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story.lead_photo.caption Photo by Mike Eckels Decatur's Garry Woods (center) pulled down a rebound midway through the first quarter of the Decatur-Exeter senior basketball contest at Peterson Gym in Decatur on Friday. The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers, 76-56, in the first home game of the season.

DECATUR -- The sound of thunder reverberated throughout Peterson Gym Friday when the Decatur Bulldogs returned home for their first home game of the season, playing host to the Exeter (Mo.) Tigers.

The bleachers at Peterson were three-quarters full as students, parents, Bulldog fans, and a small but vocal crowd of Tiger fans all came out to show their support for their favorite teams. What they got was nonstop action -- exactly what they paid to see.

The Bulldogs hit the court with the same style and intensity reminiscent of the 2A regular season championship team of three years ago. In the first minute of the opening quarter, Decatur amassed six points. Exeter was held scoreless for three minutes as the Bulldogs' lead grew to nine. By the end of the first quarter, Decatur held a 10-point lead over Exeter, 18-8.

The Tigers mounted a short rally midway through the second quarter, cutting the Bulldog lead down to one with 2:48 left in the first half. But 10 seconds later, Taylor Haisman hit a three-point shot and ignited a Decatur drive that effectively ended the Exeter effort. At the halftime break, the Bulldogs held a five-point advantage, 34-29, over the Tigers.

Decatur continued to dominate Exeter in the third quarter, racking up 23 total points. Of that total, Haisman amassed 13 points, two of which were three-pointers. Tiger fans tried to keep their team in the contest by out-cheering the Bulldog fans. But the Tigers simply ran out of steam as the Bulldogs built a commanding 12-point lead, 57-45, going into the final quarter of play.

Decatur continued to build its lead, hitting 16 points in the final three minutes. Exeter caught its second wind and whittled the Bulldog lead to 10, but it was simply not enough as the Decatur Bulldogs continued to dominate in the final two minutes of play, building their lead to 20 at the end. The final was 76-56 in favor of the Bulldogs.

Decatur coach John Unger put the second string into the last 90 seconds of the contest, including Kelvin Moreno. Moreno, the shortest player for Decatur, stepped up to the three-point line on the right wing and launched a perfect shot that hit its mark for three. Peterson Gym erupted into the loudest outburst of the night.

Taylor Haisman had one of his best nights of the season, earning a career-high 35 points, five of which were three-pointers. Ryan Ross was the second leading scorer for the second game in a row, with 12. Levi Newman had 9, followed by Garry Woods with 4. Kelvin Moreno, Alex Lee, Jimmy Mendoza and Dylan Wells each had 3. Rounding off the scoring effort was Cayden Bingham with 2.

Sports on 11/22/2017

Print Headline: Haisman hit career high as Bulldogs take second victory of season

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