The McKinney North girls basketball team is all the way up to No. 3 in Class 5A in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state rankings, but the Lady Bulldogs had a battle on their hands Tuesday.
The Lady Bulldogs managed to withstand a game effort by Denison for a 53-46 road win to stay unbeaten in District 10-5A at 4-0.
It was North's first single-digit victory since Nov. 16. That win, a 54-53 overtime decision against private school powerhouse John Paul II, launched a 16-game winning streak that continued following Tuesday's contest. Included in that stretch were a trio of double-digit district wins over Princeton (61-48), Sherman (60-8) and Prosper Rock Hill (57-35).
Denison offered up a bit more resistance, hanging tough from the start. North only led 16-15 after one quarter and 29-23 at the half. The Lady Bulldogs got a big lift early on from sophomore Ciara Harris, who scored 11 of her team-high 24 points in the opening frame.
Harris got help elsewhere from fellow sophomore Kaelyn Hamilton, who scored 12 points, and senior Jayden Smallwood, who added eight.
North entered the week looking to build off a successful showing in its host tournament, the Lady Bulldog Holiday Classic. North picked up wins over El Paso Coronado (60-33), Prosper (70-60) and Princeton (64-46) en route to a tournament championship.
Hamilton was named tournament MVP, while Harris and Smallwood received all-tournament selections.
Boyd boys find district win column
The McKinney Boyd boys are on the board in 5-6A after edging Little Elm for a 39-37 victory on Tuesday. The Broncos improved to 1-0 in district play, picking up their sixth win in seven games as a result.
Boyd prefaced Tuesday's win by posting a 3-1 mark in The Colony at the Tommy Thomas Cougar Classic on Dec. 28-30. The Broncos picked up wins over Frisco Wakeland (52-43), Sachse (60-44) and Hebron (52-35) but fell to undefeated, state-ranked Plano (56-48).
Following Friday's matchup against state-ranked Denton Guyer, the Broncos renew their on-court rivalry with McKinney on the road at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The Lions are currently ranked No. 4 in 6A by the TABC and continued to look the part after blitzing Denton Braswell for a 78-43 victory on Tuesday. McKinney improved to 2-0 in district play with the win, aided by a combined 43 points between junior Ja'Kobe Walter (22 points) and senior Devin Vincent (21).
The North boys, meanwhile, had their way with Denison on the road for a 78-33 win to move to 1-1 in 10-5A action.
Lionettes, Lady Broncos fall short
Despite a spirited first half on Tuesday, the McKinney girls were outgunned over the final two quarters in a 47-35 loss to state-ranked Denton Braswell.
The Lady Bengals had come off a tournament win in the Mansfield Spring Creek Barbeque Invitational but met some resistance early on from the Lionettes. McKinney trailed just 25-20 at halftime but was outscored over the final two quarters, 22-15.
A combined 32 points from Braswell's Jazmyne Jackson and Alisa Williams were enough to outpace double-digit scoring nights from McKinney junior Adaugo Okpala (11 points) and sophomore Sam Tillson (10).
The loss dropped the Lionettes to 1-2 in district play.
Boyd, meanwhile, remains in search of its first conference victory after falling to Little Elm on Tuesday, 79-47. The Lady Lobos leaned on four double-digit scoring performances in the win, led by 26 points from Amarachi Kimpson.
The Lady Broncos got a big night from freshman Aniyah Johnson with 17 points but no other Boyd player scored more than six. Boyd dipped to 0-3 in district play with the loss.