MADISON — There was a window of opportunity after the first buzzer, and James Clemens High took it.
The Jets stunned Decatur boys basketball by finding the rim early, resulting in a 53-46 win in the Class 6A, Area 16 game.
James Clemens (12-9, 3-1) outscored Decatur 17-4 in the first quarter, creating a scoring deficit the Red Raiders couldn’t overcome.
“I thought our energy was good, our intensity was good for about seven minutes,” said James Clemens coach Luther Tiggs, but it was enough to leave Decatur trailing for the rest of the game.
“We know each other so well,” Tiggs said. “At this point in the season, there are no secrets.”
Jordan Harris led the Jets’ offensive effort with 14 points, followed by Josh Mitchell with 12. Trevor Marakov added nine points, six rebounds, and two assists.
Dale Boyd, Tykeem Franklin and Jeremy Best added two rebounds each.
Decatur recovered from the early blow, but never found an offensive stride in the game.
“We couldn’t, for whatever reason, when we needed a momentum shot, we couldn’t get it. When they needed to stop some of our momentum, they made it,” Decatur coach Jamie Lee said. “We dug ourselves a hole we could not get out of.”
At halftime, James Clemens led 23-13.
Na’Vante Williams led all scorers with 15 points, the bulk of which was scored at the free-throw line. Kaleb Smith added 12 points for Decatur, followed by Chandler Boy and Sean Elliott, who added six apiece.
For the game, James Clemens shot 49 percent (17-for-35), going 4-for-12 from the 3-point line, while Decatur shot 32 percent.
“Right now we control our own destiny, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Tiggs said.
James Clemens girls 42, Decatur 29: The Jets (11-8, 3-1) took advantage of the Raiders’ offensive breakdown in the first half, using man-to-man pressure to limit Decatur to two points in the second quarter.
Hailey Hicks shined for James Clemens, claiming 10 points, five assists and six steals in the game while Markayla Parker added 14 rebounds, leaving Decatur trailing 28-9 at half.
For Decatur (4-12, 1-2), Taneisha Johnson led scoring with 10 points, six rebounds and two assists, followed by Charity Watkins, who scored six points and added three rebounds.
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