Duncanville Takes First in 69th Sandra Meadows Classic Tournament

Duncanville takes first in 69th annual Sandra Meadows Varsity Classic Tourn
Pantherette photo by Keith Bilbrey

2019 Sandra Meadows Classic Tournament Results

Over the illustrious career of the Sandra Meadows Classic Tournament, the Duncanville Pantherettes have placed first 23 times. This year’s final victory came at the expense of powerhouse DeSoto, 66-47. DeSoto, ranked No. 1 in the nation by MaxPreps, had recently defeated Duncanville by 20 points at home.

Duncanville defeated The Village School of Houston 89-53, Troy High School of Fullerton, California 58-44, Sachse High School 70-36, and Saginaw High School 97-40, before winning it all against nearby neighbor De Soto.

Duncanville takes first in 69th annual Sandra Meadows Varsity Classic Tourn
DeSoto team photo by Keith Bilbrey

DeSoto defeated Plano Senior High School 45-42; Duncanville Jr. Varsity 97-35; C.E. Ellison High School of Killeen, Texas, 63-31; and Conroe High School, Conroe, Arkansas, 56-50. They were 18-2 headed into the tournament.

Pantherette Head Coach LaJeanna Howard

“It was a great thrill to do this for all our fans,” said Pantherette Head Coach LaJeanna Howard. Asked her strategy for victory, she replied. “Old fashioned hard work and a great defense. Good assistant coaches and the ability to change our game plan as the need arose. We will continue to develop our skills and play hard like we always have,” she said.

Duncanville takes first in 69th annual Sandra Meadows Classic Varsity Tournament
Pantherette Zaria Rufus pursued by DeSoto’s Ash’a Thompson. Photo: Jaceion Williams

The Pantherettes forced 19 turnovers. Duncanville is 21-3 for the season, and ranks third in the state. DeSoto Coach Andrea Robinson said she was a little in shock after the game, but felt confident before the game. In fact, DeSoto led Duncanville 12-10 after the first quarter. The teams were tied 6 times during the heart stopping first period, but DeSoto trailed 24-17 at the half. Then Duncanville blew it open, leading 42-31 at the end of the third.

Senior guard Deja Kelly led the Pantherettes with 20 points. Kelly is a North Carolina signee, and was named the tournament MVP. Junior Zaria Rufus came off the bench to add 14 points, followed by Nyah Wilson with 13 for the Pantherettes.

Duncanville takes first in 69th annual Sandra Meadows Varsity Classic Tourn
Third Place Trophy winner Troy
Photo: Keith Bilbrey

Ash’a Thompson led DeSoto with 16 points, while Kendal Brown scored 12 points. Brown will return next year. Troy High School from Fullerton, California defeated Plano High School 37-33 for third place.

After the game, Pantherette Coach Howard said what she liked most about the tournament was, “You get to play teams from out of state which adds to our experience. And it is always a pleasure to work with Tournament Director Steve Martin, who goes out of his way to make everyone feel welcome.”