Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Unstoppable? Duncanville rolls to 68th straight win, another berth in state tournament
Atkins pushes tempo as Duncanville gets chance to defend title
FORT WORTH — Ariel Atkins didn’t give Lubbock Coronado a chance to catch its breath Saturday afternoon.
The talented Duncanville guard pushed the ball in transition and poured in easy baskets throughout a 64-45 victory in the Class 5A Region I final at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.
Atkins scored a game-high 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting. She made the first seven shots she took, and many of them came on fast breaks after pickpocketing Coronado guards.
“She just continues to elevate,” Duncanville coach Cathy Self-Morgan said. “Thank goodness she’s only a junior.”
Top-ranked Duncanville (40-0), which is on a 68-game winning streak, is headed back to Austin to defend its 5A title in next weekend’s state tournament.
Atkins scored 10 straight points during a four-minute stretch between the third and fourth quarters. Coronado, which rallied to within a few baskets of the lead several times, didn’t have one more rally in it.
Duncanville was sharper than it had been in Friday’s 61-40 victory against No. 10 Arlington Bowie. The defense contained Coronado’s trio of post players and forced 16 turnovers. Atkins and fellow guard Tasia Foman helped convert those turnovers into 23 points.
“We had a little bit of jitters last night,” Atkins said. “We want it so bad that we get a little nervous sometimes. We just have to play our game. We have to keep pushing.”
Duncanville was the first ranked team that No. 5 Coronado faced in these playoffs. Coronado (36-2) lost its first game of the season to Canyon before ripping off 36 wins in a row to reach the regional final for the first time since 2004.
Bailey Wipff and Suzzy Dimba scored 13 points apiece for Coronado; Lizzy Dimba added 10.
“It was a great year, and we have nothing to hang our heads about,” Coronado coach Kriss Ethridge said. “We played hard, and we learned and improved throughout the year.”
Foman chipped in 13 points for Duncanville, and Antoina Robinson added 10.
Duncanville will be making its 22nd appearance at the state tournament next week.
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN.