Decatur High’s halftime lead didn’t faze Bob Jones' boys basketball team.
Instead, it got the Patriots rolling, as Bob Jones drove past the Red Raiders in the second half to a 51-43 victory Tuesday night.
“We’ve played a lot of close games all year, so we’re kind of accustomed to this,” Bob Jones coach Graham Aderholt said of the second-half surge.
According to Aderholt, minor changes made the difference.
“It’s just doing the little things better,” he said of Bob Jones’ (5-13) second-half performance, outshooting Decatur 34-23.
“We weren’t finishing around the rim. We weren’t setting good screens offensively. We weren’t cutting really hard,” he said of the opening half.
After Decatur (6-10) closed the first half ahead 20-17, both teams switched leads until Patriots’ Ralph Templeton broke a 27-point tie and didn’t look back, pushing Bob Jones to the win.
For the game, Templeton led all scorers with 18 points, including 8 of 16 from the floor.
“We couldn’t guard No. 32 (Templeton),” Decatur coach Jamie Lee said. “He made a couple of jump shots, got in the lane a couple of times, and we had some defensive breakdowns there.”
Bob Jones used man-to-man defense to target senior forward Na’Vante Williams, limiting him to two points from the free-throw line for the game.
The Patriots also capitalized on Decatur’s poor shooting.
“We shot the ball probably as bad as we did all year. We’re better shooters than that.” Lee said of his team’s 34 percent shooting average (17-for-50).
“When the ball doesn’t go in, it’s hard to keep defending,” Lee said. “You’ve got to see that ball go in every now and then, and we went through a stretch where we just couldn’t make one go in, and that hurt us defensively.”
Bob Jones shot 45 percent (21-for-47) for the game. Dalton Barkley recorded 15 rebounds and 13 points, while Ryan Flanagan totaled 11 points and one assist. Tanner Finley scored three points, while Roderick Randolph, Ryan Dupree, and Jamarcus Jones each added two.
Matthew Papich led Decatur with 16 points, followed by Kaleb Smith with 12 and Chandler Boy with eight.
Williams led the Red Raiders with eight rebounds.
Lee suspected a portion of the problem for Decatur was an emotional letdown after Friday’s win over Austin.
“I’m really proud of how hard our guys play, but I just didn’t feel like we were very fluid offensively, and that was obvious,” he said.
Decatur will look to shape up before Friday’s area game at James Clemens, while Bob Jones will visit Hazel Green.