(Jan. 4, 2013) The Stephen Decatur boys’ basketball team joined 35 other squads last week for the annual Governor’s Challenge tournament at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury.
The Seahawks battled the Arcadia Firebirds of Virginia on the first day of the tournament, Dec. 26. Despite a slow start, the Decatur squad pulled out a 55-43 victory.
Arcadia took a 20-13 lead in the first quarter and went into the halftime break with a two-point lead (26-24).
“We were a little sluggish. It took us a quarter to get moving. We were down 10 or 12 early and we had to dig our way out,” said Decatur Coach Mark Engle. “The second quarter was better. Our man-to-man defense got going and we locked them down.”
Decatur outscored its opponent 13-11 in the third and both teams had 37 points with one quarter to play.
The Seahawks tallied 18 points in the final quarter and held the Firebirds to six.
“We finished the game strong. We played smart at the end and did a nice job,” Engle said. “They were fouling and we hit seven of eight free throws to extend our lead.”
Senior co-captain Jesse Engle led Decatur with 21 points and nine assists. Junior Chase Sams had 10 points and nine rebounds.
On the final day of the tournament, Dec. 29, the Seahawks match up against the Sussex Central Golden Knights of Delaware.
Coach Engle said his team struggled to gain a momentum and the Seahawks turned the ball over 21 times. Sussex Central led 26-12 at halftime and went on to win 54-34.
“We never got on track offensively. They pressed and trapped us all over the floor, and we had difficulty moving the ball,” Engle said. “They had us on our heels the entire game. Sussex Central was just better than us that night.”
Senior Cameron Gaynor led Decatur with 10 points and five rebounds. Engle had nine points.
The Seahawks have a 5-3 record as they get back into regular-season competition after Christmas break. Several players have returned from injuries and Engle hopes the team will come together as a unit.
“We turn the ball over too frequently. We have to work on rebounding, checking off [and] ball handling before we get into the thick of our conference schedule,” Engle said. “With everyone back, we’re hoping for continuity and for the team to jell and come together well.”
Decatur will host the Washington Jaguars at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The Seahawks will travel to Snow Hill the following day to play the Eagles.