Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Duncanville girls' 38-point state title win 'almost unbelievable'
Duncanville grabs early 20-point lead, never looks back in blowout
AUSTIN – The University Interscholastic League was selling commemorative state tournament T-shirts throughout the Frank Erwin Center. To make the memory complete, maybe Duncanville opponents can get the shirts personalized with tread marks.
On Saturday, Spring Dekaney was merely the final bump in the road for Duncanville on its way to the Class 5A title, which the Pantherettes clinched with a 69-31 victory. Duncanville (40-1) won its seventh state title in the most lopsided 5A championship game ever.
“We’re the city of champions,” coach Cathy Self-Morgan said. “That’s what we’re supposed to do.”
But it’s not supposed to be that easy on the final day of the basketball season. Or maybe it’s just that Duncanville, which suffered its only loss to Plano West back in December, made it look easy.
Four minutes into the game, Duncanville took its first double-digit lead on a jumper by Empress Davenport, who was named the game’s MVP. With 41 seconds left in the first quarter, the lead expanded to 20 points on a fastbreak layup by Tasia Foman. And with two minutes left in the first half, Morgan Bolton’s steal and layup pushed Duncanville’s lead to 30.
It was 36-6. And the team that was getting drubbed had won 40 straight games.
“We played as a team from start to finish and we played with heart,” Davenport said. “We didn’t want to give up.”
Dekaney (40-2) didn’t want to give up, either, but it didn’t matter. And it wasn’t a surprise, other than the magnitude of the mismatch.
Duncanville knew it would be bringing home the title.
Before Duncanville battled Irving MacArthur is last week’s regional final, coach Cathy Self-Morgan proclaimed it to be the state championship game. She wasn’t being bold, she was being realistic.
The overtime win over defending champion MacArthur was the last real hurdle for the Pantherettes, who became the sixth North Texas team to win the 5A title in the last eight years. The only school to beat the locals was Houston Cypress Fairbanks, which earned a pair of state titles thanks to the Ogwumike sisters, Nnemkadi and Chiney, who are now the stars of powerhouse Stanford. Other than that, it’s been a show of strength for the Dallas area.
For Duncanville, it was quite a show on Saturday. The Pantherettes again dominated with frenetic, in-your-face defense that created 22 turnovers. They held Dekaney to only 20 percent shooting from the field.
What makes the defense so devastating is that Duncanville is always quicker than its opponent, and often at every position.
Duncanville added yoga to its training this season to get in tip-top shape, but on the court, it’s the Pantherettes that get everyone else bent out of shape. After a few minutes against that Duncanville press, teams need a few yoga-inspired cleansing breaths.
In the final, Duncanville never let Dekaney catch its breath. And Dekaney never had a chance to catch Duncanville.
It just a bump in Duncanville’s ceremonial championship lap.