Three-Peat Duncanville Panthers 6A State Basketball Champions…AGAIN
Midway through Saturday night’s Class 6A boys state basketball championship in San Antonio, John Kasky tweeted, “16 minutes away from officially being a high school sports dynasty.”
He was referring to the Duncanville Panthers, who went on to establish themselves in that capacity two periods later with a 69-49 victory against McKinney for their third state championship in four years.
In fact, the Panthers are a COVID-19 pandemic away from having won four consecutive state titles. In 2020, they reached the state tournament and were the overwhelming favorites, but the tournament was canceled with the teams in San Antonio waiting to take the court.
Not only did the win over McKinney give the Panthers (35-1) another state championship, the sixth in their history, it established them as national champions, according to the website MaxPreps.com.
“I’m still trying to come down from the high that is Duncanville basketball,” tweeted fan Maya Johnson.
20 Game Winning Streak
The Panthers ended the season with a 20-game winning streak. Their lone loss was 60-58 in overtime to Richardson in a tournament on Dec. 30. Richardson, which then ascended to the nation’s No. 1 spot, was, ironically, upset by McKinney in the third round of the playoffs, 54-52.
However, for a brief time in the state semifinals, it appeared all the dynasty talk might go by the wayside. Stunned fans and others watching could not believe their eyes as the Panthers trailed Humble Atascocita 30-10. Rarely had anyone seen the Panthers trail in a game, much less having been outscored by a 3-1 margin. They were facing the largest deficit of the season (20) down 13 points at the half.
Comeback of the Ages
That quickly changed when Duncanville went on a 40-6 run for the remainder of the contest, including outsourcing Atascocita 31-4 in the second half. It was a comeback of the ages for a team of the ages.
“Not sure I’ve ever seen that done before in high-level high school basketball, let alone the Texas 6A state semifinal,” tweeted Alec Kinsky.
Shawn McFarland echoed those thoughts with, “Unreal comeback for the defending 6A champs.”
So dominant were the Panthers in the second half, they held Atascocita to 1-for-16 shooting from the field after they’d gone 12-for-19 in the first. They also held them without a 3-point field goal (0-5) after they’d gone 6-for-11 in the first.
The Panthers, meanwhile, reversed their first-half offensive woes (6-for-21 overall, 2-for-6 on 3s) by going 11-for-18 from the field, including 3-for-4 on 3-pointers.
The Panthers made certain no such comeback would be needed in the finals as they jumped out to a 22-7 lead after the first quarter and led McKinney 46-21 at the break. McKinney never led as Duncanville dominated every phase of the game.
Following the game, Coach Peavy told the media it had been a long, long year but he was proud of the adversities the team overcame. “These kids don’t believe in losing,” said Coach Peavy.
Anthony Black was named Conference 6A UILState Championship Game MVP with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
Don’t forget Timberview
While they didn’t bring home another state championship, the Timberview Wolves gave the city of Mansfield plenty to cheer about as they advanced to the Class 5A finals before falling to back-to-back state champion Beaumont United 62-57. The Wolves (36-5) led 31-27 at the half before United went on a 17-8 run in the third quarter to take the lead and hold on.
This was Timberview’s fifth state tournament appearance since 2009. The Wolves won state titles in 2017 and 2019, also making the tournament in 2020 before it was canceled.
Three members of the Panthers were named to the 6A All-State Tournament team, led by senior guard and championship game MVP Anthony Black. Other players include senior forward Davion Sykes and junior forward Ron Holland.
A pair of seniors made the 5A team from Timberview, guards Donovan O’Day and Chendall Weaver.
North Texas dominance
While the two 6A finalists aren’t as close geographically they were in the girls championship, Duncanville and McKinney are nonetheless less than 50 miles apart. This continues a trend of proof of the dominance of North Texas in high school basketball.
The DeSoto Lady Eagles won their second consecutive state championship by defeating the South Grand Prairie Lady Warriors 40-23 in the finals. The Lady Eagles also defeated the Lady Warriors in the 2021 state semifinals.
The Panthers, while senior laden, have plenty of talent returning to possibly make another run. The roster, along with the seven seniors, featured six juniors, a sophomore and two freshmen.
Likewise for the Wolves, who will graduate five seniors. Their roster included four juniors and four sophomores.
Other area playoff teams
How other teams from the area fared in their playoff appearances:
Class 6A: DeSoto, fourth in District 11, reached third round before falling 48-35 to Duncanville; South Grand Prairie won District 8, advanced to area before being eliminated by McKinney, 60-45; Grand Prairie, fourth in District 8, bidistrict; Waxahachie, second in District 11, bidistrict; Mansfield Lake Ridge, third in District 11, bidistrict.
Class 5A: Mansfield Summit, won District 8, regional semifinals; Mansfield Legacy, third in District 8, lost to Timberview in third round, 62-60; Midlothian, second in District 14, area; Lancaster, second in District 12, area; Red Oak, won District 14, area.
Class 4A: Wilmer-Hutchins, second in District 12, area; Midlothian Heritage, second in District 11, bidistrict.