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TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2007
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Big fourth quarter lifts Decatur

From Staff Reports

Rico Pickett scored 21 points and Decatur High's boys basketball team rode a big fourth quarter to beat John Carroll 69-60 on Monday.

The two teams played at Carver-Birmingham as part of the Martin Luther King Classic. In the other game, Carver beat Ramsay 61-59.

Decatur (16-4) has won five straight. John Carroll, the fifth-ranked team in Class 6A, eliminated the Red Raiders in the Northwest sub-regionals last year.

"We played hard and we shared the ball really well," said Red Raiders coach Jamie Lee, whose team is ranked fifth in 5A. "It's big to defeat a ranked opponent."

With time winding down in the third quarter, John Carroll had a 42-37 lead and the ball.

A Cavaliers player missed a 3-point shot, and soon after, Pickett scored, got fouled and made the free throw to cut the lead to 42-40. That gave Decatur some momentum heading into the fourth quarter, and the Red Raiders rolled from there.

Only three minutes into the final period, Decatur had jumped out to an 11-point lead. The Red Raiders outscored John Carroll 29-18 in the fourth quarter.

Jarodiaus Willingham chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Mark Mason had 11 points.

In his second game of the year, Decatur's Rolando McClain had eight points and seven boards.

Andrew Steele, a junior and the brother of Alabama point guard Ronald Steele, led John Carroll with 16 points.

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