Duncanville rides defense into regional final

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Duncanville's defense shut down Amarillo as the Pantherettes rolled to a 60-28 win to advance to the Region 1 final.

Duncanville, ranked No. 2 in the ESPN Dallas Top 10, opened the game on a 13-3 run and led 20-7 at the end of the first quarter. The Pantherettes never trailed.

After a quick bucket to open the second, Duncanville never led by less than 14 points.

The Pantherettes spread the wealth on offense. Sophomores Tasia Foman and Ariel Atkins led the team in scoring with 12 points. Seniors Empress Davenport and Morgan Bolton added 11 apiece.

Senior post Krista Strange led Amarillo with 11 points.

The win sets up a Region 1 final against ESPN Dallas Top 10 No. 1 Irving MacArthur, a game Duncanville head coach Cathy Self-Morgan said is like the state championship.

"We've been wanting MacArthur all year, and they've been wanting us," Self-Morgan said. "Both teams are excited to go up against each other and lay it out there."

Just a few hours after Irving MacArthur's Alexis Jones dropped 44 points on the same court, Self-Morgan said all her team has to do is play Duncanville defense to beat the Lady Cardinals.

"We don't have an Alexis Jones, but we've got 12 kids with a lot of heart," Self-Morgan said. "They're going to do what we need to do to get it done."

A big part of Duncanville's shutdown defense is forward Kiara Perry. The junior only scored two points, but led the Pantherettes in rebounds. She said protecting the post well is due in part to her guards not letting anyone in.

"We came out playing good defense as a team," Perry said. "Guarding the post, we're really little, so our guards have to play good defense."

She said she's ready to take on the defending state champions.

"I'm ready to play," Perry said. "I hope our team is, too."

The Region 1 final will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Fort Worth's Wilkerson-Grines Activity Center.