EDMOND — Now that she's had some distance, Alie Decker sees Edmond Memorial's state championship game appearance as a blessing.
The forward and Oklahoman Super 5 team member saw her team make drastic improvements throughout her senior season, and it almost ended with a title.
Decker's potential game-winner was blocked by Edmond Santa Fe's Courtney Walker with under 10 seconds left in the Bulldogs' title-game loss.
“Many times,” Decker said of how often she replays that moment in her mind.
“There were a lot of things we could've done different, but you can't take it back.”
Edmond Memorial's state championship game appearance was its first since 1922, and Decker, who leaves as the school's all-time leading scorer, was vital to the Bulldogs' chances. Not only because of her skills, but because of her ability to adapt.
Decker was and still is very close to former Edmond Memorial coach Shane Coffey, who left after Decker's junior year to become an assistant at the University of Tulsa. So when new coach Dandy Peeler was hired, things weren't easy.
“It was really hard at first, because you're used to one coach for three years,” Decker said. “But Coach Peeler and I got to know each other and our relationship started growing, and it started to feel really natural.”
Peeler said: “I thought it was going to be tough for us to gain a relationship, but she's just an awesome player who loves the game of basketball. She's always working to improve.
“I want to be able to use her as an example throughout many years here at Memorial.”
Decker's example will live on through her two younger sisters, twin freshmen Andee and Kasey, who were both her teammates this season.
“I've absolutely loved my time playing with my sisters,” Decker said. “It'll be a time I'll cherish for the rest of my life. We've always gone up to the gym and played pick-up ball. We've always been really close.”
Decker will now move on to Wichita State to play college basketball.
“I'm just expecting to go in and work my butt off,” she said. “I hope I get to play; we'll see where my hard work takes me.”