The Argyle girls and Ponder boys had more in common this season than just shades of red and white in their school colors.
Both teams needed the help of their centers to have a shot at playing on the state’s biggest stage. Ponder senior Clay Morgan helped the Lions win their fifth state title, while Argyle junior Delaney Sain almost lifted the Lady Eagles to the school’s second girls basketball title.
The similarities between the two players made them the clear-cut choices to be the most valuable players on this year’s Denton Record-Chronicle All-Area Basketball Team.
Morgan averaged 19.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for Ponder, which defeated Tatum for the Class 2A title.
“We didn’t want to go out losing,” Morgan said. “We wanted the ring. We wanted to bring it back for all the fans. We tried our hardest, and it turned our way in the fourth quarter.”
Morgan said that playing for a select team over the summer helped him step up his game for his seniors, which helped him lead the Lions to the state title.
Sain was one of the elder statesmen on an Argyle team that took only one senior to the 3A state tournament. Sain put up an average of 13.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
The Lady Eagles’ only loss to a 3A team this season was to Waco La Vega in the state championship game. She said that once the team realized its potential, plans were made to be in Austin for the state tournament.
“We knew that we were going to be better than ever this year, but throughout the middle of the season we realized how far we could go,” Sain said. “We had a goal to reach it and we got there, but it ended short.
“But it was definitely a season to remember.”
The area’s two best players took the area’s two best teams to the state tournament, and while Morgan is set to graduate, Sain will look to go back and pick up what Morgan received this year — a state title.
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.