The Duncanville Pantherettes found themselves in a very unfamiliar position going into the fourth quarter of the 6A region one finals, they were trailing 45-37 and only briefly led at 1:29 of the second quarter. The Lady Warriors had led the entire game, except for that brief moment in the first half. But the Pantherettes led when it was most important, going on an 18-2 run in the last three minutes of the game to take the 62-49 win. In fact, Duncanville outscored South Grand Prairie 25-6 in the final stanza.
SGP relied on the shooting of Amber Bacon, Jessica Ray, and Kayla Wells to dominate the first half. The Lady Warriors led 29-25 at the half, but the Pantherettes had to scramble to pull the game back to the four point spread. Duncanville trailed by eight points in the second period before briefly taking the lead for a matter of seconds.
Wells and Bacon continued their shooting streak in the third period, with Duncanville struggling to find their rhythm.
Duncanville coach Cathy Self-Morgan challenged her team going into the final period. “I asked them where was their hunger,” said Self-Morgan. “I told them that I knew they could do this, but they had to want it.”
Zarielle Green and Aniya Thomas responded to the challenge, scoring 11 points and 10 points respectively in the fourth period and accounting for 21 of the Pantherettes 25 points.
The Pantherettes had struggled defensively all night long, but going into the fourth they began to stiffen up. “We were trying to sink into the paint more and stop the drives, we were trying to make them kick out,” said Self-Morgan. “We were supposed to be doing it the entire game, but the girls didn’t decide to do it until I yelled at them at halftime.”
When asked about the difference between the Lady Warriors in district play and the team she played tonight, Self-Morgan gave all the credit to the SGP coaches and team. “They got better all season long. They were missing Amber Bacon at the first of the season and that’s why they had so many losses, but they got better every game,” said Self-Morgan. “She (South Grand Prairie head coach Samantha Morrow) is such a good coach.”
“They had us very well scouted and had all of our plays broken down. I don’t know how long they had been practicing on how to defend them. But every time I called a play they called it and set the way they were supposed to set.”
Green led the Pantherettes and all scorers with 35 points, she also claimed 10 rebounds to giver her a double-double for the game.Thomas had 20 points, 4 rebounds, a steal, and a block in the win. Starr Jacobs also contributed 6 points, but defensively she had 3 boards, 2 steals, and 3 blocks.
Wells led SGP with 20 points, while Bacon contributed 16 points in the effort.
Emotions were running high for the Duncanville coach after the game. “This one brought tears to my eyes, almost made me break down and cry,” said Self-Morgan
Duncanville will be traveling to the San Antonio Alamodome next weekend for a state semi-final game against Converse Judson from Region 4. Judson had to down Stevenson, Vista Ridge, Johnson, Alexander, and Brandeis to advance to the state finals. The other semi-final will be between Pflugerville and Cypress Ranch.
Pflugerville and Cypress Ranch will play at 7 p.m. on Friday, with Duncanville and Judson meeting in the 8:30 p.m. game.
The Championship game being played at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 4.
MyDuncanville.com will be at the games providing coverage as we have in prior years; including Twitter, Facebook, and live gamecast.
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South Grand Prairie Lady Warriors