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Plano East basketball perfects 40-0 season: 'We couldn’t wait for it to happen'

Panthers edge Stony Point in a nationally ranked Texas (UIL) 6A state championship tilt
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SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Plano East had been tested all year and with a chance for history staring them down, the Texas high school basketball power chasing perfection did what they’ve done all year.


The Dallas-area school capped off a perfect season with a 53-41 win over Round Rock Stony Point in a battle of the top teams in Texas at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday night.

No. 1-ranked Panther finished with a 40-0 record — the first team to win 40 games and go undefeated since Houston Milby did so in 5A in the 2003-04 season.

The last team to finish with an undefeated season was Duncanville in 2006-07 when the Panthers posted a 39-0 record winning the 5A title.

“It was our focus all year,” Plano East junior DJ Hall said. “We knew we would have a challenge the whole year. We wanted to come out every day; they seen our record 20-0, 40-0, we had a chip on our shoulder all year. It feels good.”

Hall finished with 18 points, tying for game-high honors with Stony Point’s Josiah Moseley — a Villanova signee.

Hall added 6 rebounds and hit 7 of 13 shots from the field to earn MVP honors in the finals.

Plano East players embrace in the celebratory moments after clinching a UIL 6A state title, perfect 40-0 season on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Plano East players embrace in the celebratory moments after clinching a UIL 6A state title, perfect 40-0 season on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Stony Point finished the year with a 38-2 record and both losses came against Plano East. The first meeting was on Dec. 30 at the 66th Annual Championship Basketball Tournament in Mansfield and Plano East prevailed 55-50.

The rematch between the top two teams in the TABC rankings lived up to the hype early. Plano East snuck ahead 14-11 late in the first on a basket by Rachard Angton.

That was part of a 10-0 run that turned into a double-digit lead in the second quarter for the Panthers.

The Tigers responded with a 10-0 surge to pull within 23-20 on a fastbreak layup by Macharold Goodlet Jr.

Up 29-24 at the break, the Tigers pulled within three midway through the third quarter on a bucket by Moseley, but Plano East nudged ahead again with Angton, Jordan Mizell and Hall all scoring points in the quarter.

Plano East used its depth — as it had all season against foes — to eventually wear down Stony Point in the final eight minutes.

Angton, who had 13 points, hit a 3-pointer for the first points in the fourth to provide a 44-35 lead. Hall scored in the post with 6:18 left and that turned out to be the final field goal for Plano East. Down the stretch, they went to the free-throw line 10 times and hit 7 of them.

Seven different players played at least 16 minutes in the game for the Panthers. Plano East got 22 points from its bench and got 28 points in the paint.

Most of these players have played together since junior high and guided the Panthers to their first-ever state title in their first-ever state title game berth.

If there were any nerves — between the combination of the first time in the finals and chasing perfection - it didn’t show.

“We knew the stakes but we put in so much work and so much preparation we were ready for it,” Plano East starting guard Jon Tran said. “We knew we were going to come out on top. We couldn’t wait for it to happen.”

-- Cody Thorn | @sblivetx