The DeSoto girls basketball team will be making its sixth trip to a regional tournament in the last eight seasons thanks to Tuesday’s 58-57 victory over District 11-5A rival Mesquite at Lancaster High.
DeSoto (33-5) will face Spring Dekaney (38-1) in the second of two Region II semifinals at 8 p.m. Friday at Baylor’s Ferrell Special Events Center in Waco.
Under Larry Goad, in his 27th year as head coach, DeSoto has reached at least the third round of the playoffs in eight straight seasons. DeSoto was a state finalist in 2008.
College signees Jordan Jones (Texas A&M) and Bryce Owens (New Mexico), a pair of 5-foot-6 senior guards, combined for the dramatic winning basket with 14 seconds remaining against upset-minded Mesquite (22-11).
Jones intercepted an inbound pass with DeSoto trailing 57-56. The steal led to a go-ahead layup for Owens. DeSoto withstood Mesquite’s final possession that ended in a missed 3-pointer.
The victory was the 16th in a row for DeSoto, which ended the regular season ranked No. 4 in ESPN Dallas Class 5A Top 10. Three of its wins in the current streak have come at the expense of Mesquite, including two in district play.
Jones, averaging a team-best 14.3 points a game, led DeSoto with 15 points. Owens, second on the season for the Lady Eagles with a 10.4 average, had 13.
Jones is ranked No. 14 nationally in the Class of 2012 by ESPNU Hoop Gurlz and No. 3 among point guards.
Mesquite’s Briana Caro led all scorers with 26 points, including eight 3-pointers.
The Lady Eagles have gotten solid play from 6-foot senior Summer Melontree, the team’s leading rebounder, and 6-foot junior forward Camesha Davis.