SNOW HILL- Stephen Decatur’s men’s varsity basketball team lost a tough one this week, falling to county rival Snow Hill, 56-52, on Tuesday on the road to relinquish its share of the lead in the Bayside South.
The two conference heavyweights squared off on Tuesday in Snow Hill with the Eagles hanging on late to defeat the Seahawks after maintaining a double-digit lead for much of the contest. The two teams entered the game tied atop the Bayside South standings with identical 12-2 overall records and 9-1 conference marks, making what is always a spirited rivalry even more important in terms of bragging rights in the conference.
Snow Hill was sharp early and quickly built a 6-1 lead before the Seahawks got on track. The Eagles extended the lead to 12-4 and later 18-6 as the first quarter closed in front of a raucous home crowd in Snow Hill. The Eagles capitalized on several early turnovers by the Seahawks to set up easy scoring opportunities down their end of the floor.
The pattern continued in the second quarter as the Snow Hill lead swelled to as many as 16 at one point before the Seahawks settled down and began to find a rhythm. In the third quarter, Decatur started taking care of the basketball a little better and opened up its offense and began chipping away at the Snow Hill lead. By the end of the third quarter, Decatur had cut the lead to just seven points and the outcome was far from decided.
The two teams went back and forth in the frantic fourth quarter, but Decatur could not get over the hump as Snow Hill made just enough baskets to keep the Seahawks at bay. Decatur did cut the lead to just three points at 53-50 with under a minute to play, but could not make the big shot to even the score. The Seahawks fouled Snow Hill in the waning seconds in an attempt to get one last look at a game-tying or winning shot, but the Eagles knocked down their free throws when they had to and held on for the 56-52 win.
Snow Hill’s four-point win on its home court avenged an earlier loss to Decatur. The Seahawks beat the Eagles, 58-50, at home back on December 15. The win put Snow Hill atop the Bayside South standings by one game over the Seahawks with the other Worcester County school, Pocomoke, lurking close behind in third.
Despite falling behind the Eagles, there is still plenty of time left for Decatur to get back on top. The Seahawks hosted Washington last night in a game played too late to be included in this edition. It was the first of four straight games at home for Decatur with a stretch that also includes Crisfield, Pocomoke and Mardela.