Decatur Boys Edge Wicomico, 72-63

Decatur Boys Edge Wicomico, 72-63
keve aluma

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity basketball team’s pursuit of perfection in the Bayside Conference inched closer to becoming reality this week with a pair of big wins in tight games including a 72-63 victory over Wicomico at home on Tuesday.

With the pair of wins, the Seahawks are now 20-1 overall, there only loss coming to Virginia powerhouse Potomac in a holiday tournament in December. Perhaps most impressively, the Decatur boys are 15-0 in the Bayside Conference with only a regular season finale against Parkside on Thursday in a game played too late to be included in this edition.

The Seahawks have already clinched the Bayside South title and will face Kent County in the Bayside Conference championship next week. Decatur narrowly beat Kent County, 85-82, in hard-fought game on the road last Thursday. The Seahawks have also already punched their ticket as the top seed in the Class 3A-East region tournament although the seedings and schedules have not yet been determined.

With the Bayside South title and the top seed in the state regionals already wrapped up, the biggest milestone down the stretch for the Seahawks is achieving perfection in the regular season. Standing in the way on Tuesday was always-tough Wicomico, but Decatur prevailed after trailing at different points during the contest.

Wicomico led 10-7 early in the first, but Decatur’s Kevon Voyles went on a mini-tear to put the Seahawks on top. Voyles converted a steal and a layup to tie the game at 10-10, then made three-pointers on the Seahawks’ next two possessions to extend the lead to 16-12 in the span of less than a minute. After Wicomico made a three-pointer to cut the lead to 16-15, Keve Aluma scored on a put-back to push the lead to 18-15. Aluma scored again and then assisted Gary Briddell along the baseline as Decatur closed out the first quarter with a 22-19 lead.

Early in the second, Wicomico hit a three-pointer to take the lead at 25-24, but Aluma converted a three-point play to push the Seahawks back in front, 29-25. Decatur eventually extended its lead to 40-30 with about two minutes remaining in the second quarter, but Wicomico scored the last seven points of the period to cut the lead to 40-37 entering halftime.

The two teams went back and forth in the third quarter with neither gaining any real advantage. Baskets by Aluma and La’Ron Johnson put the Seahawks ahead, 44-39, but the Indians battled back and cut the lead to 46-44 with just over three minutes remaining in the period. With 1:32 remaining in the third, Wicomico got a steal and converted the fast break to take the lead again at 49-48.

Aluma scored on a put-back and was fouled to put the Seahawks ahead again at 51-49. Wicomico then got another steal and converted the layup to tie the game at 51-51 with under a minute remaining. Aluma hit a free throw with 13 seconds left and Decatur held a narrow 52-51 lead after three quarters.

Early in the fourth, Briddell and Aluma conspired to extend the lead to 58-52, but Wicomico responded again with another long three-pointer to cut the lead to 58-55 and the game was far from over. The Seahawks pushed the lead to 62-55 about halfway through the fourth quarter, but again Wicomico battled back and cut the lead to 62-59 with about three minutes left in the contest. Wicomico continued to battle, but the Seahawks made their shots down the stretch and pulled away for the 72-63 win. Aluma led Decatur with 25 points, while Voyles added 16 and Briddell pitched in 10.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.