For about 30 seconds, Duncanville's title run looked in serious jeopardy.
League City Clear Springs (38-3) cut a big deficit to one early in the third quarter Friday, but the defending Class 5A champions shrugged off their opponent with a 17-0 run, rolling to a 64-40 victory in the state semifinals at the Erwin Center in Austin.
Ariel Atkins had 29 points and 11 rebounds led four players for Duncanville (41-0) in double-figures scoring. Kiara Perry added 11 points and 13 rebounds as Duncanville collected it 69th straight victory.
The Pantherettes entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 2 in the country by USA Today. Duncanville, which faces Cibolo Steele in today’s 5A title game, is vying to become the first repeat girls 5A champion since Mansfield won four in a row from 1999-2002.
Cibolo Steele 69, Pflugerville 60: McKenzie Calvert scored 17 points and Cibolo Steele (33-5) stunned No. 2 Pflugerville (38-1) to win in the girls 5A semifinals. Steele took its first lead at 51-49 on a Calvert basket to start the fourth quarter.
Merkel 56, Poth 47: Merkel (38-1) survived a furious third-quarter rally by Poth (28-6) to win Friday’s Class 2A girls state semifinal.
Merkel advances to face four-time defending state champion Brock (34-5) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Merkel led 31-21 at the half, but Poth outscored the Badgers 12-2 and tied the game at 33-33 with 3:15 left in the third on a 12-foot jumper by Micah Weaver, who had 15 points.
Allison Szabo had 15 points, 10 boards and five blocked shots for Merkel.
Class A Division II
Saltillo 41, Roscoe Highland 19: Kendall Bain scored 14 points and Saltillo (32-5) romped easily over Roscoe Highland (31-5) in the Class 1A girls Division II state semifinals.
Saltillo held Highland to just seven points in the first half, two in the second quarter. Bain outscored Highland in the first half with 11 points.
Whitharral 58, Leakey 45: Taylor Moore scored 27 points, 16 in the first quarter, to lead Whitharral (37-4) over Leakey (24-8) in Friday’s Class 1A girls Division II semifinals.
Moore dominated Leakey in the post, pushing Whitharral to a 21-10 lead after the first quarter. Leakey got within 43-39.
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