Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Stewart F. House
Over the next handful of weeks, the playoff picture will start to take shape in each district across the state. The non-district portion of the season is over. The holiday tournament portion of the schedule is over as well. All that remains for teams across the state is familiar district rivalries and big games with playoff seeding on the line.
The road to San Antonio doesn’t technically start for another month, but that road starts now for some teams hoping to make the playoffs. For others, the next month worth of games is just a tune up for the most important time of the season. Let’s recap some of the best games from around the metroplex last week.
Plano defeats Plano East to Remain Undefeated
Plano put its undefeated record on the line against a district rival with a 17-1 record. Plano East has had a great season thus far but fell behind early and never recovered in a 64-44 loss to Plano. Makhi Dorsey led Plano in scoring with 17 points and Elijah Brown added 13 points. Plano also got big contributions from Kaden Stuckey with 12 points and Xavier Williams with eight points.
Brandon Hardison paced Plano East with 10 points while Corey Upkins chipped in nine points and Aiden Hayes scored eight points. Jordan Mizell finished with seven points in the loss. Plano East was much more competitive in the second half after being outscored 27-13 in the first half. Plano East only managed to score four points in the first quarter and couldn’t recover from the slow start. Plano East was outscored by three points in the third and fourth quarters. Plano improved to 21-0 and 3-0 in district play while Plano East drops to 20-2 and 2-1 in district play.
Allen downs McKinney
Allen came back from a large halftime deficit to defeat McKinney 70-65 for a big district win. McKinney led Allen 34-23 at halftime and 54-46 heading to the fourth quarter. The Eagles outscored McKinney 24-11 in the final period for a five-point win over a tough district opponent in the McKinney Lions. Miles Gibson led the way for Allen with 21 points and Oluwafemi Olaniyan added 18 points. Dylan Archey scored 14 points and freshman Trent Pane chipped in 13 points. Allen needed every point out of those four players.
Ja’Kobe Walter paced McKinney with 23 points and Jackson Steele added 15 points. Jacovey Campbell scored 14 points in the loss. McKinney will get another shot at Allen at home in a few weeks in a game that could help decide which team wins the district championship. This was a big win for an Allen team that improved to 2-1 in district play. Allen is currently tied with McKinney (2-1) for second place and Denton Guyer leads District 5-6A with a 3-0 record and a win over Allen.
Lake Dallas tops Grapevine
The Lake Dallas women outlasted a good Grapevine squad 37-34 behind a big second quarter. Grapevine jumped out to a 15-12 lead after the first quarter. It looked like a shootout might be in the works before the Lake Dallas defense held the Mustangs to just three points in the second quarter. It was a defensive struggle from that point on as Lake Dallas outscored Grapevine by just a point in the second half after leading by two points at halftime.
Jorja Elliot led Lake Dallas in scoring with 13 points and Mackenzie Buss added 10 points. Dylan Koele scored five points and Bailey Broughton chipped in four points in a game where every point mattered. Grapevine was led by Mimi Margiotta in scoring with 12 points. Emery Kirkpatrick scored nine points and Carly Snead contributed eight points. Grapevine has some work to do to climb back into the playoff picture with a 1-4 district record while Lake Dallas remains undefeated in district play.
Coppell defeats Lewisville
The Coppell Cowgirls keep on cruising with a 66-32 win over Lewisville to remain undefeated and move into the top five in the state rankings. It’s been several years since Coppell has even made the playoffs, but Coppell now finds itself with a 27-0 record in January and poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Jules LaMendola and India Howard have been the reason for the Cowgirls success so far this season. LaMendola and Howard each scored 20 points in Coppell’s win over Lewisville. That alone would have been enough to win the game. Both LaMendola and Howard are close to averaging a double-double. LaMendola averages more than 15 points and nine rebounds a game while Howard posts similar averages with more than 14 points and nine rebounds a night.
Coppell will face a Plano East squad that is undefeated in district play and hasn’t lost a district game since realignment happened almost two years ago. Coppell will give Plano East its toughest test yet on Tuesday night in a must watch game.
Player of the Week
My Player of the Week is Denton Guyer freshman guard Jeremiah Green! Denton Guyer finished the week 2-0 thanks in large part to the play of Green. Denton Guyer beat Allen 75-52 and outlasted McKinney Boyd 61-60. Green led the Wildcats in scoring against Allen with 23 points and chipped in 14 points as the second leading scorer in Denton Guyer’s win over McKinney Boyd!
Cover Photo of Allen forward Miles Gibson courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Special Contributor Stewart F. House.