Duncanville HS Girls Basketball Heads to State for 26th Time

The team has won state 10 times in the past.

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The DFW community is feeling the pride for Duncanville High School.

The school just sent off their girls basketball team to the state championships for the 26th time in school history.

On Thursday morning, the Pantherettes girls basketball team loaded up onto a bus, bound for the state tournament at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio.

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Hundreds of students and staff at Duncanville High School sent them on their way with a huge rally, wishing them luck in the finals.

The team has won state 10 times in the past.

“We’ve put in a lot of work throughout this whole season, took a few losses early season which definitely pushed us to work even harder," said Deja Kelly a senior and captain on the Pantherettes. "We just wanted to be the best and we are working to do so."

Head coach LaJeanne Howard has won state as a former player and again an assistant coach. She's hoping to keep her personal legacy going by bringing home the next title for the first time as the new head coach.

“Just the opportunity to experience the Duncanville culture and tradition through each title into see the impact that it’s made on myself, and now other young ladies -- it’s phenomenal," she said. “It’s a blessing to be in the driver’s seat now."

This year, Coach Howard started a new initiative with her team's leadership by appointing five captains and assigning them a certain pillar to follow, spelling out the word PRIDE.

P is for preparation. R is for respect. I is for integrity. D is discipline and E is for expectations.

"When I came back here after last year, I said we’re going to put the pride back in Duncanville," she said. "There’s something about the Pantherette culture that’s special. And that’s hard work. Every year, it starts over. When you get to that final opportunity to be at state, you know what’s at stake. You know what you’ve worked for and you know what it means."

These girls narrowly beat Cedar Hill last week 56 to 54, putting them on the path to state.

The first big game is Friday night versus Converse Junction. If they win, the finals will put them up against either McKinney High School or Cypress Creek out of Houston on Saturday.

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