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Girls basketball playoffs: Plano East rolls past state No. 5 Arlington Martin; SGP rallies to beat Plano



PLANO, TX – Without a senior on the squad and totally overlooked in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ state poll, Plano East is a well-guarded secret but will not be able to remain in the shadows if it keeps playing like this.

Underdog Plano East used full-court pressure to hound a solid Arlington Martin team into 19 turnovers in a convincing 50-40 victory in a Class 6A Region I quarterfinal Wednesday night at Skyline’s J.D. Mayo Gymnasium.

Plano East (19-3), undefeated champion of District 6-6A, stretched its winning streak to 18. Its only three losses have been to teams ranked No. 2, 3 and 4 in the state poll.

The Panthers advance to the regional semifinal round to face the winner of Thursday’s Southlake Carroll vs. Keller Timber Creek game.

Martin (20-5), ranked No. 5 in the state, came up short in a bid to reach the regional semifinal round for the second consecutive season.

“We’re underdogs,” said junior guard Donavia Hall, who led Plano East with 18 points. “People have been doubting us all year. But we owe our turnaround to our coach, Jessica Linson. She has changed us in so many ways, making us better on and off the court.”

Linson does not mind the slighting from TABC, which ranks 25 teams in each classification, but is puzzled.

“How we are not ranked? That’s a question,” Linson said. “We’ve done our part. I guess we just aren’t getting the attention.”

The teams presented a contrast in their makeup, with Martin leaning heavily on its senior class while Plano East is without a senior on its roster.

Three of Martin’s seniors will be playing in college next year — Mariah Roberts at TCU, Autumn Smith at Louisiana Tech and Taliah Hill at Lamar. Yet another senior, Genesis Pace, led Martin in scoring with 12 points, and Smith had 11.

Plano East’s pressure defense in the opening quarter forced seven Martin turnovers to spark a quick double-digit lead.

“Watching them on film, I thought they had difficulty at times with pressure. But they have so much experience, that was my biggest fear.,” Linson said.

Tiana Amos finished with 10 points for Plano East.

South Grand Prairie 60, Plano 51: UNLV signee Kiara Jackson scored 23 points to lead a huge second-half rally by South Grand Prairie in a 6A Region I quarterfinal.

SGP (23-2), ranked No. 4 in the state, trailed 32-21 at halftime but outscored Plano 39-19 in the second half. South Grand Prairie will play the winner of Thursday’s Keller vs. North Crowley game.

Jahcelyn Hartfield added 13 points for South Grand Prairie, and Vasana Kearney scored 10. Louisiana Tech signee Amaya Brannon led Plano with 18 points.

Mansfield Legacy 49, Grapevine 28: Maddie Griggs and Savannah Catalon scored 14 points apiece as the state’s seventh-ranked 5A team won a Region I quarterfinal and extended its winning streak to 25 games. Catalon recently surpassed 1,000 career points in just her second year of high school.

Coniah Cooley scored 12 points for Legacy. Legacy (27-1) advanced to play No. 8 Lubbock Cooper at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Hardin-Simmons.

Wichita Falls Rider 53, Lake Dallas 52: In a matchup of state-ranked 5A teams, No. 14 Lake Dallas missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer — it rimmed out — allowing No. 3 Wichita Falls Rider to escape with the regional quarterfinal win.

Lake Dallas couldn’t have started the third-round playoff game any better, jumping out to a 13-point lead. Rider slowly chipped into the Lady Falcons’ lead, and Rider took just its third lead of the game — and first since the opening quarter — on a 3-pointer from Jill Leslie with 54 seconds left.

“That’s something [Rider] has done and the reason why they are the number three team and only have two losses,” Lake Dallas coach Jordan Davis said. “They are never out of it. We told the girls that they’re not going away, and they didn’t.”

Rider was led in scoring by Jaylnn Bristow, who finished with 20 points. Leslie added 10.

Lake Dallas (24-6) was trying to reach the regional semifinals for the second straight year and got 20 points from Mackenzie Buss. Camryn Richardson chipped in nine and Jorja Elliott and Allie Buchanan each finished with eight points. Lake Dallas made eight 3-pointers.

But going into the fourth quarter, Rider only trailed by six. Lake Dallas scored just seven points the rest of the way.

The key for Rider was a quick 3:12 stretch midway through the final quarter. Buss had just hit a 3-pointer to give Lake Dallas a 48-41 lead with 5:30 remaining.

Rider proceeded to rattle off a 9-2 run, highlighted by a layup from Addison Self, who was fouled on the play and made the ensuing free throw to trim the deficit to two. On Rider’s next possession. Self buried another contested shot to tie the score at 50 with 2:18 left.

Lake Dallas reclaimed the lead, albeit briefly, as Leslie buried what proved to be the game-winner with 54 seconds left.

Red Oak 54, Highland Park 48: Breanna Davis and North Texas signee Aniyah Johnson combined to score all but eight of Red Oak’s points in the 5A Region II quarterfinal.

Davis had 26 points and seven assists for Red Oak (24-5), and Johnson added 20 points and 13 rebounds. Red Oak, ranked No. 19 in the state, led by one at halftime and outscored No. 25 Highland Park 27-22 in the second half.

Red Oak will play No. 12 Wylie East in the regional semifinals.

Wylie East 50, Frisco Lone Star 42: Wylie East got double-doubles from A’Kasha Davis and Taylor Dailey and never trailed in the 5A Region II quarterfinal.

Davis had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Dailey finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Keyera Roseby added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Frisco Liberty 33, Frisco Memorial 28: Defending 5A state champion Frisco Liberty continued another deep playoff run, beating District 9-5A rival Frisco Memorial. Liberty, the No. 3 seed from 9-5A, will play North Forney in the 5A Region II semifinals.

North Forney 50, Royse City 47: North Forney closed the game on a 20-13 run and got a game-high 24 points from Raven Busby.

Bridgeport 37, Argyle 36: After reaching a state championship game each of the past seven seasons, Argyle lost in a 4A Region I quarterfinal.

After putting on a shooting clinic in the first half and burying seven 3-pointers, Argyle took a 30-24 lead over Bridgeport into halftime. But the Lady Eagles struggled to get anything going in the second half, managing just six points in the final two quarters. Yet with 10.5 seconds left, Argyle found itself in a position to win.

A jump ball gave the Lady Eagles one last chance to escape with the victory, but neither of Argyle’s shots on the ensuing possession went down, as Bridgeport escaped with the win.

Argyle tied the score at 35-35 on a steal and transition layup by Ashlin Crabtree with just over two minutes left. Crabtree put the Lady Eagles up 36-35 seconds later after splitting a pair of free throws.

Madi Lumsden grabbed an offensive rebound, and as Argyle tried to run down the clock, turned the ball over which led to a Bridgeport layup and 37-36 lead.

Reece Waddell

Pinkston 47, Kennedale 38: Victoria Flores had 12 points, four rebounds and four steals to lead the state’s 23rd-ranked 4A team to victory.

Dejarae Thomas added 11 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals for Pinkston (24-5). Pinkston will play the winner of Thursday’s Sunnyvale vs. Brownsboro game in the 4A Region II semifinals.