Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Duncanville girls make statement with third straight Sandra Meadows title
DUNCANVILLE — The stall is not a typical tactic of the Duncanville girls basketball team, but it came in handy in the championship game of the 63rd Sandra Meadows Classic.
Duncanville, No. 1 in the Class 5A state rankings, defeated Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young, 60-46, for its third straight Meadows title Saturday night at Meadows Arena.
Guard Ariel Atkins, the tournament MVP, led Duncanville (19-0) with 32 points. The 5-11 senior added a game-high seven rebounds.
“We wanted to make a statement tonight about Texas basketball,” Atkins said.
Backcourt mate Tasia Foman, named the tournament’s outstanding defender, added 22 points.
The target for Young (12-1), Chicago public school city champion the last five seasons, was Duncanville’s winning streak, which stands at 89.
Duncanville built a 21-point halftime lead by creating turnovers and then turning them into easy baskets with its advantage in quickness.
Young mounted a comeback, turning it into more of a half-court game in the second half, finally closing within 49-41 with 3:45 remaining.
“They were coming back on us and we started missing our shots,” said Pantherettes coach Cathy Self-Morgan. “We’ve worked on the delay in some games this season, but we really haven’t needed it. I don’t like to go to it with more than four minutes to go.”
Young was unable to pry the ball away while Duncanville chewed two minutes off the clock. When Young was forced to foul, Foman converted six straight free throws to put the game away.
Junior Tantina Allen, the tournament’s outstanding offensive player, led Young with 14 points.
It marks the 21st time Duncanville has won its tournament. But as for the winning streak, work remains to be done. The tournament’s namesake coached the Pantherettes to 134 consecutive wins from 1987 to 1991.
Third place: Manvel (21-2), ranked No. 2 in the state in 5A, defeated No. 14 Plano West (14-4), 65-57. Plano West sophomore forward Natalie Chou led all scorers with 25 points.
Silver bracket: San Antonio Brennan, top-ranked in the coaches’ state Class 4A rankings, held off Colleyville Heritage, 41-32, in the trophy game.
Consolation finalist: After losing in the opening round to host Duncanville, Richardson, No. 25 in the state 5A rankings, strung three wins together to reach Saturday’s consolation final. Fullerton (Calif.) Troy ended the Lady Eagles’ run, 43-39. Sophomore Arleighshya McElroy scored 34 points for Richardson in its two Saturday games.
Familiar foes: The fifth-place game matched two Arkansas entries, Little Rock Hall and Conway, with Hall taking a 72-59 win. The schools play in the same league and had met two weeks earlier, a 92-91 Conway win.
MVP: Ariel Atkins, Duncanville
Barbara Sitanggan, Fullerton (Calif.) Troy
Shaylan Coleman, Richardson
Jordan Danbury, Conway (Ark.)
Rakia Lane, Little Rock (Ark.) Hall
Shakyla Hill, Little Rock (Ark.) Hall
Artavia Ford, Colleyville Heritage
Carlie Heineman, San Antonio Brennan
Tanaeya Boclair, San Antonio Brennan
Morgann Yancey, Plano West
Natalie Chou, Plano West
Rangie Bessard, Manvel
Brianna Turner, Manvel
Madinah Muhammad, Chicago (Ill.) Young
Keyana Smith, Duncanville
Outstanding offensive player: Tatina Allen, Chicago (Ill.) Young
Outstanding defensive player: Tasia Foman, Duncanville