Levels to Legacy: Duncanville reflects on 3rd straight state championship
SAN ANTONIO—Duncanville boys basketball coach David Peavy tuned in to ESPN’s First Take on Friday, watching former NFL offensive lineman and current analyst Damien Woody riff about Aaron Rodgers, when something Woody said stuck.
“There’s levels to legacy,” Woody stressed.
“That hit me,” Peavy said after the Panthers won their third straight Class 6A state championship with a 69-49 win over McKinney on Saturday at the Alamodome. “There’s levels to the things we’re doing right now. It doesn’t happen if we don’t have special kids and special families. It takes a lot to do what we’re doing.”
What Duncanville is doing is awe-inspiring, classifying it as a dynasty in Texas high school hoops.
The Panthers finished the 2021-2022 season 35-1, winning their last 20 games. They beat opponents by an average of 23.6 points per game. MaxPreps named Duncanville its national champion. The Panthers have won 26 consecutive playoff games.
They are only the second school in Texas high school boys basketball to win three consecutive state championships.
.@DuncanvilleBB: back-to-back-to-back state champions. #UILState #txhshoops @pantherssports @DuncanvilleISDpic.twitter.com/SeZmgITdS0— VYPE DFW (@VYPE DFW) 1647148254
“We wanted to be considered one of the best teams to come through Texas, and that’s being special,” Peavy said. “I think we’re special. We went and played against everybody we could. We went around the country. We did stumble against Richardson, but I felt these guys did a great job bouncing back and finishing off what we planned on.”
Duncanville played elite teams from Georgia, California, Louisiana, and Utah. The Panthers beat Garland in the Region II final by 23 points. They won the state title game by 20 points after leading by 25 at halftime.
“Crazy,” senior forward Davion Sykes said. “Starting from preseason on the track and running stadium stairs, dealing with a lot of stuff. We started getting through it, and as the year progressed, we started making history, which was also crazy because no one expected us to beat those teams.”
The Panthers went through their share of adversity, none bigger than star senior guard Anthony Black’s eligibility issues.
The 6-foot-8 five-star recruit played just 15 regular season games. In November, he played nine games through a temporary restraining order after the UIL initially declared him ineligible for transferring from Coppell for athletic purposes.
More legalities followed. Black ultimately played six more regular season games and the entire postseason.
“It means everything to me,” said Black, named the state title game’s Most Valuable Player after compiling 19 points, three assists, and three steals in 22 minutes. “Me and my teammates have been through a lot this year. They’ve had my back through everything. Winning with them, and all the work we’ve put in paying off, has all been good. It’s special to have a team like this, which is really a family.”
Added Peavy: “To hear he got the MVP, it was icing on the cake.”
.@DuncanvilleBB standout @AnthonyBlack24_ named the state championship game\u2019s Most Valuable Player. Black had 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. #UILState #txhshoops @pantherssports @DuncanvilleISDpic.twitter.com/L6ddEa9EAF— VYPE DFW (@VYPE DFW) 1647146606
The 2021-22 Duncanville Panthers were a terror. On the court, they will go down as one of the best defensive teams ever in Texas high school basketball. Every starter stood at least 6-foot-7 in height. All had length and speed.
Down 13 points at the half to Humble Atascocita in the state semifinal, Duncanville went to a man defense in the second half. The Panthers held Atascocita to four points the rest of the way.
Duncanville had the luxury of defending without help, boasting the size and length to contest any and every shot near the rim. The Panthers, who held teams to 52.9 points per game, held an opponent to fewer than 40 points in a game seven times this season, including three times in the postseason.
“If we play really good defense and make it tough on them, then we’ve got a chance,” Peavy said of his team philosophy. “Contesting everything they wanted to do.”
Off the floor, Peavy said the team was as close as any he’s had. Even last year’s state title Panthers team, the coach said, had some cliques.
“To end off my senior year how we got to end it, especially with the people I started off on varsity with … I got to know these guys for who they are,” Sykes said. “I got to know their families. To finish my senior season with my brothers, it’s unbelievable.”
.@DuncanvilleBB players @ron2kholland, @AnthonyBlack24_ and @davionsykes22 pick one word to describe this state championship season. #UILState #txhshoops @DuncanvilleISD @pantherssportspic.twitter.com/8FUO8Q1tQE— VYPE DFW (@VYPE DFW) 1647150195
Now, the road to state title No. 7, and No. 4 in a row, begins.
“Our goal was to be the national champs,” Peavy said. “We’ve had some really good teams, but every year we’ve gotten better. Though we’ve got a lot of talent coming back, it’ll be tough to keep it going. Losing guys like Davion, C.J. Ford, Kaleb Jones, Keelan Russell … guys that are the foundation of our culture, and we’re doing what we’re doing because of the culture those dudes created, which started when I walked through the door the spring of their eighth-grade year. They talked about how special they wanted to be, and they made it happen.
“They started it off their freshman year, even with Jahmi’us Ramsey as a senior and Micah Peavy as a junior, they played a big part in the culture that we have, and they kept this thing going. We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to keep it going without them.”