(Jan. 17, 2020) The Stephen Decatur boys’ basketball team trailed James M. Bennett for most of the game on Tuesday in Salisbury, but the Seahawks fought back in the final quarter and pulled out a 64-62 victory.
“We needed that. It was a big win,” said Decatur Coach BJ Johnson.
The Bennett Clippers led 19-17 at the end of the first quarter.
“We got off to a slow start,” Johnson said, adding that his team had too many turnovers.
At halftime, the home team held a 31-29 advantage.
“We picked it up and played a little better in the second quarter,” Johnson said. “At halftime, I told the guys we’ve got to be tougher rebounding the ball and we need to take care of the ball – we had too many turnovers – and we did a better job in the second half.”
Bennett outscored Decatur 21-19 in the third quarter.
“We stayed the course. I knew we would make a run,” Johnson said. “We made a run at the right time [in the fourth quarter] and were able to close the game.”
Johnson said he told senior captain Drew Haueisen “it’s his time.” He scored eight of Decatur’s 16 fourth-quarter points.
“He made some great plays and had some great buckets,” Johnson said. “The team knows if we’re going to win games it’s got to go through him.”
Bennett netted 10 points in the fourth.
“Bennett had the chance to tie it. They took a shot with about 12 seconds left, but Drew got the rebound and that was the game,” Johnson said.
Haueisen led Decatur with 31 points and 24 rebounds. Senior DaCameron McAfee contributed with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“Drew and Cameron stepped up when they needed to and they have all year,” Johnson said. “Cam was big with rebounds and Drew with baskets.”
Johnson was facing off against Bennett’s first-year head coach, Greg “Bubby” Brown, who was his assistant the last five years at Decatur.
“He knows how we play. He knows our kids, probably better than I do because he spent so much time working with them,” Johnson said.
“It was a real intense game on the road. It was a big win for the kids. The win definitely gave us some momentum,” he continued.
Decatur will take a trip to Snow Hill to battle the Eagles on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. When the two teams met on Dec. 10 in Berlin, the Seahawks won, 62-50.