Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Sandra Meadows Classic: DeSoto advances to quarters; No. 3 McKinney North loses heart breaker
DUNCANVILLE — DeSoto won twice in convincing fashion Thursday and became the first team to advance to the quarterfinals of the 63rd Sandra Meadows Classic at Duncanville High School.
The return of Brianna Wise has been a shot in the arm for DeSoto (12-4), an easy winner over Irving (88-34) and Denton Ryan (76-29).
For Wise, a 5-11 senior forward, it was her fourth game since coming back from an ACL injury suffered in dying moments of the final game last season.
“Coming back, I felt reborn,” said Wise, who made her return a month ahead of schedule. “I knew the team needed me. It was hard to watch games when I couldn’t play.”
Wise scored 15 points for the day, 12 coming against Ryan (5-11).
DeSoto, third-place finisher in last year’s tournament, used a full-court press to open a 29-3 lead and make short work of Ryan.
Senior guard Jasmine McClellan led DeSoto in the Irving win with 19 points.
“Even though we have a lot of seniors, we don’t have that much game experience,” said Larry Goad, in his 29th season at DeSoto. “But the girls play hard and we’ve got good chemistry.”
DeSoto’s quarterfinal is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday. It will face the winner of Friday’s top second-round game set for 10:30 a.m. between Manvel, ranked No. 2 in TABC Class 5A and San Antonio Brennan, No. 1 in 4A. The only quarterfinal set so far is Plano West vs. Conway (Ark.) at 1:30 p.m.
Tough loss: McKinney North, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, saw a three-point lead with 2.7 seconds remaining turn into a 54-53 second-round loss to Conway (Ark.)
The Lady Bulldogs, with only two seniors on their roster, led 53-50 after two free throws by Mikaehla Connor with 28 seconds remaining. It stayed that way until Conway’s Hailey Estes was fouled on a rebound with 2.7 seconds to play. Estes made her first free throw and missed the second intentionally. The rebound was batted out of bounds by McKinney North with 1.1 seconds still on the clock.
Estes came free for a layup on Conway’s inbound play to tie the score and was fouled on the shot with 0.3 seconds to go. Estes calmly sank the game-winning free throw.
Junior Chanterria Jackson led North with 18 points. Connor, a senior, had a game-high 14 points in the Lady Bulldogs’ earlier 46-42 win over San Antonio Wagner.
Pantherettes increase streak: Host Duncanville extended its winning streak to 86 with a pair of wins over state-ranked teams.
The Pantherettes (16-0), ranked No. 1 in the state, coasted past 5A No. 25 Richardson, 77-46, in the opening round behind 5-11 senior guard Ariel Atkins’ 29 points but had a tougher time shaking 15-2 Frisco Liberty, 55-45. Liberty is ranked No. 13 in 4A. Atkins was again the leading score 23 against Liberty.
Not only was Atkins’ 29 the high point total of the day, she personally outscored two teams in the first round.
Texas not only state represented: Out-of-state teams were 3-2 in the first round, with the wins coming from both Arkansas entries, Conway and Little Rock Hall, along with Whitney Young of Chicago. Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Central and Fullerton (Calif.) Troy lost in the opening round.
Player of the Day: Ariel Atkins, Duncanville
Atkins, a University of Texas signee, was the high scorer of the day with 19 points and she helped push Duncanville to a jaw-dropping 86 games.