BERLIN- In its first regular season game after the holiday break at home on Tuesday, Decatur’s boys’ varsity basketball team cruised past Crisfield, 68-53, to get the second half off to a fast start.
Both teams exchanged baskets early in the first before Decatur’s Teron Tyre launched a long three-pointer to put the Seahawks ahead, 7-6. Jesse Engle then connected on a pair of free throws, followed by a steal and a lay-up to but Decatur ahead, 11-10, about halfway through the first quarter. Decatur scored the last eight points of the first quarter and led 17-10 at the first break.
In the second quarter, Crisfield quickly cut the lead to 17-13 on a long three-pointer right out of the gate, but Engle scored on a steal and lay-up and was fouled and converted the free throw to push the lead back to seven points at 20-13. Cameron Gaynor then scored on a put-back to extend the lead to 22-13. After a pair of Crisfield baskets cut the lead to 22-17, Decatur’s Drakar Purnell connected on a long three-pointer to make it 25-17.
Another lay-up by Engle, followed by a steal and a lay-up by Tyre pushed the Decatur lead back to 12 points at 29-17 with just under four minutes remaining in the first half. Tyre scored just under a minute later to extend the Seahawks’ lead to 31-17, their largest of the first half, but there was no quit in the Crabbers.
A couple of Crisfield baskets cut the Decatur lead to 33-21 with time running down in the second period, but the Crabbers connected on a three-pointer to get the lead under 10 points again at 33-25. Purnell connected on a pair of free throws just before the half to push the lead back to 10 points at 35-25.
In the third quarter, Tyre scored quickly to push the lead to 37-25, but Crisfield responded immediately with a three-pointer to get the lead under 10 again at 37-28. The Crabbers then got a steal and a fast-break basket to cut the lead to 37-30 with around five minutes left in the third before Purnell stopped the mini-run with a steal and lay-up of his own to push the lead back to 39-30. After a Crisfield basket cut the lead to 39-32, Engle came through again with a long three-pointer to push the lead back to 10 points at 42-32 with just under five minutes left in the third. Less than a minute later, Engle scored on a steal and fast-break to extend the lead to 44-34 with 3:43 remaining in the third.
After a pair of Matt LeCompte free throws pushed the Decatur lead back to 12 points at 46-34, Crisfield came charging back again with a pair of free throws and a steal and lay-up to cut the lead to 46-38 with time running down in the third. Tyre got Decatur back on track with an acrobatic running jumper with 1:24 left in the third extend the lead to 10 points again at 48-38.
Crisfield scored first in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to eight again at 48-40, but Decatur’s up tempo offense and aggressive defense was starting to take its toll on the Crabbers. After a pair of free throws by the Seahawks, Purnell got a steal and hit Engle on a perfect fast-break outlet pass and Engle converted the lay-up to push the lead to 54-41, Decatur’s largest lead of the game.
However, Crisfield got a basket and a foul and converted the three-point play to cut the lead to 10 again at 54-44. In the next sequence, Engle was fouled hard on a lay-up and converted two free throws to push the lead to 57-44. It was a scenario that played out down the stretch as Crisfield continued to foul Decatur in an attempt to cut into the lead and the Seahawks made their free throws. In the end, Decatur pulled away for the 68-53 win.
Engle led all scorers with 22 points in the game. Purnell pitched in 18 points, while Tyre collected a double-double including 15 points and 10 rebounds.