Sims leads Irv. MacArthur to regionals

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The odds of beating a team three times in one season improve greatly when Odyssey Sims is involved.

Irving MacArthur’s 5-foot-8 guard and a Baylor signee scored a season-high 40 points in the Lady Cardinals’ 68-57 win over Duncanville in a Class 5A Region I quarterfinal Tuesday night at Lamar High School.

“I seem to have my best games against Duncanville,’’ said Sims, rated the No. 3 senior nationally by ESPNU’s HoopGurlz. She had 36 (previous season high) and 27 points in a pair of District 7-5A wins over Duncanville last month. “They have a great team and it makes me want to play my best.’’

About the only time Sims was stopped in a 21-point first half was when she ran headlong into teammate Monique Jackson on one of her bolts to the basket.

MacArthur sophomore guard Alexis Jones added 20 points, proving once again why the Lady Cardinals have one of the most feared backcourts in the state.

A fast start allowed MacArthur (36-1) to dictate a quicker pace than Duncanville (33-4) might have liked.

MacArthur, No. 22 nationally in ESPN Rise Fab 50 and No. 3 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ 5A state rankings, saw its 14-point halftime lead twice reduced to eight points in the final four minutes. On each occasion, the Lady Cardinals responded with a basket to extend the lead to 10. Sims hit a leaner in the lane with 3:10 remaining, and Karmyn Jackson popped a 15-footer from the corner 90 seconds later.

Senior guards Ashley Roberts (15 points) and Ryah Lacy (14) led Duncanville, No. 33 nationally and No. 4 in the state.

The final score was similar to the first two matchups, 69-56 at MacArthur on Jan. 2 and 67-57 at Duncanville on Jan. 26.

MacArthur advances to the Region I tournament at Fort Worth’s Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center with an 8 p.m. Friday semifinal rematch against defending state champion Mansfield Summit (26-8). Summit defeated North Crowley on Tuesday, 55-54.