Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Girls basketball playoff preview: Best games, players to watch, class breakdowns
First-round games to watch
Skyline (28-6) vs. McKinney (19-10): Skyline earned a share of the District 9-5A title but fell to the No. 2 seed in a coinflip. McKinney has quality wins this season against Garland Naaman Forest, West Mesquite and Plano.
Carrollton Newman Smith (19-7) vs. Frisco Centennial (18-10): Both teams ended the season on a low note. Newman Smith lost to West Mesquite for the district title Jan. 28, and Frisco Centennial lost its final two games of the season.
Richardson (27-6) vs. McKinney Boyd (11-16): Boyd’s record isn’t intimidating, but it won its final three games of the season to earn a playoff berth. Richardson won a share of the 9-5A title with Skyline.
Flower Mound (18-11) vs. Colleyville Heritage (21-12): Heritage took third place behind Hurst L.D. Bell and Irving MacArthur in a challenging District 6-5A. Flower Mound features sophomore Lauren Cox, the nation’s top 2016 recruit.
Watch out for…
Mansfield Timberview: There’s too much talent here to overlook. Senior signees JaLea Bennett (Arizona), Terriell Bradley (Kansas) and Dayo Olabode (Texas Tech) make Timberview a threat to beat anybody.
Hurst L.D. Bell: It’s hard to get a read on this 25-2 squad, which played only one team from SportsDay’s area 5A rankings. It finished the season on the right note, though, beating then-No. 6 Irving MacArthur, 49-44.
Carrollton Newman Smith: The team fell one basket shy of beating West Mesquite for the 10-4A crown. Senior forward Alexis Nezianya averages 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds.
Bryan Adams: The District 12-4A champion proved its victory to snap Lincoln’s 122-game district winning streak was no fluke. Bryan Adams beat Lincoln again to close out the regular season, 59-54.
Best in class
Duncanville (29-0): Looking to win a third straight state title for the second time in school history.
Flower Mound Marcus (27-2): Its only losses this season came against state No. 1 Duncanville and No. 9 Pflugerville.
McKinney North (23-4): North hasn’t lost since its appearance in the prestigious Sandra Meadows Classic on Dec. 27.
Frisco Liberty (24-3): Was perfect in District 9-4A for the second season in a row.
Argyle (30-1): Dispatched rival Celina twice in district play to claim a perfect district season.
Celina (24-6): Owns wins against 5A playoff contenders McKinney Boyd, Plano and Euless Trinity.
Filling the stat sheet
Natalie Chou, Plano West: With one of the smoothest jump shots in the area, Chou averages 17.9 points.
Lauren Cox, Flower Mound: The 6-4 sophomore post averages 18.4 points and 14 boards.
Bria Frierson, Frisco Liberty: North Texas signee led No. 2 Liberty to a 9-4A title with 13.6 points, 7.8 rebounds per game.
Alexandria Gulley, Skyline: The junior, who is committed to Baylor, averages 13.8 points, 3.9 assists.
Tory Jacobs, Irving MacArthur: Minnesota signee is a threat anywhere on court. Buried 54 3-pointers and grabbed 201 rebounds.
Kennedy Leonard, Southlake Carroll: The Colorado pledge averages 13.1 points, 8.3 assists.
Arleighshya McElroy, Richardson: Sophomore guard helped Richardson earn a share of the 9-5A title. Averages 18 points, 4.6 rebounds.
Kara Mitchell, Plano: Junior guard led Plano with 15.1 points, 4.5 assists per game.
Mariah Mitchell, McKinney: The Arkansas signee is one of three 5A players in the area averaging more than 20 points per game.
Alisha Washington, Lincoln: Speedy guard leads Class 4A with 22.6 points per game. Signed with New Mexico State.
Ending the drought
These 4A and 5A teams are in the playoffs for the first time in a number of years.
South Grand Prairie
Mansfield Lake Ridge