Chandler Boy led Decatur with 15 points on five three-pointers but it was not enough as Florence’s length and athleticism took command of the game.
Chaunce Watkins scored a game-high 36 points for Florence as Decatur fell 71-59 on Friday.
Kaleb Smith poured in 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Decatur (9-13, 2-4 in Class 6A, Area 16). Navante Williams finished with 12 points and six boards.
Darius Smith contributed 13 points for the Falcons (16-6, 3-3).
In the earlier game, the Florence girls held off Decatur 58-53.
With the loss, the Decatur boys finished the area schedule in fourth place and will face area champion Austin in the first round of the area tournament. Austin claimed the regular-season title by beating James Clemens in another Friday contest.
Florence tied with Clemens for second place, and the two teams will meet in the first round of the tourney.
“The bottom line is, you can’t turn the ball over 23 times and win,” Decatur coach Jamie Lee said. Florence’s “athleticism and pressure affected us.”
Decatur went on an 11-0 run in the second quarter to take a 29-21 lead.
“We made some timely shots ... and dominated the glass (in the second quarter),” Lee said. “Our defensive effort was better in the first half.”
Florence scored the last seven points of the half and opened the third quarter with a 20-9 burst to claim a 10-point lead with about a minute left in the period.
Decatur climbed back to within four points in the fourth quarter after Boy connected on a trey to make it a 51-47 deficit with 6:29 left in regulation.
Florence responded by outscoring Decatur 20-12 for the remainder of the contest.
“We’ve got four regular season games left to try to get better before the area tournament,” Lee said. “We still have a long way to go to be where we’ve got to be.”
Florence girls 58, Decatur 53: Constance Steele and Taneisha Johnson finished with 12 points apiece for Decatur (6-19, 0-6). Steele also had 13 rebounds.
Alexis Sherrod hit 17 for the Falcons. Emily Towery and Kaitlin Thompson each scored 11 points. Towery pulled down 14 boards.
Decatur led 13-5 at the end of the first quarter and 27-20 at halftime.
“Florence changed defenses (after the first half),” Decatur coach Brad Boy said. “We anticipated that, but we got away from our offensive package.”
He added that Florence (8-12, 2-4) outmatched Decatur on the boards and in second chance points down the stretch.
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