McKinney North must exercise demons

McKinney North has already accomplished more than any Lady Bulldogs team in school history, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time and winning its first two playoff games.

But for North’s historic run to continue, it needs to tackle another feat that’s eluded it --beating Frisco.

The Lady Bulldogs have never beaten Frisco, including losses in two District 9-4A meetings this year. They face off in the Class 4A Region II quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Monday at Plano High School.

“We’re going into it with a lot of adversity, but one thing I told the kids is that we have absolutely nothing to lose,” said North head coach Valerie Little. “People expect Frisco to win. They expect them to go to state. No one expects anything out of us. They have more pressure in the game than we do. I think that will help."

North’s emergence has turned 9-4A into one of the toughest girls basketball districts in the area. Three of the district’s four playoff teams are still alive. Frisco Wakeland, hot off its upset of Dallas Lincoln, plays another state-ranked team in Rockwall at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Allen High School.

Little cited point guard Avril Matthews as a big reason why the Bulldogs have had success, along with strong inside play. Senior Amanda Mason averages 12.4 points and 5.1 rebounds at the post position.

North hopes this year’s run is just a sign of things to come as the team sports many underlcassmen, including junior guard Aundrea Gamble, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 15.6 points and 5.7 rebounds.

Freshmen guard Alexis Mason led the team in scoring in its 72-59 win over Dallas Carter on Friday with 17 points.

“We have almost everybody coming back,” Little said.