BERLIN- Despite a valiant late comeback attempt, Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity basketball team fell to Kent Island, 69-44, on the road in the state 3A-South regional semifinals on Tuesday.
The Seahawks drew the number-three seed in the state 3A-South bracket and faced sixth-seeded Chesapeake of Anne Arundel at home last Friday. Decatur led the contest throughout and held off a late run by the Cougars to win the game, 66-58, to advance to the region semifinals.
Next up for Decatur was a region semifinal matchup against Bayside North powerhouse Kent Island. The Seahawks had already beaten the Buccaneers in a close one, 58-56, way back in the regular season opener in early December.
Against Kent Island in the region semifinals on the road on Tuesday, Decatur fell behind early and trailed 18-9 at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, the Buccaneers had extended their lead to 35-17 and the lead swelled to 42-19 midway through the third quarter.
The Seahawks then suddenly found their groove offensively and began chipping away at the Kent Island lead largely on the shoulders of guard Drew Haueisen, who finished the game with 18 points including 16 in the second half. By the end of the third quarter, Decatur had cut the Kent Island lead to nine points at 44-35.
A big three-pointer by Haueisen about five minutes into the fourth quarter cut the Buccaneers’ lead to just six points at 44-38. Kent Island regrouped quickly and went on an 8-0 run to pull away from Decatur. There was no quit in the Seahawks who continued to press and force the issue down the stretch, but Kent Island made their shots and pulled away for the 69-44 win to advance.
The loss in the region semifinals did little to tarnish what was an otherwise successful season for the Decatur boys. After winning their first three games, the Seahawks scuffled a little bit through the middle of the season, dropping four straight at one point. Decatur was strong down the stretch, however, going 9-4 to close out the regular season including a stretch of five straight wins in mid- to late-January.