Thursday, March 1, 2012
Girls state tourney preview: DFW's final four
By Travis L. Brown
Four area girls basketball teams will be making the trip to Austin this weekend in hopes of bringing a gold medal back to the Metroplex.
Here is a look at the semifinal matchups for those teams at the Frank Erwin Center on the campus of the University of Texas:
3 p.m.: Duncanville (38-1) vs. Houston Cypress Falls (37-2)
Road to Austin: Duncanville had no trouble knocking off Amarillo in the regional semifinal, 60-29, but had the arduous task of overcoming last year’s 5A state champion, Irving MacArthur, in a region final. Duncanville won an overtime thriller, 62-55.
Cypress Falls: The Region III champion has outscored opponents 316-187 on its journey to state. Until the region final, no team had scored more than 48 points against Cypress Falls, which beat Alief Elsik, 59-52, in the region final. Cypress Falls scores more than 70 points 20 times this season, with a high of 99.
Duncanville: Won the 5A state title in 2002-03, the last time it had made it to the state tournament. This is Duncanville’s 21st appearance in the state tournament. The Pantherettes attack from all angles and have four players averaging double-digit points per game. Leading the pack is senior Texas signee Empress Davenport, one of many shooters that will challenge Cypress Falls’ strong defense.
7 p.m.: Mansfield Summit (35-3) vs. Belvieu Barbers Hill (38-3)
Road to Austin: It took four overtime periods for Summit to come out on top of its regional semifinal, but Summit cruised past Clint Horizon in the region final, 53-39.
Barbers Hill: The Region III champion has seen its offensive production fall against tougher competition in the deeper rounds of the bracket but still managed to put up 66 points against Ozen in the region final. This will be Barbers Hill’s fourth appearance in the state tournament, with the last coming in 1997.
Mansfield Summit: Summit has stood its ground through the playoffs with strong defensive play, allowing just one team to score more than 39 points. Ashley Eli has been Summit’s go-to player throughout the playoffs and is the team’s second leading scorer behind Maya Hawkins.
8:30 p.m.: Rockwall (33-7) vs. Victoria East (40-2)
Road to Austin: Rockwall handed Dallas Lincoln its first loss of the season in the regional quarterfinal. Rockwall narrowly escaped the regional tournament, sliding past Bryan Rudder, 48-46, and winning a defensive struggle against West Mesquite in the region final, 36-34.
Victoria East: Victoria East averaged 64.1 points per game but has continued to improve on offense, putting up 74 in the regional quarterfinal and 70 in the regional semifinal. Guard Adelaide Wenzel is the team’s leading scorer with 16 points per game, and 5-foot-11 Kenya Griffin surveys the post. This is Victoria East’s first tournament appearance.
Rockwall: Making its third appearance in the state tournament and first since it won the 5A title in 2006-07. The key to Rockwall’s success is its 3-point shooting and the play in the post of 6-foot-1 center Alyssa Lang. Lang will meet a team as deep in posts as Rockwall is in Victoria East, so hitting shots from the perimeter will make or break Rockwall’s offense.
2 p.m.: Celina (33-3) vs. Lorena (29-8)
Road to Austin: Celina took care of business in the regional tournament, beating Pittsburg, 52-24, and Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, 65-50.
Lorena: The path to state was a narrow one for Lorena, which won by less than 10 points in the regional quarterfinals through finals. Lorena hasn't scored more than 67 points, but has kept teams at bay with solid defense. This is Lorena’s first state tournament appearance.
Celina: Third appearance at the state tournament and first since 1999. Celina took on a challenging schedule this season, which included a win over 5A Hebron, 54-23. Kynzie Newman leads Celina scorers, averaging 17 points per game.