Teams have chance to clinch district titles tonight with victories
The Ryan girls (27-4, 11-0 District 5-5A) host Wichita Falls Rider in their district finale at 6 p.m. at Billy Ryan Gym. A win gives the Lady Raiders their first district title since 2012 and first unbeaten run through league play since 2011. A loss creates a tie for the top spot.
The Denton boys (15-8, 9-0) travel to Braswell at 7:30 p.m., and with a win can clinch a share of their district’s title. The Broncos conceivably could win the district title outright tonight with a win and a Ryan loss to Rider. Ryan and Rider are tied for second place at 7-2. Denton has defeated Rider twice and plays Ryan for a second time Friday.
The Guyer boys (23-4, 10-1 District 6-6A) can clinch a share of the district title when they host Plano West at 7:30 p.m. The Wildcats’ only district loss was to West.
The Ryan girls will begin the playoffs next week. The Broncos and Wildcats each have two games left to play after tonight.
Denton coach Harold Jackson said this would be the Broncos’ first district crown since 1991.
“I think this would be a tremendous accomplishment for these guys and this school,” Jackson said. “For them to work as hard as they have to bring pride and prestige back to this program is a big deal. They have a chance to bring back a district title after such a long time.”
The team that has made the biggest jump out of the trio is the Lady Raiders. It is a team that won 17 games a year ago to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Now, Ryan has some momentum with a veteran roster made up almost exclusively of seniors.
Ryan, which has guaranteed itself a share of the district title, beat Rider in the first round of the district schedule.
“The girls know and they are excited. They actually get on to me because I only take things one game at a time,” Ryan coach Monesha Allen said. “It’s hard for them to understand, but it’s just that I’ve been in plenty of situations over the years. You just never know.
“We didn’t struggle much [the first time against Rider]. If we play our game, I expect the same outcome.”
The Broncos, who lost in the second round of the playoffs a year ago, have scored 76 or more points four times in district play.
The Guyer boys also feature a star-studded cast. The Wildcats have earned at least a share of the district title in three of the last four seasons.
“There’s a tradition here to carry [district titles] on from year to year,” said Guyer coach Grant Long, whose program has never advanced past the second round of the playoffs. “The other schools will tell you this, too, but we’re very proud of that. We have big goals, and it’s about us making deep runs in the playoffs now.”
STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.
Published: 06 February 2017 10:19 PM