Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Skyline's defense in a zone in 50-32 Region II quarterfinal win over Plano girls basketball
Plano can’t penetrate zone as Skyline reaches regional semifinals
RICHARDSON — Skyline has allowed more than 40 points in a game only once since December, and its feisty man-to-man defense is a big reason why.
But Skyline proved Tuesday that it could play an effective zone, too, and used it to shut down Plano, 50-32, in a 5A Region II quarterfinal at Richardson Pearce.
Whatever scheme it chooses to use, Skyline knows defense is key to its success.
“We push defense,” coach Cassandra McCurdy said. “When we’re playing defense the way Skyline should play defense, we feel like we always have a chance to win.”
Plano trailed 26-18 at halftime but narrowed the deficit to three at the start of the fourth quarter.
Skyline took control, though, and finished on a 19-4 run to sprint into the regional tournament. Skyline will face the Klein Collins-Spring Dekaney winner in a regional semifinal 8 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center in Waco.
“It’s been three years since we’ve been to the regional tournament,” McCurdy said. “The kids are hungry, and we’re feeling good right now.”
Skyline (29-9) dabbled with multiple zones to limit Plano’s post players, and the strategy proved effective.
Post Marina Lilly limited her Plano counterpart, Wilma Afunugo, to four points and 1-of-8 shooting. Afunugo entered the game averaging a team-high 14.6 points.
Plano guards struggled to penetrate the zone and failed to take advantage when they found open shots. Plano shot 23 percent and was 2-for-19 in the fourth quarter.
Lilly, who signed with Nicholls State, scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Plano (26-8), the District 10-5A co-champion, was in the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2003.
Plano senior forward Grace Mitchell scored a team-high 15 points.
“This senior class recharged Plano girls basketball,” Plano coach Lynn Meger said. “They left a good legacy and a good foundation for next year’s group to piggy-back on.”