FORT WORTH — The main reason Argyle is still one of 16 teams left in the 3A basketball playoffs was on full display in the second half of Tuesday night’s Region II quarterfinal.
The Lady Eagles held the Decatur Lady Eagles to one field goal in the second half and rolled to a 54-30 victory at Saginaw Chisholm Trail.
“We didn’t give an inch in the second half,” Argyle head coach Skip Townsesnd said. “We’ve been known to do that, but tonight we didn’t. Maybe that was a learning step for us right there.”
Argyle’s defense shined for the final 16 minutes of the game. Argyle, which entered the playoffs ranked second in 3A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, held Decatur without a field goal in the entire third quarter.
Argyle (33-1) advances to face Canton in the regional quarterfinals at 8 p.m. Friday at Texas A&M-Commerce. Argyle reaches the regional tournament for the first time since 2009, when it lost in the 3A final to Robinson.
Argyle freshman guard Vivian Gray led the team with 19 points and seven rebounds. Junior center Delaney Sain scored 12, while junior guard Jesse Sheridan had 10.
Argyle still has not lost to a Class 3A team this season.
Argyle opened the game strong and forced Decatur (25-6) to play from behind all night.
Besides losing the opening tip, almost everything went Argyle’s way in the first quarter.
Argyle quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and Decatur head coach Billy Garner called a timeout with 6:12 left in the quarter.
Decatur missed 11 of its 12 shots and turned the ball over five times in the first quarter.
“We didn’t come out with the intensity we needed to in to be in this kind of a playoff game,” Garner said. “We need to come out with more intensity.”
Argyle maintained a solid lead in the second quarter for a 28-15 halftime.
Townsend was pleased with the way his team was able to limit Decatur’s capable squad of getting good looks at the basket and his team’s overall play in the second half.
“When we get a lead and they turn the pressure up on us, we tend to strive to not lose the game, instead of try to win the game,” Townsend said. “Tonight I thought we did a good job of going out there and winning the game.”
Decatur’s only field goal of the second half came with a little over three minutes left in the fourth quarter, when senior guard Murphy Graham knocked down a 3-pointer to cut Argyle’s lead to 24 points.
By then, Argyle was all but on its way to Commerce for the weekend.
“I think that we just know our goal, and our big goal this year was to make it to regionals,” Sheridan said. “We came out tough, but not as good as we could have, and I think we just wanted to secure that position.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.
Argyle 54, Decatur 30
Argyle (33-1) — Vivian Gray 19, Delaney Sain 12, Madison Ralston 5, Jesse Sheridan 10, Olivia Gray 4, Bailey Eschle 2, Kaylie King 1, Allison White 1.
Decatur (25-6) — Shelby Drews 7, Murphy Graham 8, Katie Isham 9, Haley Dennard 2, Macen Stripling 2, Traci Hale 2.