Reloaded Lady Eagles Seeking Three-peat

DeSoto Eagles girls basketball team
Photo credit DeSoto ISD FB page

Typically, when a team graduates all of its starters from a two-time state champion, the word rebuild comes to mind.

Try telling that to the DeSoto Lady Eagles and head coach Andrea Robinson, who will be in San Antonio this weekend trying to win a third consecutive Class 6A state championship.

The Lady Eagles’ regular starting lineup features three freshmen and two juniors – and the roster does not a single senior on it.

“It doesn’t really feel like it’s a continuation, it’s kind of like starting over,” Robinson said.
The Lady Eagles (27-5) will face the Pearland Lady Oilers (35-3) in Friday’s semifinals at 8:30 p.m. at the Alamodome. The winner will meet the survivor between San Antonio Northside Clark (32-3) and Coppell (38-3) in the championship game Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

This will be DeSoto’s fourth appearance in five years at state, while Pearland is there for the first time since 1980. On other other side of the bracket, Coppell is a first-time member and Clark is making its second trip, having lost to DeSoto in the semifinals last season.

“We’re the old heads there,” Robinson said, then adding of her young team, “We had our growing pains, then they hit a growth spurt.”

The Lady Eagles’ starters are 5-6 junior guard Mylasia Smith, 6-foot junior guard/forward Ma’Riya Vincent (a move-in from Houston), 5-11 freshman guard/forward Amaya Garcia, 5-6 freshman guard Rieyan DeSouze and 6-2 freshman guard/forward Kamora Pruitt.

“She brought in the experience that we needed,” Robinson said of Vincent. “And Mylisa has moved her game to a whole new level.”

Also on the roster contributing to the team’s success are 5-8 junior guard Nisaa Muhammed, whose older sister Amina was on the team with her as part of the past two state champions, 5-6 sophomore guard Vivian Franklin, 5-8 sophomore guard Kakiya Risby, 6-0 junior forward/center Madison Cornwell and 6-2 freshman guard/forward Amari Byles.

Risby is also a returner from last season’s title squad.

The Lady Eagles will have to contend with one of the state’s top players, Pearland’s 6-3 senior forward/center RyLee Grays, who has committed to play for the University of North Carolina next season. However, facing great players is nothing new for the Lady Eagles, whose schedule included the likes of Duncanville twice; along with numerous out-of-state powerhouses such as Florida’s Montverde Academy; Bartlett, Tennessee; two teams from Utah, one from Maryland and one from Pennsylvania.

“We scheduled to prepare these girls for the big moment,” Robinson said.
Also, the Lady Eagles play in what is known as the “District of Doom,” 11-6A. Along with Duncanville, it includes toughies like Mansfield Lake Ridge and Cedar Hill, both of whom DeSoto had to defeat in the third round and regional final to reach state.

Class 6A Girls State Basketball Tournament

Alamodome, San Antonio
Semifinals, Friday

Coppell (38-3) vs. San Antonio Northside Clark (32-3), 7 p.m.
DeSoto (27-5) vs. Pearland (35-3), 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

DeSoto Lady Eagles

Region 2 champions

Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state ranking: 5.

How they got here: Defeated Killeen Harker Heights 81-30 in bidistrict, defeated Rockwall 65-32 in area, defeated Mansfield Lake Ridge 65-49 in regional quarterfinals, defeated Cypress Springs 66-34 in regional semifinals, defeated Cedar Hill 59-30 in regional final.
Win streak: 11.

State tournament appearances: 2008, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023.

State championships: 2021, 2022.

Pearland Lady Oilers

Region 3 champions

TABC state ranking: 4.

How they got here: Defeated League City Clear Springs 59-24 in bidistrict, defeated Galena Park North Shore 56-31 in area, defeated Friendswood Clear Brook 53-46 in regional quarterfinals, defeated Katy 57-30 in regional semifinals, defeated Humble Summer Creek 57-38 in regional final.

Win streak: 15.

State tournament appearances: 1956, 1980, 2023.

State championships: None.

Coppell Cowgirls

Region 1 champions

TABC state ranking: 11.

How they got here: Defeated Allen 41-38 in bidistrict, defeated Highland Park 54-41 in area, defeated South Grand Prairie 43-39 in regional quarterfinals, defeated Southlake Carroll 57-41 in regional semifinals, defeated Little Elm 51-47 in regional final.

Win streak: 6.

State tournament appearances: 2023.

State championships: None.

San Antonio Northside Clark Lady Cougars

Region 4 champions

TABC state ranking: 1.

How they got here: Defeated Schertz Clemens 65-42 in bidistrict, defeated Round Rock 46-31 in area, defeated Austin Lake Travis 51-43 in regional quarterfinals, defeated Laredo United South 41-33 in regional semifinals, defeated San Antonio Northside Brennan 57-38 in regional final.

Win streak: 24.

State tournament appearances: 2022, 2023.

State championships: None.

Previous articleDallas Blooms at Dallas Arboretum is Open
Next articleGive The Kids Their Swimming Pool- Commentary
Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters