Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Duncanville stretches win streak to 105 with semifinal victory vs. SA Wagner
AUSTIN — Duncanville has been so dominant this postseason, even a 23-point win can seem pedestrian.
That was the case in the Pantherettes’ 80-57 victory against San Antonio Wagner in a Class 5A state semifinal Friday at the Frank Erwin Center.
“I didn’t even have a clue we had 80 points,” Duncanville coach Cathy Self-Morgan said. “It felt a lot closer than that. But having that competition for 32 minutes is great for us.”
The win was Duncanville’s 105th straight, and the top-ranked Pantherettes are one win away from a third consecutive state title. They will face No. 2 Manvel — a 69-38 winner over No. 11 Plano West — in the championship at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Duncanville (35-0) jumped out to a 17-2 lead before Wagner inched its way back into the game. Wagner trimmed the deficit to five points in the second quarter, trailing 34-29, but the score was never that close again.
The 23-point win matched the closest anybody has come this postseason. Duncanville entered Friday’s game averaging a 38-point margin of victory in the playoffs, blowing past a Region I field that included five of the state’s top 10 teams.
Duncanville scored 58 points in the paint and outscored Wagner 25-7 in second-chance points. Sophomore center Ciera Johnson notched a double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Duncanville outrebounded Wagner 57-31 behind Johnson’s solid post play.
“Our three posts have come on strong,” Self-Morgan said. “They’re playing like beasts now.”
Duncanville’s feisty guard duo of Tasia Foman and Ariel Atkins, both signed to Texas, combined for 46 points.
Wagner (25-11) managed to remain competitive with 41.4 percent shooting in the first half. Duncanville’s size and athleticism, though, eventually wore Wagner down. The Pantherettes led by as many as 27 in the fourth quarter.
“We weren’t worried about how big they were, their record, their win streak,” Wagner guard Ashley Ross said. “We just wanted to come out and give it our all.”
Duncanville vs. Manvel
8:30 p.m. Saturday, Frank Erwin Center, Austin (FSSW)
Previous titles: 8 (1976, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1997, 2003, 2012, 2013)
Semifinal: def. San Antonio Wagner, 80-57
Key players: G Ariel Atkins (18 points, four rebounds in semifinal); G Tasia Foman (28 points, nine rebounds, four assists in semifinal); C Ciera Johnson (21 points, 16 rebounds in semifinal).
Notable: Duncanville's 105th consecutive win was tougher than some expected, as the state's top-ranked team didn't pull away until midway through the third quarter. Duncanville had to overcome foul trouble and cold shooting (2-for-12 from 3-point range and 12-for-22 on free throws), but it outrebounded Wagner, 57-31. ... In Duncanville's five state tournament games in the last three seasons, its smallest margin of victory is 22.
Previous titles: None. First trip to state tournament
Semifinal: def. Plano West
Key players: F Brianna Turner (averages 20.9 points, 11.2 rebounds); F Rangie Bessard (14.6 points, 9.3 rebounds); F Jordan Hosey 14.2 points, seven rebounds).
Notable: Manvel and Duncanville share a common opponent in Chicago’s Whitney Young. Manvel lost, 66-33, and Duncanville beat Whitney Young, 60-46. … Turner signed with Notre Dame, Bessard with Minnesota, and Hosey is committed to Texas. … Turner notched a double-double in the second quarter of Manvel’s semifinal victory against West. She went into halftime with 14 points and 10 rebounds.