Pantherettes avenge loss to Plano with smashing 79-47 Regional Quarterfinal win

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Senior UNT commit Madison Townley fights for possession of the ball against Plano in their Regional Quarterfinal win. (Jordan Bell photo)

By Myles Delgado, Sports Writer

Last night, the Duncanville Pantherettes defeated the Plano Wildcats by a score of 79-47. It was a sweet revenge for the Panthers who were eliminated from the playoffs by the Wildcats last year in the second round in a fairly lopsided game for Duncanville 59-48. The Pantherettes next foe will be Midland Lee in the Regional Semi-Finals who squeaked by Bowie51-49 last night.

Last year’s lost left a bad taste in head coach Cathy Self-Morgans mouth as she called it “embarrassing” to exit the playoffs so early. It was evident as she could be seen on the home bench in tough discussions with her team about playing their best and finishing strong as they proved they can.

The Pantherettes played like champions last night with a load of slick passes, screens and more. This set different players up all night around the court for open layups and knockdown jumpers. Ciera Johnson finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds on the night with a load of help with passes from her teammate junior Nina Alvarez and others . Also racking up the points and rebounds in the box scores were sophomore Zarielle Green picking up 16 points and 10 rebounds and Aniya Thomas coming off the bench to put up 10.

Plano could not keep up with the speed of the Pantherettes which became evident after about 10 minutes in the first quarter. A very pesky team Duncanville is with constant full court traps and hard nose 1 on 1 defense. The team always anticipates every pass thrown high above the defender many times. Alvarez is quickly becoming known for her quick steals and fast break passes down the court to her teammates. With her you never know where to find her but the rest of her team sure does.

Coming out of the half, Plano made a slight push to break into their 12 point deficit. After a couple of threes, the lead was cut to just seven. This is when the Pantherettes stepped on the gas. Coming out of the gate with a slow start may have given Plano a little bit of confidence to get back into the game but not enough to pick up the win this year.

The Pantherettes quickly crushed those hopes by feeding the ball to the dominant big Ciera Johnson in the paint and quick, slashing guard Zarielle Green on the outside for the easy jumpers. The lead ran back to 20 in less than two minutes and it was easy to tell that Plano was on their way home for some rest.

Last night the Pantherettes looked just like they did when they made a 105 win run. They definitely played up to all the hype surrounding their 34-0 season. While this team likely still has to face a strong Plano West team in the Regional finals for a third time this year, they do not show any signs of letting up in the process of heading to the State Tournament in San Antonio.

Anything is possible but a lot will have to go wrong and that is simply something these girls can’t seem to do too often.