Video: Duncanville highlights
Panthers beat South Grand Prairie in Region 1 play.
The coronavirus pandemic is cutting high school sports seasons and
careers short. In the coming days and weeks, MaxPreps is putting the
spotlight on some of those stories via our 'Extending the Season'
It was a hard-earned win, filled with fouls, free throws and lots of defense.
And when the Duncanville (Texas)
boys basketball team pulled through with a 59-43 UIL 6A Region I championship game victory over Permian (Odessa) on March 7, the celebration was muffled, if not nil.
There was still work to be done.
The Panthers' 29th win in 34 outings wasn't the goal. Instead, it was a second straight state crown and history. The
title would make them the third team in the last 20 years to repeat in the state's largest classification.
"Expectations in Duncanville are a little different; We celebrate state championships," head coach David Peavy told
after the victory. "I wish the boys would have a little more fun now, but it is what it is.
"It's all coming to an end soon. If we do it right next week, there will be a lot of fun and tears of joy."
There were no tears or joy the following week as the state championships were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Within a week, they were canceled.
Duncanville's long, arduous, journey toward history was cut two games short.
The state No. 1 Panthers (29-5) were scheduled to play 12th-ranked Brandeis (San Antonio) (33-3) in the semifinals. A victory would have vaulted them into the finals to face either No. 2 Dickinson (32-5) or No. 20 Wylie (27-7).
In 2018-19, the Panthers finished on a 25-game win streak to cap Peavy's first season with a 6A crown. Duncanville was helped by the coach's son, Micah Peavy
, a 6-foot-7 guard headed to Texas Tech.
And though the Panthers lost their top scorer Jahmi'us Ramsey
— now at Texas Tech — to graduation, they had the younger Peavy and point guard Ja'Bryant Hill
among others to make another run at cutting down the nets.
"This year we start the season with the 'X' on our back," David Peavy said before the season. "Everybody's coming for us and it's everybody's big game so we can't afford to take any nights off."
They rarely did, losing once to a Texas team — an 81-77 game at Richardson (34-4) on Feb. 14 — to break Duncanville's 20-game win streak. The loss seemed to toughen up the Panthers.
They powered through five regional wins, pulling away late to for a 68-56 win over South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie), before getting past Lewisville (86-73) and Grand Prairie (66-65) in overtime.
Nothing came easy for the Panthers, who were led in scoring (17.3 points per game), rebounding (7.5), assists (3.1) and steals (2.5) by Micah Peavy. Junior guards Juan Reyna
(10.9 ppg) and Damon Nicholas
(10.5) also averaged in double figures, and Hill (9.9) was just behind.
Five other players averaged at least 4.5 points per game for a team that put up 70.2 points per night.
"We're really deep," David Peavy said after the regional finals. "We've won a lot of games without key guys. … Defense is something we take a lot of pride in. We rarely take days off on that side of the court. This group of kids go really hard and our coaches work very hard to push them.
"It's been a long, long season. The ‘X' on our back never went away. It's been a real grind."
The grind was supposed to be finished off with a state championship. And when it didn't, Peavy chose to see the big picture.
"I'm not worried about myself or my players, but we would have grandparents coming to the game," Peavy told focusdailynews.com. "These large gatherings are probably not a good thing right now."
More than two weeks later, they're less of a good thing. Coach Peavy said he's proud of taking it as far as they could.
"There was a lot of expectation placed on this team," he said. "That can be a heavy burden. I'm proud of what they accomplished."