Duncanville wins round one against Manvel
PASADENA, Texas- The Texas Invitational played out like it should have with the best team from Region 3, Manvel, meeting the best team in Texas, Dunanville, in the Gold Championship finals where the Pantherettes prevailed 56-50. This game also featured the two best players in the country in Ariel Atkins and Brianna Turner and even though both shined, this game would not have been the best one I’ve seen all season without their supporting casts. It sometimes irks me to go over things with different people over and over however Rangie Bessard stepped up to the plate in front of a near capacity crown inside Phillips Fieldhouse and put on a show. I don’t know what her complete line was, the scoreboard blacked out, but I know she had a huge double-double game, in fact she had it in the first half, those two and three rebounds on one possession add up quickly folks and hopefully you understand what I just said because it shows her work ethic.
The game started off slowly and early on it was all Bessard who was relentless in the paint and had 15 points after two quarters. Had it not been for Tasia Foman’s and Tiarra Davenport’s early offense, they would have been down by more than 14 points as they trailed 32-18 at the half. Turner added 11 for Manvel while Atkins had a very slow start going scoreless in the opening quarter and only five at the half. Let me say this about Atkins, just like the diet that has her same last name, if you stick with it. It’s going to pay off in the end and her 15 points in third quarter helped not only shift the momentum but sent a message that they aren’t quite ready to give up that number one ranking.
Foman, in my opinion, is one of, maybe even the best defensive guard in the state that I’ve seen and she doesn’t have to score in bunches for them to win, even though she was the leading score in their state championship game as a sophomore, the first of possibly three. Davenport came up huge, wait super huge; she got hers in the flow and made a big difference. Cierra Johnson was truly serviceable, at 6’3 her best basketball is ahead of her and her rebounds in key situations helped them get this done. They wouldn’t have even been in the Gold if not for Keyanna Smith who came up big in pool play against North Shore and the heat Adrianna Davis brought blended in nicely for the Pantherettes
Manvel lost to eventual R-3 representative Clear Springs three times last season, those memories were erased as they handled the Chargers in the semis however they might just meet Duncanvile three times which would be okay with them since one of those three would be in Austin. Bessard was phenomenal, Turner equally impressive and even though Hosey didn’t score like she had been all tournament; she did things that might not come up in the box score, which includes hitting a big shot to stop the Pantherettes early third quarter run. Keyarra Fisher, Jones and Ariiana Sanders were solid all tournament and this Manvel team is better than it was last season and although Duncanville was missing starter Korie Leary, the Mavericks know, or well should know that Duncanville is beatable. The problem is Duncanville also knows that they are still undefeated and can comeback from a large deficit. The two best teams in the state stepped up to the plate and put on a show, Sandra Meadows will be poppin!!!!!
ARIEL ATKINS & BRIANNA TURNER