Gainesville — The Decatur Eagles used a 12-0 run in the second half to turn a close game into an easy 60-44 win over the Gainesville Leopards Tuesday night at the GHS gym.
The win keeps Decatur atop the standings in District 9-3A with a 3-0 record, while Gainesville falls to 2-1.
The Leopards trailed most of the game, but were still within four points at 43-39 late in the third quarter before the Eagles used a 3-pointer by Holt Garner to start their run. Demetrius Franklin hit a bucket midway through the fourth period to end Gainesville's scoring drought, but by then the home team was already down 55-41.
The Leopards led early 6-5 after buckets by Franklin and Jonathan Mendez, but Decatur (16-5 overall) scored the next 10 points to open a 15-6 lead and never trailed after that.
Gainesville (10-7 overall) did keep it close for much of the next two quarters. Landon Bond scored six points as the Leopards got within 19-15 early in the second. Later in the quarter, they got within two (26-24) as Ashton Neu scored and was fouled and Mendez followed with a basket. But Decatur scored the next eight points to go up by 10.
The Leopards closed the half with a bucket by Kisean Jackson and a free throw by Devin Mims to get within seven at halftime.
The Eagles came out with four quick points in the third period to increase their lead to double digits, but again Gainesville had an answer as Neu hit a layup, Franklin swished two free throws and Jackson scored inside to make it 38-33 with 4:43 left in the period.
The deficit shrank to four (43-39) as Nick Welch and Bond hit field goals, but that's when the Eagles started their run that put the game away.
Mendez finished with 12 points for Gainesville, while Bond added 8, Franklin scored 7, Jackson and Neu both had 5, Mims added 3, Welch had 2, and Lilton Moore and Garrett Cooper both added 1.
For Decatur, Phillip Walker and Cain Lowe both scored 14.