With another week of high school basketball in the books, here's a look around my coverage area at what went down.
|1. Allen||7-0||1. Denton Braswell||7-2|
|2. Prosper||4-3||1. Allen||7-2|
|2. McKinney Boyd||4-3||1. Little Elm||7-2|
|2. McKinney||4-3||4. McKinney||6-3|
|5. Denton Guyer||3-4||5. Denton Guyer||4-5|
|5. Prosper Rock Hill||3-4||6. Prosper||3-6|
|6. Denton Braswell||2-5||7. Prosper Rock Hill||2-7|
|7. Little Elm||1-6||8. McKinney Boyd||0-9|
It's getting awfully crowded at the top of the 5-6A girls district following the signature win thus far for Allen under first-year head coach Stephanie Shaw.
The Lady Eagles forged a three-way tie atop the standings after edging reigning conference champion Braswell on Friday, 35-33. It marked a season low in points scored for both state-ranked teams, which is fitting considering Allen and Braswell have boasted the top two defenses in the district thus far.
That end of the floor shined plenty on Friday, including a four-point second quarter for Braswell and a three-point third stanza for Allen, but the Lady Eagles came up big in the fourth, outscoring the No. 9-ranked Lady Bengals, 13-8.
Junior Skye Pepp tallied 14 points for Allen, which now shares the top spot in 5-6A alongside Braswell and Little Elm at 7-2. Friday's win evened the season series between Allen and Braswell. Games remaining between that trio include Braswell at Little Elm on Feb. 3 and Little Elm at Allen on Feb. 7.
The McKinney girls, winners of four of their last five following Friday's 54-39 win over Rock Hill, can potentially work their way into that mix with a big week on the horizon that includes matchups against Braswell and Allen. The Lionettes accounted for Braswell's other district loss back on Dec. 20, 49-47.
On the boys side, Allen continues to run away with the district. The Eagles improved to 7-0 following Friday's 73-56 rout of visiting Braswell for the team's sixth double-digit victory of its 5-6A campaign.
There's a bit more intrigue elsewhere in the standings where one game separates five teams. Of that lot, Prosper has the hot hand right now as winners of three straight.
The Eagles have picked up recent wins over McKinney (51-39), Guyer (63-53) and Boyd (58-51). Friday's road victory against the second-place Broncos saw Prosper outscore the hosts 19-9 in the fourth quarter, led by double-digit scoring nights from senior Zander James (17) and junior Jaxson Ford (10).
Just as noteworthy: Prosper has had a different leading scorer each time out during its three-game winning streak with sophomore Parker Evanson and senior James Cloud coming up big against the Lions and Wildcats.
Next week's top games
McKinney at Denton Braswell (girls), 6 p.m.
Denton Guyer at Prosper Rock Hill (boys), 7:15 p.m.
Allen at McKinney (girls), 6 p.m.
Prosper Rock Hill at Prosper (boys), 7:15 p.m.
|1. Plano||6-1||1. Hebron||9-0|
|1. Plano East||6-1||2. Coppell||8-1|
|2. Lewisville||5-2||3. Flower Mound||6-3|
|2. Hebron||5-2||4. Plano East||5-4|
|5. Coppell||3-4||5. Plano||3-6|
|6. Plano West||2-5||5. Lewisville||3-6|
|6. Marcus||1-6||7. Plano West||2-7|
|7. Flower Mound||0-7||8. Marcus||0-9|
The glass ceiling has been broken.
The 6-6A girls' state-ranked trio of Coppell, Hebron and Flower Mound had posted a combined record of 18-0 against the other five teams in the district prior to Friday night, but Plano East managed to break through and grind out a 31-25 victory over the Lady Jaguars.
Defense has been East's calling card all season and it showed on Friday, holding No. 18-ranked Flower Mound to seven points or less in all four quarters.
The Lady Panthers overcame a seven-point first half to outscore the Lady Jaguars 24-14 over the final two quarters, led by the sibling duo of sophomore Sema Udo (12 points) and senior Idara Udo (11 points).
The win gave East a bit of breathing room in its effort to hold onto the district's No. 4 playoff seed, with rival Plano gaining steam after avenging a prior loss to Plano West on Friday, 66-58.
A rematch of the Dec. 10 overtime thriller, Plano senior Salese Blow (43 points) and West senior Monica Marsh (41) impressed once again in their final head-to-head high school showdown.
The win puts the Lady Wildcats two games back of East with five games remaining, including a head-to-head outing on Jan. 31.
And that may not be the only high-stakes East-Plano encounter that night, with the two squared atop the 6-6A standings on the boys side.
A week that began with four teams tied for first place in the district was trimmed to two after the Panthers got the better Hebron on Tuesday, 57-43, only for the Hawks to turn around and top rival Lewisville on Friday, 61-49.
Plano holds the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two thanks to a 60-59 overtime win over the Panthers on Jan. 6, and the Wildcats continued their winning ways with lopsided wins over Flower Mound (73-50) and West (71-52) this past week.
Plano senior Justin McBride led all scorers with 25 points against the Wolves, who got a 21-point outing from sophomore Jaylen Lawal.
Next week's top games
Hebron at Plano (boys), 7 p.m.
Lewisville at Plano East (girls), 7 p.m.
Plano East at Lewisville (boys), 7 p.m.
|1. Lovejoy||6-0||1. McKinney North||8-0|
|2. Melissa||4-2||2. Princeton||7-1|
|2. Sherman||4-2||3. Lovejoy||5-3|
|4. Greenville||2-4||4. Sherman||3-5|
|4. Princeton||2-4||5. Denison||2-5|
|4. McKinney North||2-4||5. Melissa||2-5|
|7. Denison||1-5||7. Greenville||0-8|
The 13-5A boys schedule has reached its midpoint and all challengers are staring up at Lovejoy. The Leopards have won all but one of their district games by double digits, including decisive efforts against Melissa (55-39) and Greenville (55-42) over the past week.
Senior Karson Templin scored 17 points in both wins for the Leopards.
Lovejoy's closest call during the first half of district came in a 45-40 overtime win over a McKinney North currently tied for fourth place at 2-4 with Greenville and Princeton.
The Bulldogs endured a hard-luck week with narrow losses to both Greenville (48-45) and Sherman (42-38). Those outcomes could loom large, as North already has a 44-40 overtime loss to Princeton on its resume as well -- meaning all four of North's district setbacks have come by a combined 14 points.
The North girls, meanwhile, remain unbeaten in their pursuit of back-to-back district championships. The Lady Bulldogs won their fifth game in a row on Friday over Sherman, 61-30, behind 26 points from junior Kaelyn Hamilton and 18 points from junior Ciara Harris.
All eyes are on this coming Friday, however, when North visits second-place Princeton in a game that could go a long way towards locking up the district title for the Lady Bulldogs. North got the better of a competitive 44-36 encounter between the two on Jan. 3.
Elsewhere, the Lovejoy girls won their second game in a row on Friday over Greenville, 48-36, to set up a big week for the team's playoff hopes. Wins over Sherman and Denison would sew up a top-three playoff seed for the Lady Leopards, meaning they would avoid a district champion in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
Next week's top games
Lovejoy at Sherman (girls), 5:45 p.m.
McKinney North at Princeton (girls), 5:45 p.m.
McKinney North at Princeton (boys), 7:30 p.m.
|1. Aubrey||3-0||1. Van Alstyne||4-1|
|1. Anna||3-0||1. Frisco Panther Creek||4-1|
|3. Van Alstyne||1-2||3. Anna||3-2|
|3. Celina||1-2||4. Carrollton Ranchview||2-3|
|3. Frisco Panther Creek||1-2||5. Aubrey||1-4|
|6. Carrollton Ranchview||0-3||5. Celina||1-4|
The Celina boys endured another narrow setback to rival Aubrey on Tuesday, 46-44, but managed to halt a two-game skid on Friday with a bounce-back win over upstart Panther Creek, 68-57, heading into a pivotal week for building momentum for the district midpoint.
The Bobcats take on Van Alstyne and Ranchview next week, tied for the former for third place early into the 11-4A schedule.
The Lady Bobcats, meanwhile, reached the halfway mark in their conference schedule at just 1-4 but with three of those losses coming by a combined 10 points.
Celina will look to right the ship with games this week against Van Alstyne and Ranchview, who they lost to by respective scores of 42-40 and 28-23 during the first half of 11-4A play.
Next week's top games
Celina at Van Alstyne (boys), 7:30 p.m.
Carrollton Ranchview at Celina (girls), 7:30 p.m.