Duncanville girls eliminate Euless Trinity

ARLINGTON -- Sue Cannon expressed the thought of many area girls basketball coaches.

“Every time we’re in the playoffs,’’ the Euless Trinity coach said as her players filed out of the locker room, “we always have to play Duncanville.

“I’m sick of losing to Duncanville.’’

Cannon’s frustration is understandable following a 59-49 season-ending loss to the Pantherettes in the area round of the Class 5A Region I area playoff game Thursday night at Arlington Sam Houston High School.

Trinity went 0-3 against Duncanville this season and 31-2 against everybody else.

Duncanville has ended Trinity’s playoff hopes on two other occasions in the last eight years: 2008 in a regional quarterfinal and 2003 in a regional final.

Duncanville, 67 times a girls basketball district champion, had to settle for third in District 7-5A this season. But as its 33-3 record indicates, the tradition-rich program is still to be avoided in the playoffs. Its last two postseason appearances netted berths in Region I finals.

Depth made the difference in the fourth quarter against Trinity.

“I tried to rest 'em to make sure we were fresh,’’ Duncanville coach Cathy Self-Morgan said.

It is a luxury teams with a lesser bench cannot afford.

Guard Empress Davenport led a balanced Duncanville attack with 15 points. Backcourt mate Ashley Roberts and post Bunny Williams each scored 13 and forward Akil Simpson had 10.

Said Cannon: “I think at the end we were tired. In hindsight, maybe it would have been better to slow down more and run our offense. Duncanville is just so quick, so athletic.’’

Tempo was no problem in the first half when Trinity, the District 5-5A champion, led my as many as seven points. Its advantage was four points at halftime.

Duncanville, six times a state champion (most recently in 2003), took control during a four-minute Trinity scoreless stretch midway in the second half. The Pantherettes were solid in their delay game and at the free throw line in the final minutes, withstanding a couple of 3-point baskets by leading Trinity scorer Nikki Moody (21 points).

Duncanville advances to the regional quarterfinal round to meet the winner of Friday’s Irving MacArthur-Lewisville area-round game. MacArthur, the 7-5A champion, swept Duncanville in the season series.