by just one point and nobody in the packed house was thinking about leaving early.
At the start of the fourth, Andrews hit a jumper to put Decatur up 40-37, but Snow Hill answered and cut the lead to 40-39. Powell then scored on a put back and Decatur’s Mark Engle added a lay-up to put the Seahawks up 44-39 with 5:18 remaining in the fourth. Davonne Wilson then scored for Decatur on a fast break lay-up to complete the 6-0 mini-run for the Seahawks and extend the lead to 46-39.
After a Snow Hill basket, Johnson hit a big three-pointer to extend the Seahawk lead to 49-41 but the Eagles would not go quietly. A pair of baskets by Snow Hill cut the lead to 49-45 with just under four minutes to play. Johnson was then fouled on a three-point attempt and converted all three free throws to push the lead to 52-45. Seconds later, Johnson added two more free throws to extend the lead to 54-45. Snow Hill made a few shots down the stretch to cut into the lead, but Decatur took care of the ball and pulled away for the 58-50 win, the last bucket coming on an uncontested lay-up by Andrews.
Andrews finished with 16 points including 12 in the third quarter alone. Johnson also scored 16 in the game for Decatur.