Connect with us


Girls basketball playoffs: State champion Duncanville routs Mesquite Horn; Sachse wins at the buzzer — again



PLANO, TX— Duncanville girls basketball coach LaJeanna Howard has a simple strategy when it comes to defense: shut everybody down.

The Pantherettes were masters of that message for about a quarter and a half on Tuesday, and that included the best scorer in the area.

Defending Class 6A state champion Duncanville went on a 28-5 rampage in the third and fourth quarters, humbling what had been a decent effort by Mesquite Horn before Duncanville ran away with an 82-52 win in a Class 6A area-round playoff game at Loos Fieldhouse.

Duncanville simply wore Horn down in the run, and in the end scored three baskets in 13 seconds off three steals, with Amaya Bernard scoring the last to give Duncanville a 77-46 edge with 1:47 remaining. Bernard and SMU signee Zaria Rufus led Duncanville with 13 points apiece, with Rufus anchoring the offense with nine fourth-quarter points.

While Duncanville had balanced offense, with five players in double figures, it was defense that ruled the night. The Pantherettes had a 27-8 edge in steals, led by six from Tristen Taylor to go with 11 points.

“We just had to calm down as a team and play the game we practice,” Taylor said. “We listened to our coach in the second half and did what she told us. We played way better in the second half.”

Duncanville (26-2), ranked No. 3 in the state by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, will play Cedar Hill in the 6A Region II quarterfinals. Horn (23-5), ranked No. 9 in area, had not advanced past the area round in the past four seasons.

Horn’s standout scorer, Mississippi State signee Jasmine Shavers, did lead all players with 30 points. Shavers, who led all area players with 25.3 points per game in the regular season, had 20 points in the first half thanks to a variety of drives and step-back jumpers.

Shavers, the area’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2021, scored the last six in the half and made a driving basket as time expired to cut Duncanville’s lead to 39-28. In Duncanville’s big run however — in which Shavers was often double-teamed — she was limited to one free throw, and she ended up being Horn’s lone double-figure scorer.

“We had to send another defender at her and mixed things up. We actually put more pressure on people who were passing her the ball to cause more turnovers, and we just kept running,” Howard said. “We want to shut everybody down. That young lady (Shavers) earned the buckets she got. We have a mind-set to not give anybody anything.”

Duncanville also enjoyed a 45-30 edge in rebounds, led by 6-3 post Kiersten Johnson, who was superb in the paint with 10 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Syracuse signee Nyah Wilson came off the bench to add 11 points, five assists and four steals for Duncanville.