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Duncanville High’s Juggernaut Girls Basketball Team Brings Home Its 10th State Championship

Lara Solt
KERA News special contributor
Junior Guard Aniya Thomas (center) and other teammates in the locker room after practice at Duncanville High School. Photographed in Duncanville on Feb. 17, 2017.

Five stories that have North Texas: Duncanville Pantherettes win their 10th state title; North Texas constituents sound off on health care; 200 Dallasites take on Shakespeare; and more.

In keeping with its proudest tradition, Duncanville High’s girls basketball team won the state championship this weekend — its 10th title in the school’s history. The Pantherettes beat Houston Cypress Ranch in the state final in San Antonio Saturday. (Here’s a game recap.) The team defended its Class 6A title for the second year in a row and have now taken four titles in the last six years.  

Coach Cathy Self-Morgan attributes the win to team building, not just individual talent, KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports. “They make it on their skill but they’ve got to make it more than just on their skill," she said. "They’re going to need to also make it on their character.” Self-Morgan insists her players focus on education just as much as basketball. “We have mandatory tutoring every Wednesday. We practice from 2-3 p.m. And we stop. Then at 3 o’clock, that’s when school’s out. They all go to tutoring and come back at 4. And go another 45 minutes to an hour.”


The victorious Pantherettes are buoy for a high school that’s seen an economic and demographic sea change over the past few decades. Duncanville ISD superintendent Marc Smith says this suburban district looks more like a big-city school system. While residents still take great pride in the schools, families are moving out. A huge source of pride comes from the seemingly unstoppable Pantherettes. Read more about the team and the school in our American Graduate series: “Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools.”  [KERA News]","_id":"00000174-20e5-d47e-a1f7-72e5964a0000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">" style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 11pt; white-space: pre-wrap;">","_id":"00000174-20e5-d47e-a1f7-72e5964a0000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">

  • During a rare congressional town hall in North Texas, attendees were upset over Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, endured two hours of booing from hundreds of angry constituents Saturday at Marcus High School in Flower Mound. The Texas Tribune reports: “The audience didn't like Burgess' use of the word ‘likely’ — ‘likely’ that young people would get to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26, and ‘likely’ that preexisting conditions would not prevent coverage. They didn't seem to like each other much, either — some booed while others shouted for them to ‘shut up.’" Read more from the town hall. [The Texas Tribune]


  • What does a town synonymous with Dr Pepper do after production stops? Make something new. Five years ago, a lawsuit halted production of Dr Pepper in Dublin, Texas — historically known for its variety made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar. The Dallas Morning News reports: "Plano's Dr Pepper Snapple Group sued the Dublin bottling company, claiming a violation of their licensing agreement.” Today, the town is moving on and bubbling up with new sodas. One called Black Cherry at first was renamed to Dublin Original. Let’s just say it tastes like something you could enjoy at 10, 2 and 4. [The Dallas Morning News]


  • In downtown Austin Saturday, about 300 people marched in the rain in support of President Trump. The March 4 Trump event at the capital was one of at least 50 rallies held across the country. The day began with a rally in Austin’s Wooldridge Square Park. Anti-Trump protesters showed up, and at one point “there was a confrontation as one protester tried to grab an American flag from a Trump supporter, but Austin police officers broke it up,” KUT reports. After the rally, supporters marched through downtown with police temporarily blocking traffic. A few protesters followed and heckled the marchers. See photos from the day. [KUT]


  • Dallas actor Ivan Jasso uses hisbody to transform into characters — on stage and in class. When he’s not on stage, Jasso teaches students of all ages learning English as a second language atBachman Lake Together how to communicate through movement. Jasso’s class is part of a new program spearheaded by the Dallas Theater Center calledPublic Works Dallas. The program presented its first stage production — Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” — this past weekend featuring 200 Dallasites. Through his communication class, Jasso prepared these ordinary folks for their first time on stage. Learn more in thelatest Artist Spotlight. [Art&Seek]