With his team down by 18 points at the intermission, Davie Mills challenged his Lithia Springs squad to pick up the pace.
“We had that talk at half-time and I told them that we were either going to quit or come out fighting,” Mills said.
The Lions chose the later but their comeback attempt came up short with a 47-40 Region 6-AAAAA loss to Decatur on Tuesday.
“The one thing about this team is that they have a lot of fight in them,” Mills said. “They will fight you to the end.”
Lithia Springs cut it to three points at one point but was still unable to get over the hump.
The Lions dug a hole when two of their frontline starters had to go to the bench with two fouls in the second quarter. With their strength in the paint on the bench, Decatur took advantage to outscore the Lions 20-5 in second quarter.
“That was huge for us,” Mills said. “Our reserves just wasn’t ready for the pressure that Decatur put on us. They really got our our guards. They are young with a freshman and a sophomore. They are learning and will only get better. I think we will be okay.”
Mills will be looking for his team to improve on its free throw shooting after going 8 of 27 during the game.
Center Demeara Hinds finished with a team-high 12 points while Onwumelu Adaora had 11 points.
Olivia Stephenson had 16 points to lead Decatur, which improved to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the region.
Mills commended the Bulldogs on their aggressiveness.
“You can’t take nothing away from Decatur because they are a good team,” Mills said. “They were aggressive. I’m sure they had a good practice on Monday. We sort of walked about in practice like we were the king of the world the other day. We have to play more aggressive.”
The Lions dropped to 3-5 and 2-2 heading into Friday’s region game at Banneker.
Lithia Springs plays at Chapel Hill on Saturday before hosting defending region champion Maynard Jackson on Dec. 12.
“Our main goal is to be playing well in February when the rest of the teams are at home,” Mills said. “I think we have a chance to have a good season. We just have to continue to get better and play harder.”