Austin,Texas- The Manvel Mavericks defeated the Duncanville Pantherettes 58-53 and brought the girl’s 5A state championship back to the area for the first time since the 2009-2010 Cy Fair team which was led by Chiney Ogwumike. The Mavericks did it in dramatic fashion after falling behind 16-4 with 5:35 left in the first half however they would outscore the Pantherettes 54-37 the rest of the way. Brianna Turner, who was named MVP of the tournament, closed out her high school career with a double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds however Jordan Hosey proved to be huge as she elevated her game throughout the tournament and added 14 points. Rangie Bessard who played both games in Austin under the weather however looking at her numbers you would have never known as she scored in double figures games as well as Turner and Hosey. This is the best frontline in high school basketball, 6’4 Turner is one of the top players in the country, she will be attending Notre Dame and has already been selected to play in the McDonald’s All American game and this state championship closes out her high school career the way it started as she won a state title her freshman season at Westbury Christian.
The 6’1 Bessard added the long ball to her resume and is the team’s leading three point shooter and she’ll be taking her show on the road as well to Minnesota. 6’2 Hosey was simply the key, she exploded in the semifinals and hit some acrobatic shots, not to mention her high energy that helped motivate her teammates in both games. Although only a junior, she has already committed to Texas and her performance solidified not only her ranking but a spot on the McDonald’s All American team as well next year. Those three players carried the team; they were the key however with the efforts of Ameiya Jackson, Jonah Jones and Keyarra Fisher, the key would not have fit the lock. Jones had some huge steals that turned into baskets that shifted the momentum while Jackson and Fisher were ice at the line. Manvel avenged a loss earlier in the season to Duncanville that saw the Pantherettes ironically comeback from double digits to win by six however it wouldn’t be the case this time as four of their starters fouled out including Ariel Atkins, who is also a McDonald’s All American that will be heading to Texas. Atkins, who led all scorers with 24 points, fouled out with 3:52 left in the game and the Pantherettes up 49-42 and when that happened, I knew it was a wrap as Duncanville only scored four points the rest of the game.