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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2006
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Decatur High's Mark Mason drives past Bob Jones' Darryl Wright in Decatur on Tuesday night. The Red Raiders won 59-55 to improve to 7-1.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Decatur High's Mark Mason drives past Bob Jones' Darryl Wright in Decatur on Tuesday night. The Red Raiders won 59-55 to improve to 7-1.

Decatur boys hold on, again
Red Raiders ride early lead, sink Bob Jones

By Mark Edwards
medwards@decaturdaily.com 340-2461

A big first-quarter lead didn't mean an easy win for Decatur High's boys basketball team.

Bob Jones charged back but never caught the Red Raiders, who polished off a 59-55 victory in their first home game of the season.

Decatur (7-1) built a 24-6 lead by the end of the first period and held a 47-29 advantage late in the third period.

Bob Jones (3-3) cut the lead to six on five different occasions in the fourth quarter and five once. But the Patriots never got any closer than four, which stood as the final margin.

"That's the second game in a row that for whatever reason, we gave up a bunch of points in the second half," said Decatur coach Jamie Lee, whose team beat Brewer 70-56 on Friday after leading by 19 at halftime.

"You've got to credit Bob Jones. They fought and trapped and turned up the intensity. ... I'm proud of our team for winning at home, but we've got to get better."

Jarodiaus Willingham paced the Red Raiders with 15 points and five rebounds, and he scored two of his baskets in the fourth quarter.

The first came with 5:52 to play, gave Decatur a 49-41 lead and stopped a 12-0 run by Bob Jones.

Mark Mason added nine points, five assists and three steals. He sank a pair of free throws in the final period.

Rico Pickett had 13 points, nine assists and two steals. He also blocked one shot, which came on an otherwise open layup attempt by Bob Jones. Drei Marthaler had a team-high seven rebounds and eight points, with four coming on two baskets in the final 1:30.

"It's a killer that we got down by 18 to a team that could win a state championship," Bob Jones coach Danny Petty said. "We had an excellent chance to win, and I'm proud of our effort against a good team."

Darryl Wright paced the Patriots with 19 points and five rebounds, while Chris Caudle added 12.

Wayne Wright sank a 3-pointer that cut Decatur's lead to 57-52 with 1:01 to play, and Bob Jones managed to get the ball back. However, the Patriots missed a layup.

Decatur responded with a basket by Marthaler for a 59-52 advantage. Dion Mathis made a 3-pointer with three seconds to play to account for the final points.

"If we could've hit some layups, that would've helped," Petty said.

Bob Jones girls 81, Decatur 27: Before the game, the public address announcer at Earl Morris Gymnasium accidentally announced Decatur junior Shana Hubbard as a starter for the night.

Perhaps she should've started. Coming off the bench, the 5-foot-4 guard had nine points, four rebounds and two steals. All three of those figures either led the Lady Red Raiders (0-7) or tied for the lead.

"She shot the ball better, and that's the most points she's had this year," Decatur head coach Brad Boy said. "But what I appreciate the most is that as small as she is, she battled as hard as anybody for rebounds.

"I appreciate that she continued to fight. That's the only way to improve. She took advantage of every minute on the floor, and Shana did get better."

Hubbard nailed a 3-pointer early in the second quarter to slice a Bob Jones lead to
23-15. However, the Lady Patriots followed by outscoring Decatur 21-2 in the rest of the quarter.

For Bob Jones (8-1), Kellie Cook had 15 points, while Ide Harris added 11.

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