Decatur girls basketball falls to Kentridge at home

Gator girls have three games remaining in the regular season.

The Decatur High School girls basketball team has been on a roller coaster ride so far this season. But right now, they are stuck in a corkscrew upside down trying to get back to level.

After a 59-48 loss to Kentridge on Jan. 22, the Gators have now lost three straight and sit in fourth place in the NPSL standings at 5-4 — and now will probably be on the road in the first round of districts.

It was an emotional night for five players and Head Coach Mo Anderson, whose daughter Jordan was honored along with four teammates before the game for senior night. His focus was on the game and a little stressful for expectations.

“But seeing her walk through there was crazy. 18 years went by so fast. I’m just blessed that she is here and doing what she loves to do,” Mo Anderson said.

Decatur brought some physical defensive play against the Chargers, and Kentridge answered that physical test. Both sides reached the bonus in the first quarter, and at one point midway through the quarter, 50% of the points were free-throws.

“We kind of told them that Kentridge was trying to be more physical than us. We had opportunities to take advantage of it and just messed up a little bit,” Anderson said.

In the second quarter, Decatur found its legs on offense and closed the Chargers’ lead. After Maili Ili lay-up, Decatur found themselves behind by just two points, 18-20, at the end of an 11-0 run.

But Kentridge answered right back with a 7-0 run and eventually took a 31-21 lead into halftime.

“Seeing the other team score, then we go down and don’t score and then they score again is depleting,” said Anderson. “We were just trying to tell them they work so hard on defense, go reward themselves on offense.”

Coming out of the break, Decatur was on fire from three-point land. Over the second and third quarter, Decatur made seven three-pointers. They Gators even made contested three-point shots.

“We hit a few of those tonight and I was like ‘What is going on?!’ I was happy they made them and getting them confident in their shots and really just abilities,” said Anderson.

The Gators struggled to get much offense going in the fourth quarter, scoring just one made basket from the field — a Jordan Anderson three-pointer — and five free throws.

Free-throw making was a problem for Decatur in the loss.

“We missed 19-20 free-throws tonight. Sometimes you don’t get that many chances every game,” Anderson said.

Decatur has struggled with inconsistency throughout this season. The Gators have some big wins against quality opponents like Kentwood, Lynnwood and Rogers (Puyallup). But the losses have stung Decatur against Kentridge (twice), Kennedy and Tahoma.

The road doesn’t get easier for the Gators as they end their year against Kentwood on the road, Tahoma at home and then Mount Rainier on the road Jan. 30. For Decatur to build momentum, it starts with doing the little things: “We can get back to it. We have to box out, make our lay-ups and free throw, “ Anderson said.