Thursday, July 20, 2017 This Week's Paper

Stadium falls to Decatur despite late comeback

// Tigers control middle quarters, struggle in first and fourth

At the start and finish of their game against Decatur, Stadium was in control. It was the middle of the game – when the Tigers were outscored 25-9 in the second and third quarters – that sealed the fate of an eventual 46-42 loss at home to the Gators on Dec. 22.

“The girls didn’t give up,” said Stadium head coach Mark Stewart, adding that he could not figure out what happened to the team in the middle quarters. “I wish I knew.”

The Tigers raced out to a 15-9 lead in the first quarter thanks to solid point guard play from Angela Yun and two steals from center Luisa Wilmerstaedt, the second of which led to a last-second layup by Carli Hallis as time expired. Both teams struggled offensively early in the second quarter, with the Tigers maintaining a slim advantage, but Decatur’s Latrice Johnson hit two three-pointers late to give the Gators a 21-20 lead at the half.

Decatur carried that momentum into the third quarter, maintaining a slight advantage despite Wilmerstaedt – who finished with eight points and 14 rebounds – dominating the boards inside.

“We have a size advantage against most of the teams we play, and you saw that tonight,” said Stewart.

Decatur’s A’yesia Rogers took over late in the third, rattling off a three-pointer and back-to-back layups to give Decatur a 34-24 lead heading into the fourth.

The Tigers then made a frantic effort to get back into the game thanks to Amber Longrie, who emerged from the bench to nail three three-pointers in two minutes to cut the deficit to 39-33.

“I found a shooter,” Stewart said of Longrie, who finished with 11 points.

Wilmerstaedt and Yun followed with baskets inside, and after Decatur’s Abby McFaul hit a three-pointer, the Tigers scored two unanswered baskets to get to within 44-42. Johnson, however, sealed the win with two free throws at the other end, and the Tigers did not get a chance for the tie.

Angela Yun finished with 11 points for the Tigers while sister Amy Yun chipped in with eight points. Rogers led Decatur with 15 points, while McFaul, Johnson and Acacia Hall had nine points apiece for the Gators.

Stadium, sitting at 2-6 overall and 1-2 in league play, returns to action with a league game at Shelton on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m.