Erich Schlegel - Special Contributor The Frank Erwin Center in Austin will again host the UIL girls basketball state tournament this weekend. Some familiar faces, including Duncanville's undefeated squad, will be back on the court. Scroll through to see some of the other teams and players to watch for this weekend.
Michael Ainsworth - Staff Photographer Duncanville - 5A Region I / Top-ranked Duncanville (34-0) is the team to beat at state. It is riding a 104-game winning streak and is looking for its third consecutive Class 5A state title. Duncanville has not lost a game since 2011, and it is in its 23rd state tournament.
Michael Ainsworth - Staff Photographer Ariel Atkins, G / Duncanville - Her 17.6 points and 6 rebounds per game are enough to show how dangers Atkins can be with our without the ball in her hands. In the three regional rounds, she averaged 20 points per game, with a 32-point barrage against Arlington Bowie. For comparison, Bowie's whole team put up 32 points the entire night.
Michael Ainsworth - Staff Photographer Tiara Davenport, F / Duncanville - Adding support for Atkins is another member of the dangerous Duncanville lineup, Tiara Davenport. She was the lead scorer in the region I championship game against Hurst L.D. Bell, putting up 21 points.
Matt Strasen - Special contributer Plano West - 5A Region II / Plano West rebounded from the loss of Tyara Warren, its lone returning starter, to an ACL injury in November. Buoyed by a talented group of juniors and sophomores, as well as its energetic first-year coach, West is back in the state tournament for the first time since 2006.
Matt Strasen - Special contributer Natalie Chou, G / Plano West - Chou leads the team with 17.4 points per game while helping propel the young squad. Teammate Sydney Skinner averages 9.2 points, and sophomore Callie Owens chips in 7.7 points off the bench.
Michael Ainsworth - Staff Photographer McKinney North - 5A Region II / McKinney North, which was ranked atop the Dallas-area 4A rankings most of the season, doesn’t have a player taller than 6-foot, but the team is loaded with quickness. It forces numerous turnovers with its pressure defense and excels in transition, and the strategy has paid off, as North is in its first-ever state tournament.
Mike Stone - Special Contributor Chanterria Jackson, F / McKinney North - Jackson is the team leader in points per game with 11.9. She and teammate Mikaehla Connor are both putting up more than 11 points per game this season.
Mark M. Hancock - Special Contributor Mikaehla Connor, F / McKinney North - Connor forms the other main element of North's attack, averaging 11.4 points per game. Connor and Chanterria Jackson have been integral in McKinney North's 15-game winning streak heading into state.
Matt Garnett - Matt Garnett Argyle - 3A Region II / While the headlines were about the bizarre ending to the Argyle-Celina double overtime regional final, there is no question that this young Argyle team can play. In five playoff games, Argyle has won by an average of 20 points (and that is including the one-point win over Celina).
Matt Garnett - Matt Garnett Vivian Gray, F / Argyle - Gray scored a team-high 17 points and made the game-winning free throw with 4.8 seconds left in the second overtime in Saturday’s win over Celina in the regional final. She is averaging 13.2 points and 6.6 rebounds and is shooting 52.9 percent from the field.
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