Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Despite one of 'worst shooting nights,' Duncanville girls' D fuels 52-29 area playoff win over MacArthur
ARLINGTON — Duncanville’s 100th consecutive win came easy Wednesday. No. 101 was a tougher task against Irving MacArthur on Friday.
The recipe for an upset of the state’s top-ranked team was there: Duncanville didn’t shoot well, struggled to break MacArthur’s zone defense and fell into foul trouble early.
But Duncanville’s reliable, unshakeable man-to-man defense remained firm in a 52-29 area-round victory inside a noisy Arlington Seguin High School gymnasium.
“We had one of the worst shooting nights we’ve had in a long time,” Duncanville coach Cathy Self-Morgan said, “but defense wins championships, and that’s something we’ve pushed hard.”
Duncanville used a 17-point outburst in the fourth quarter to avoid scoring fewer than 50 points for the first time since its 101-game winning streak began on Dec. 6, 2011. Its 52 points matched a season low.
Duncanville advances to face fellow District 7-5A member South Grand Prairie in a Region I quarterfinal. The teams met twice during the district season, and Duncanville won both games by 25 points or more.
Senior guard Ariel Atkins, a Texas signee, struggled to find her rhythm on offense Friday, but she still finished with a game-high 14 points. Fellow Texas signee Tasia Foman added 11 points despite missing the better part of three quarters in foul trouble.
Duncanville made just two of its first 14 shots in the opening quarter. Foman picked up her fourth foul early in the third quarter, and sophomore forward Ciera Johnson — who scored a game-high 19 points against Killeen Harker Heights on Wednesday — did the same two minutes later.
In stepped senior guards Adrianna Davis and DeAndra Wheeler, who kept the pressure up on defense and chipped in a combined 10 points.
“They stepped up, and they did a great job,” Atkins said. “All of us need to be able to step up at any moment of the game. We trust each other, and all of us can play.”