For the second straight game, the Plano East girls basketball team’s defense submitted a smothering first half. And once again, the opposing offense found its groove over the final two quarters.
After being limited to just 13 points through Tuesday’s halfway point, Plano Senior nearly doubled that output in the second half of a 38-30 rivalry victory over the Lady Panthers. With the win, Plano gains sole possession of second place in District 9-6A at 3-1 and has won six of its past eight games since a district-opening loss to first-place Allen.
Tuesday also marked the Lady Wildcats’ fewest points scored in a win all season — a familiar habit against an East defense yet to allow 40 points to a district opponent this season.
The Lady Panthers held up their end on that side of the floor Tuesday, eking out a 14-13 lead at halftime before Plano righted the ship with a 13-point third quarter to pace a 25-point second half. Junior Amaya Brannon had her fingerprints on the rally, scoring 11 of her game-high 18 points over the final two quarters.
East sophomore Tiana Amos was the bout’s only other double-digit scorer, pacing her squad with 11 points, but steady offense was tough to come by elsewhere.
The loss marked the second straight for the Lady Panthers in district play, dipping the squad to 2-2 leading up to Friday’s 7:30 p.m. home tilt against McKinney. Plano will enjoy its bye before resuming district play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against McKinney Boyd.
Around the district
Allen boys avoid scare
State-ranked Allen improved to 2-0 in district play on the boys end of the hardwood but without a furious effort from Jesuit on Tuesday in a 57-54 decision.
The Eagles succumbed to another slow start, trailing 18-11 after one quarter, before outscoring the Rangers, 31-21, in the second half. That made some a tense final few seconds for Allen, who committed a turnover while inbounding the ball with a three-point lead. Jesuit managed to get off a pair of tying shot attempts — both of which missed the mark to preserve the Allen victory.
Junior Mason Gibson was aggressive all game with a team-best 17 points, including nine makes from the free-throw line, while senior Thailand Elder overcame a tough shooting night to record 13 points. Jesuit junior Gavin Perryman led all scorers with 18 points, as the Rangers dropped their second straight district ballgame.
Panthers catch fire early, beat Plano
The East boys have been at their strongest in the first quarter during the new year, and a 16-7 start on Tuesday helped pave the Panthers’ first district victory in a 52-43 win over Plano.
Senior Malik Russell led a cast of 10 East players to record a basket on Tuesday, finishing the night with 13 points, while senior Jaden Clark added nine. The Wildcats got 18 points from senior Bryce Bristow, but dropped their second straight 9-6A ballgame.
McKinney pulls away from West
Fresh off its first district victory, the Plano West girls remained in striking distance of another on Tuesday before McKinney dominated the final eight minutes en route to a 55-38 victory.
The game got away from the Lady Wolves in the fourth quarter, where they were outscored 23-10 after trailing 32-28 through three frames. Senior Maya Kendall scored 17 points for West, but the team had no answer for McKinney’s Nick Porter, who dropped a game-best 25 points in the victory.
West looks to get back on track at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a home tilt against Prosper.