Most girls basketball teams across the state are approaching the halfway point of their district schedules, and not many schools can claim what Argyle can.
Through 26 games this season, the Lady Eagles have suffered only one loss — a six-point defeat to Round Rock Cedar Ridge, the No. 4 team in Class 5A according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
But tonight, Argyle’s clean sheet against fellow Class 3A teams will be in jeopardy when it hosts Celina at 6:15 p.m. Both teams have won their first three games in District 10-3A play, and the winner will be alone in first place Saturday morning and a step closer to winning the district title.
“The records are very similar, and it’s a good rivalry between us and Celina,” Argyle coach Skip Townsend said. “It’s important because of your position in the playoffs and how you finish in district.”
Argyle (26-1, 3-0 district) enters the game as the No. 2 team in Class 3A. No. 3 Celina is coming off an appearance in the 3A Region II tournament last season.
Townsend said the district’s competitiveness and the playoff seeding provide plenty of incentive for the teams to pick up a key district win.
Argyle and Celina have beaten Frisco Lone Star, another one of the district’s strong teams. Townsend said those will be three of the district’s four playoff representatives, and that all three probably prefer to play each other as late in the postseason as possible.
“We’re fighting for that more than anything,” Townsend said. “Us and them [Celina] and Lone Star, we do not want to see each other until the regional finals, if that’s possible, and for that to happen you’d have to win the district.”
Lone Star was last year’s district champ, but Celina was the team that reached the regional tournament. Krum, the District 9-3A winner, was Region II’s representative in the 3A state tournament.
Townsend, the former head coach at Brock, said a high ranking in the poll is something that’s enjoyed by fans but the number merely reflects a strong record. Tonight’s game marks the end of the first half of district play, and Townsend said there’s still a long time before the regional tournament rolls around.
“A lot of things can happen between now and then,” Townsend said.
Ryan girls look to continue hot stretch in district
When the Ryan girls started District 5-5A play, the Lady Raiders were missing more than half of their roster and lost their first two district contests.
But when four of the six district teams reach the postseason, there is room for momentary struggles.
Ryan rebounded from its opening district losses and has won two straight games. The Lady Raiders (7-13, 2-2) will try to extend that streak tonight when they face Flower Mound (13-10, 3-1) at 6 p.m.
Ryan coach Monesha Allen said the team’s two district wins have kept the Lady Raiders in the postseason chase.
“They’ve been really big,” Allen said. “It’s been a matter of giving yourself a chance and putting yourself in a position to be able to make the playoffs. With those two wins, we’ve put ourselves in a position, but we still have one more game this round and we still have the second half of district.”
Tonight’s game marks the end of the first half of district play. Led by junior forward Carissa Sanders, the Raiders have been able to withstand a bevy of injuries and hold the district’s fourth and final playoff berth.
Allen said her team has done a good job of taking advantage of tough but winnable contests against Lewisville and Coppell. The Ryan coach said she hopes the success the injury-depleted team has enjoyed can instill some self-confidence.
“You’ve got to believe in what you have at that time, because at any given time you just never know,” Allen said. “That seems like what it’s been. You just never know, so you go with what you’ve got and you go hard with it.”
Parks making impact for Ryan boys
As Ryan (6-12, 0-2) continues to try to break its slump in District 5-5A, the Raiders have been bolstered by the play of sophomore forward De’ Parks. His length and athleticism have helped Ryan rebound the basketball well despite the team’s overall lack of size.
“He’s a kid at the beginning of the year that we thought had a chance to be a varsity player,” Ryan coach Bryce Overstreet said. “The way things have played this year, the opportunity has been given to him. In two district games, I think he’s averaging almost eight rebounds per game.”
Tonight’s 7:30 game against Flower Mound (14-8, 0-2) will be the first of three straight home games for the Raiders.
On the defensive end, Parks has been able to take advantage of his 6-foot-3-inch frame. Overstreet said the sophomore is able to contest shots that some of his players cannot. The coach said Parks has the capability to improve this season and in seasons to come.
“He’s deserving of where he’s at, and we anticipate him getting better throughout this year and having a very solid high school career here,” Overstreet said.
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.