By Meredith Qualls
The time was right for reserve guard Jawan Porter, who stepped up for Decatur High in a 62-27 win against Brewer on Tuesday.
Before the game, Red Raiders coach Jamie Lee told Porter this could be an important night for him.
“He told me before the game, ‘Your minutes will be valuable,’ so I took his word, and played the game,” Porter said.
Porter got his time on the court, playing 14 minutes. The 5-foot-9 junior guard came out with a speedy drive to ward off Brewer’s man-to-man defensive pressure, scoring nine points (4-for-5) and grabbing three rebounds for Decatur (11-13).
The Red Raiders bolstered the win early, as an 18-point run put the Red Raiders ahead 32-8 at halftime. The initial lead ushered in players from Decatur’s bench, including Porter, as Lee used the second half as an exercise in developing depth.
Max Ackley, a senior, added four points and five rebounds, while D.T. Cowan closed the game with two free throws.
“It was a complete team kind of deal,” Lee said, explaining how valuable the bench players can be are for the team.
“Just because they don’t get on the court some nights, they have to understand that they keep our guys going,” he added.
Brewer (6-18) was led by Coty Benitez with a game-high 15 points, while Kaleb Smith led Decatur with 13 points. The Patriots totaled 20 turnovers and shot 31 percent.
When asked about getting the extra minutes, Porter didn’t break his smile.
“I had my nerves in me,” Porter said. “I was trying to prove to (Lee) that I’m a good player.
Brewer girls 49, Decatur 25: The Patriots tallied up the points early to leave the Red Raiders trailing in the first half 27-6.
But the early lead wasn’t everything for Brewer coach Ricky Allen.
“It took us about three minutes to get cranked up, then for the next eight minutes we played very efficiently,” he said. “This has got to be a one-time thing for us.”
Post player Riley Northway dominated the scoreboard for Brewer (24-1), with 21 points and seven rebounds. Reserve guard Emily Oden showed up in the fourth quarter, adding nine from the 3-point mark to keep Brewer ahead by a wide margin.
For Oden, the game was a chance to settle into a bigger role, one Allen said he believes she is capable of.
“I’d like to feel more comfortable playing, and, you know, just win,” Oden said. “Anytime I’m hitting, it boosts my confidence.”
Decatur (6-21) was led by Taneisha Johnson, who scored 10 points with eight rebounds, while Constance Steele
added four points and grabbed six off the glass.
Decatur had 30 turnovers with a 30 percent shooting rate (8-for-26), while Brewer shot 32 percent (19-for-59).
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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