The state’s preseason No. 1 girls basketball team, Duncanville capped a perfect season Saturday with a wire-to-wire victory in the Class 5A championship game.
Behind the one-two scoring punch of forward Kiara Perry (20 points) and guard Ariel Atkins (13), Duncanville routed Cibolo Steel 59-36 to finish the season 42-0 and improve its winning streak to 70 games.
The victory marked the sixth state championship for coach Cathy Self-Morgan — three at Westlake and now three at Duncanville. The Pantherettes are the first 5A team to repeat as state champs since Mansfield won four straight titles from 1999-2002.
Perry had a double-double — 13 points, 10 rebounds — in the first half to help the Pantherettes take control. Although Atkins missed most of the half after picking up three early fouls, Duncanville led 32-14 at the break.
Ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN, Duncanville extended its lead to 48-24 after three quarters at the Erwin Center.
McKenzie Calvert scored 19 points for Steele (33-6), but she made just 3 of 17 shots from the field.
Class 2A final
Brock 40, Merkel 32: Brock won one for the thumb, winning a record fifth straight Class 2A state title as Braylee Flaska scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds.
The teams headed into halftime tied at 16 before Brock’s Taylor Wallace swished a three-pointer to open the third quarter, giving the Eagles a 19-16 lead over Merkel. The Eagles never trailed again, although Merkel tied the game at 25 and again at 27.
Flaska’s fourth-quarter jumper gave the Eagles a six-point advantage at 33-27, and Rachel Williams made a three-pointer as the Eagles opened a nine-point lead with just more than three minutes to play. After a Merkel timeout, Brock grabbed a steal that led to another Flaska basket, giving the Eagles an 11-point lead.
Lexi Ducat added 10 points for Brock (35-5), which has won eight state titles in 19 trips to the girls state basketball tournament.
Ciara Cope had 17 points for Merkel (38-2), which was playing at the state tournament for the first time.
Class 3A final
Mexia 69, Kennedale 62: Point guard Na’Teshia Owens scored 23 points and added eight rebounds and five assists, leading Mexia to the Class 3A state title.
Mexia (35-3) opened a 9-2 lead in game’s first few minutes, but Kennedale roared back to grab a 17-12 lead after the opening quarter. Kennedale pushed its lead to nine points in the second quarter, 29-20, but Mexia closed the half with a 13-4 run to tie the game at 33. Ashley Johnson and Brechelle Beachum both scored four points in Mexia’s closing spurt.
With Mexia holding a 64-62 lead in the game’s closing minute, Beachum sank two free throws with 25 seconds to play before adding a layup with five seconds left.
Beachum finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.
McKinley Bostard and Autummn Williams each scored 19 points for Kennedale (31-7).
Class A, Division I final
Martin’s Mill 49, Smyer 46: Senior Hailey Jenkins scored 10 of her team-high 21 points in the final 8:07 of the game, as Martin’s Mill won the Class A, Division I title after runner-up finishes in the three previous seasons.
Martin’s Mill (34-5) trailed until Cheyenne Brown’s layup with 35 seconds to play tied the game. The Mustangs pulled ahead when Jenkins hit an eight-foot runner for a 48-46 lead with 13 seconds to go. Smyer’s attempt at a game-tying shot was blocked by Cassidy McCoy, and Brown rebounded and was fouled. She added a free throw for the final margin.
Brown added 11 points and eight rebounds for Martin’s Mill, which rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit.
After combining for 38 of Smyer’s 40 points in a semifinal victory on Thursday, Kennedy Farr and Jordan Locke scored a joint 37 points in the final, with Kennedy accounting for 20.
Smyer finished with a 33-7 record.
— Butch Hart, AA-S correspondent
Class A, Division II final
Whitharral 45, Saltillo 36: Whitharral’s third straight trip to the UIL state tournament produced the school’s first championship.
Senior center Taylor Moore scored 13 points, and guards Maeci Scott and Mia Ochoa had 12 apiece for Whitharral (38-4), which won despite a 22-point, 12-rebound performance by Saltillo senior center Victoria Stretcher.
Guard Kendra Bain added seven points for Saltillo (32-6), which was making its second state tournament appearance, the first coming in 2001.
Whitharral gained an edge at the foul line, hitting 16 of its 21 free throws. Moore was 9 for 11 from the line.
Saltillo’s Stretcher finished 9 of 17 from the field.
— Rick Cantu
UIL girls basketball tournament
Class A, Division I semifinals
Smyer 40, Dallas Triple A Academy 36
Martin’s Mill 54, Snook 49 (OT)
Class 3A semifinals
Mexia 50, Krum 41
Kennedale 87, Smithville 66
Class 4A semifinals
Dallas Lincoln 64, Aledo 44
Georgetown 44, San Antonio Brennan 30
Class 2A semifinals
Brock 42, Centerville 23
Merkel 56. Poth 47
Class A, Division II semifinals
Saltillo 41, Roscoe Highland 19
Whitharral 58, Leakey 45
Class 5A semifinals
Duncanville 64, League City Clear Springs 40
Cibolo Steele 69, Pflugerville 60
Class 5A: Duncanville (41-0) vs. Cibolo Steele (33-5)
Class 4A: Georgetown 65, Dallas Lincoln 60
Class 3A: Mexia 69, Kennedale 62
Class 2A: Brock 40, Merkel 32
Class A, Division I: Martin’s Mill 49, Smyer 46
Class A, Division II: Whitharral 45, Saltillo 36