Pantherettes defeat Desoto.

February 27, 2020

The+Pantherettes+celebrate+after+their+big+win+against+Desoto+in+Round+3.

Photo by Emily Cruz

The Pantherettes celebrate after their big win against Desoto in Round 3.

Fort Worth, TX- On Tuesday the #1 ranked Pantherettes defeated the #2 ranked Desoto Eagles 47-43. It was a power packed third round matchup between two of the top teams in the nation at Wilkerson Greines in Fort Worth, TX. The matchup was the third meeting between the two teams who split the previous meetings 1-1. For both teams this was considered the biggest road block to state. Duncanville trailed by 4 at the half, 28-24, but used a stifling defense in the fourth while holding Desoto to only 5 points. We caught up with Coach Howard to get the details of the big win.

Photo by Emily Cruz
Coach Howard celebrates with a former Pantherette after the win against Desoto in the 3rd round of the 6A playoffs.
Photo by Emily Cruz
The Pantherettes celebrate after their big win against Desoto in Round 3.
Photo by Emily Cruz
Hope Lemelle celebrates during the game against Desoto.
Photo by Emily Cruz
Coach Howard directs players during the game against Desoto.
Photo by Emily Cruz
Nia Wilson drives to the basket against Desoto.
Photo by Emily Cruz
Garza-Howard defends against Desoto during the game.

 

 

Coming into the game what concerns did you have regarding your team or the opponent?

This was a state caliber game. My opponent was in the state finals last year. Their team’s experience of the atmosphere was a definite advantage for them, so I thought.

The game was physical from the start. Do you feel your team responded how you wanted them to early? What was the biggest difference in the second half?

Composure. My girls never wavered from the plan.

There was several key moments in the game, but what was the biggest turning point for your team?

When Zaria Rufus tip a rebound from the offensive feet throw that gave Deja Kelly an opportunity to get fouled and we took the lead in the fourth quarter, I knew there was no turning back.

 

 

Photo by Emily Cruz
Senior guard Deja Kelly brings the ball up against Desoto.
Photo by Emily Cruz
Hope Lemelle.
Photo by Emily Cruz
Zaria Rufus takes a shot against Desoto.

 

Who where the standout players and why?
EVERYONE – a stat that I don’t think anyone noticed, EVERY player that played for our team contributed.

Coming up you still have to face a strong field. Is this the strongest field you have ever seen in a region?

Absolutely. There is no stronger Region than Region 1.

Tell us about your next opponent.

Arlington Martin is a scrappy hard working group of girls. It’s always tough to play this kind of competition. You never know which weapon they may use.

The Pantherettes advance to face Arlington Martin Friday at Wilkerson Greines in Fort Worth.

 

 

Photo by Emily Cruz
Anaya Benard goes up for the rebound against Desoto.
Photo by Emily Cruz
Zaria Rufus dribbles up the court against Desoto.
Photo by Emily Cruz
Tristen Taylor Passes the ball up the court against Desoto.

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About the Photographer
Photo of Emily Cruz
Emily Cruz, Photographer





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