The Allen girls basketball team’s bid for a second district championship in three years is on schedule, as the Lady Eagles sit alone in first place in District 5-6A through the first half of conference action.
Allen has earned its 5-0 mark, weathering stern tests from Denton Guyer and Denton Braswell — game decided by a combined six points — to stake its claim to the district title. Expect Guyer and Braswell to have their say, while Little Elm and McKinney look to jockey for the league’s final playoff spot.
Prosper still have ground to make up both in the standings and on its schedule due to a COVID-19 shutdown, while McKinney Boyd looks to build momentum for its offseason.
As the seeding and postseason races heat up in the coming weeks, here’s a look at where all seven teams in 5-6A stand just past the district midpoint.
Editor's Note: Records reflective of district games played entering Friday
The Lady Eagles are in familiar territory, running the table during the first half of 5-6A play save for a meeting against Prosper that was postponed into February due to COVID-19.
The senior duo of Zoe Jackson, committed to Butler, and Mackenzie Wurm have fueled Allen’s promising start, which includes close wins over Guyer (64-62) and Braswell (41-37). Senior Laura Nosakhare-Bello gives head coach Teresa Durham another option inside opposite Wurm, while senior Cierra Trigg has responded well to an uptick in minutes.
Ranked No. 10 in Class 6A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, Allen hopes to guard against a repeat of last season. After going 6-0 in the first half of 9-6A, the Lady Eagles stumbled to the finish line by winning just one of their final six regular-season games before going one-and-done in the playoffs.
Denton Guyer (5-1)
Save for a two-point loss at Allen, it’s been business as usual for the state-ranked Lady Wildcats, currently tabbed No. 15 in 6A. Guyer has cruised in its five district victories, all of which have come by at least 19 points.
That includes a commanding 59-40 victory over a quality Braswell squad in a game where Guyer pounced on the Lady Bengals for a 43-19 halftime lead. Senior Bella Earle had 27 points in that victory and has been in lockstep with fellow senior Evie Goetz as the anchors for a Guyer squad that entered the week 13-5 overall. Both Earle and Goetz are averaging at least 15 points per game.
A win Jan. 22 over Braswell would go a ways towards ensuring no worse than a No. 2 seed — crucial for bi-district pairings come playoff time.
Denton Braswell (4-2)
After winning 26 games in 2020, including a share of a district championship, the Lady Bengals have transitioned to the 6A level seamlessly. Braswell’s four district wins have come by an average of 21.5 points and the team, despite coming up short, held Allen to its lowest scoring output in district play thus far.
Despite graduating a wealth of senior leadership from their breakout 2020 squad, several Lady Bengals have thrived in expanded roles — led by junior Alisa Williams, who had 19 of the team’s 37 points against the first-place Lady Eagles.
The only sore spot has come in a rough first half played against Guyer, and Braswell gets a chance to make amends on Jan. 22.
The Lionettes surely hope Tuesday’s pivotal 60-52 win over Little Elm is a sign of things to come. McKinney got its usual strong outing from senior Trinity White, one of the top talents in the area, with 20 points, but it was double-digit scoring nights from sophomore Adaugo Okpala and junior Jerzee Jordan that made the difference.
Head coach Deb Harris can take pause in the veteran presence of White, a sure bet to hit double figures most nights and lead the Lionettes, but the finding steady production beyond the Butler commit has been a bit more challenging.
Tuesday’s win, which followed up a 49-31 win over McKinney Boyd, gives McKinney something to build on for the second half of conference play.
Little Elm (2-4)
The Lady Lobos are holding their own in their first season of competition in 6A.
Little Elm already has wins over Prosper and McKinney Boyd, but a loss Tuesday to McKinney puts the team at a deficit in the race for the district’s last playoff spot.
Sophomore guard Amarachi Kimpson, who was named the Star Local Media all-area newcomer of the year last season, is picking up where she left off at the end of her freshman season, averaging a whopping 24.6 points per game. Junior forward Aniya Cramer has been a great contributor of late for the Lady Lobos, scoring in double figures in three straight games against Denton Braswell, Allen and Boyd.
The Lady Eagles have been sidelined by pandemic protocols since the team’s Jan. 5 loss to Braswell, setting up a busy few weeks with make-up games against Boyd and Allen looming in February.
The setback against the Lady Bengals halted a two-game win streak for Prosper. That stretch included a 43-37 win over McKinney that featured big outings from juniors Saylor Lewis and Peyton Mosley.
Head coach Trey Rachal has also received productive minutes from senior Chandler Browning, a multi-year varsity contributor.
Key rematches against McKinney (Jan. 22) and Little Elm (Jan. 25) loom over the second half of district play that will weigh heavily on Prosper’s playoff chances.
McKinney Boyd (0-5)
It’s been tough sledding for the Lady Broncos, winless since their season opener against Frisco Wakeland, 34-29. Losses in 10 consecutive ballgames have followed, with Boyd finishing no closer than 18 points in its five setbacks in district play.
Senior Riley Boyd and junior Faith Horton have been a pair of bright spots for a Lady Bronco squad largely comprised of seniors. Boyd looks to send those upperclassmen out on a productive note during the second half of district play while perhaps playing a bit of a spoiler role.