Pantherettes head to the state tournament


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Coach Self-Morgan high fives fans as she heads to the bus for the state tournament (Tricia Virtue)

Coach Self-Morgan high fives fans as she heads to the bus for the state tournament (Tricia Virtue)
The Pantherettes are headed back to the state tournament in Austin for the second year in a row. The Pantherettes are riding a 68 game winning streak dating back to last year. The team is looking for their 7th state championship. This appearance will be the Pantherettes’ 22nd appearance in the state tournament. The Pantherettes hold the record for the most appearances in the state tournament by any team in Texas.

Distinguished head coach, Cathy Self-Morgan is in her 12th season of coaching the Pantherettes. Self-Morgan has won five state championships throughout her coaching career. The Pantherettes came into the preseason poll being ranked number one and haven’t moved a spot all year. The team is lead by junior guard Ariel Atkins, who averages 16.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season. Senior forward Kiara Perry, is the second leading scorer on the team, averaging 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The Pantherettes lead the Dallas/Fort Worth area in offense averaging over 64 points a game. The Pantherettes not only dominated on the offensive end of the court, but also on the defensive end. The Pantherettes led the area in defense as well only giving up 32 points per game to their opponents.

The Pantherettes take on Clear Springs(40-0) in the state semifinals on Friday at 3:00 inside of the Frank Irwin Center in Austin, Texas. In the other side of the bracket is Pflugerville(38-0) and Cibolo Steele(32-5). Clear Springs averages over 65 points a game against their opponents. Their leading scorer is junior guard Brooke McCarty and she averages 20 points per game. For the Pantherettes to win this game defense is the key. The Pantherettes have to keep from turning the ball over and make sure to not let Clear Springs get out on the fast break. Clear Springs shoots very well from beyond the three point line and when they get hot, not much is going to stop them. The Pantherettes need to make sure that they close out strong on their three point shooters and prevent the fast break. The Pantherettes can win back to back state championships but they need to continue what they’ve been doing all year.