Written by SportsDayDFW.com
For six Duncanville seniors, end of streak also signals end of high school careers
AUSTIN — The streak is over.
Top-ranked and formerly unbeaten Duncanville lost a thriller against No. 2 Manvel, 58-53, in the Class 5A championship Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center.
Duncanville’s winning streak ended at 105 games, snapped by a star-studded Manvel team hungry for its rematch against the two-time defending state champion.
Duncanville will attempt to start a new streak and return to Austin next season with only one returning starter and a largely new supporting cast.
Gone are senior stars Ariel Atkins and Tasia Foman,along with four other seniors. Atkins and Foman, both Texas signees, were starters for all of Duncanville's winning streak and its three trips to the state finals.
Sophomore Ciera Johnson figures to be the centerpiece of next year’s team.
The 6-4 transfer from Red Oak struggled in the championship game, tallying just three points and seven rebounds. But she notched a double-double in Duncanville’s semifinal victory against San Antonio Wagner on Friday.
Johnson scored 21 points, snared 16 rebounds and had two blocks in that game.
After Johnson’s phenomenal semifinal performance, Duncanville coach Cathy Self-Morgan said fans haven’t seen anything yet.
Johnson is the type of player who will have a number of schools clamoring for her services in two years. She still needs to work on finishing under the basket, which was evident Saturday, but her size and her school’s winning tradition will make her an asset for any college program.
A number of other Duncanville players factored into the rotation this year, and with so many lopsided games, there was plenty of experience to be gained.
Sophomore Madison Townley saw nine minutes of action in the semifinal. The 5-11 forward tallied two points, three rebounds, an assist and a block. She was the first player off the bench Saturday, but she didn't take a shot in 10 minutes of playing time.
Other returning players include sophomores Korie Leary, Rosie Davis and Tae Davis, who did not see substantial time this season. Tae Davis, a freshman, played one minute Saturday after most of Duncanville's top players were sidelined after fouling out.
Duncanville will also gain Jasmin Taylor, a talented junior who transferred from Irving MacArthur. Taylor’s transfer was blocked by a district and state executive committee, but she stands to be eligible in January.