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Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Extra incentive for hosts in Meadows Classic

By Randy Jennings

DUNCANVILLE, Texas -- Three wins down and two to go in Duncanville’s bid to keep the Sandra Meadows Classic championship trophy within city limits.

“This tournament remains very important to our community,’’ said Duncanville coach Cathy Self-Morgan after her team’s 77-39 rout of Kennedale in a Wednesday night quarterfinal at Sandra Meadows Memorial Arena. “They expect us to win it.’’

Duncanville has won the prestigious 61-year-old holiday tournament 18 times.

“Our goal was to win all of our tournaments, but if we had to pick just one to win, this is it,’’ said Duncanville senior guard Empress Davenport, a Texas signee. “The community depends on us and we don’t want to let them down.’’

The Pantherettes’ have hardly been pushed in the first three rounds. Wins have come by 48, 34 and 38 points. But Self-Morgan expects her team to be tested on Thursday.

Duncanville (20-1) faces last year’s Class 5A Louisiana state champion, Lafayette St. Thomas More, in the second semifinal at 10:30 a.m. And if the Pantherettes advance to the 7:30 p.m. title game, waiting will be either Plano West or Little Rock (Ark.) Hall. Plano West is responsible for Duncanville’s only defeat.

Tasia Foman, a 5-foot-6 sophomore guard, led Duncanville with 24 points against Class 3A Kennedale, playing its third game in two days with only eight players.

“We’re a small school with not a lot to choose from and I like to keep my younger players on the junior varsity,’’ Kennedale coach Vance Hughes said. “This tournament is good for us. The goal for many of the girls is to play college ball and these are the people they are competing against for scholarships. It helps us in another way, too. No matter who we play in our playoffs, we can say at least they aren’t as tough as Duncanville.’’

Two area teams in Meadows Classic semifinals: Plano West joined Duncanville as a semifinalist, thanks to a comfortable 73-54 triumph over Flower Mound in a Wednesday quarterfinal.

Tyara Cox-Warren, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, led the Lady Wolves (20-1) with 22 points. Senior Kiran Lakhian missed most of the game after injuring her ankle for Plano West. Junior guard Ashley Deary led Flower Mound with 24.

The Lady Wolves face Little Rock (Ark.) Hall in Thursday’s first semifinal at 9 a.m.

Out of-state teams reach semifinals: The two teams that crossed the state line to play in the Sandra Meadows Classic easily moved through the quarterfinal round on Wednesday. St. Thomas More of Lafayette, La., suffocated THESA, 61-37, and Little Rock (Ark.) Hall took out 2010 Meadows champion Fort Bend Hightower, 66-41.

The last out-of-state champion was Fayetteville, Ark., in 2008.

Game of the day: Little Rock Hall 54, Southlake Carroll 50: The Lady Dragons (18-1) owned a 13-point halftime lead in the second-round contest, but couldn’t stop Hall’s hot-shooting junior guard Tyler Scaife. In the second half Scaife outscored the entire Carroll team, 27-16, and helped put the game away by sinking 9-of-11 free throws in the fourth quarter. Carroll built its lead with dead-eye 3-point shooting, canning 10 for the game. Senior 5-foot-10 post Kayla Reinhart led the Lady Dragons with 21 points. Caitlin Barrett hit four 3-pointers for Carroll.

Moriah of the UConn: Moriah Jefferson, a 5-foot-8 senior signee of Connecticut, was held to one field goal and six points in a 61-37 quarterfinal loss to St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.). THESA faces Kennedale at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in a fifth-place bracket semifinal.

Day’s top scorer: Scaife‘s 41 points for Little Rock Hall was the individual high-point game of the tournament so far. She had three 3-pointers, 11 2-pointers and connected on 10-of-12 free throws. She scored 20 in her team‘s quarterfinal victory over Fort Bend Hightower to finish the day with 61 points. Tiffany Davis, a 5-foot-8 senior guard for Houston Westbury Christian had 32 points in a 62-58 second-round consolation loss to Denton Ryan. In that game, Ryan’s Teana Odgen, a 5-foot-3 junior guard, scored 31 points, hitting six 3-pointers.

On tap Thursday: In addition to the championship bracket semifinals, Southlake Carroll faces DeSoto in a Silver Bracket semifinal match-up at noon. That game has been moved to the from the Blue Gym to the Arena. In the 9 a.m. consolation semifinals, Garland faces Atascocita and Denton Ryan meets Houston Bellaire.