DFW's 3-Year Runs Atop the Hoops Scene

DFW's 3-Year Runs Atop the Hoops Scene
DFW's 3-Year Runs Atop the Hoops Scene (Copyright (c) 2021 VYPE - All rights reserved)

In professional and collegiate athletics, there's always talk about dynasties. As soon as one team wins it all, the speculation immediately begins to drift into "Can they repeat?" "Was it a one-time thing?" "Is this the start of something long-term?"

Now, that's not to say dynasties cannot happen in the high school ranks. With programs like IMG Academy (Florida and Mater Dei (California) or Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), highly-touted prep stars transfer in and keep those programs at the forefront of the high school sports discussion.

At a much more local level, the DFW hoops scene has been lucky to have a number of teams that have built dynasties - arguably the best being Argyle's girls basketball five-peat from 2014-15 through 2018-19.

Having that sort of continued excellence can be hard as players move/transfer, get hurt or coaches leave. As the UIL State tournament plays out this week, we look at the four teams from the Metroplex that have made it to State three straight years and established themselves as the new standard within Texas high school basketball.

Frisco Liberty Girls Basketball

3-Year Run
2018-19: State Runner-Up
2019-20: State Champion
2020-21: State Finals (game will be played Wednesday, March 10)

Frisco Liberty is a win away from this three-year run to the State Tournament being a five-appearances-in-six-years. Liberty got to its first 5A championship game in 2015-16, falling to Canyon, which was in its third year of its own four-year title run.

Three years later, Frisco Liberty returned to state only to fall to a tough Amarillo team. Last year, Frisco Liberty finally broke through for its first-ever state title using its tough defense to stymie San Antonio Veterans Memorial on the way to a 35-26 win.

It was a bit of a down year for Liberty, which had five total district losses in the previous three years while going 13-4 this year. True to last year's team identity, Liberty has relied heavily on its stingy defense to advance all the way to State again as the third seed out of 9-5A.

Since the playoffs began, Liberty is holding opponents to 29.5 points per game and only two opponents have scored 40 points in a game against Liberty since the beginning of December - a stark contrast from the beginning of the season when opponents were averaging 46 points a game, including giving up 64 to South Grand Prairie, 69 to Duncanville and 50 to Mansfield Timberview.

Slidell Boys Basketball

3-Year Run
2018-19: State Champion
2019-20: State Finalist
2020-21: State Semifinals (game will be play Tuesday, March 9)

After a 76-year state title drought, Slidell, the tiny school nestled just outside of Denton, captured the 1A state championship with a 49-36 win over Jayton after being on the cusp of breaking through in the immediate years prior.

In the 2015-16 season, Slidell missed out of the playoffs after finishing district play at 9-5 and fourth in the standings. The next two years, Slidell won its district's championship and earned first round byes. After a win the Area Round, Slidell would be knocked out in the Regional Quarterfinals.

The next year, in 2018-19, things broke just right for Slidell despite almost giving up a double-digit fourth quarter lead in the Regional Semifinals to Saltillo. In the following three games, Slidell cruised to wins to capture that elusive title.

Last year, everything was lining up for a Slidell repeat, which had not happened in the program's history since it won the 1941-42 and 1942-43 Class B titles. In the State Semifinals, Slidell met up again with Jayton and cruised to a 45-28 victory and had a meeting La Rue La Poyner lined up for all the marbles.

However, the pandemic broke loose and the rest is history, leaving the boys championships unfinished.

This year, Slidell is clicking once again on all cylinders, having won 18 straight heading into the State Tournament. It marks the fourth straight year Slidell completed an undefeated district schedule, and it has won its playoff games by an average 19.8 points per game.

Oak Cliff Faith Family Academy Boys Basketball

3-Year Run
2018-19: State Champion
2019-20: State Semifinalist
2020-21: State Semifinals (game will be play Tuesday, March 9)

Back in 2015-16, Oak Cliff Faith Family Academy (FFA) was competing at the 3A level and was having a solid season. It finished district play at 11-4 and made it a couple rounds deep before falling to a loaded Van Alstyne team in the Regional Semifinals.

The following season saw FFA jump up to the 4A level and struggle in its first season, going 9-19 overall and 5-9 in district play, which resulted in missing out on the playoffs. In 2017-18, FFA bounced back with a 24-win season and an 8-6 mark in district before being bounced in the playoffs by Argyle in the Bi-District Round.

What a difference a year makes, though. In the 2018-19 season, FFA pushed passed the 30-win mark and completely dominated its district opponents, winning those games by an average of 37.5 points per game. The first two playoff games were much of the same but from the Regional Quarterfinals onward, FFA played in and won five straight two-possession games - a credit to the tough pre-district schedule it had featuring a bunch of tournaments.

Last year got off to a rough start for FFA as it limped to a 9-13 record. That record was a bit deceiving as it played a number of tournaments outside of Texas and held its own quite well against top teams across the nation. FFA ended the season on a 15-game winning streak before schools and sports were shut down. FFA was schedule to play Houston Yates in the 4A State Semis the next day.

Fast forward to 2020-21, and FFA is right back where it was a year ago. With no tournaments on the calendar this year, FFA loaded up against some of the state's top teams across all of the big-school classes and started the season 9-5 before running right through its district calendar. Unlike last year, FFA has only played in one close game during this year's playoffs, which so happened to be its last played game against Dallas Carter in the Regional Finals.

Duncanville Boys Basketball

3-Year Run
2018-19: State Champion
2019-20: State Semifinalist
2020-21: State Semifinals (game will be play Tuesday, March 9)

Like its other boys counterparts in this list, Duncanville started its three-year run with a state title. It was the program's fourth state championship and first since 2006-07.

The years proceeding Duncanville's latest title were definitely build-up, foundational years. In 2015-16, the team languished around the .500 mark all season, ending the year at 17-16, 5-7 in district play and getting to the Area Round of the playoffs.

The next year, Duncanville took a step up going 26-8, 11-3 in district and making it a round deeper to the Regional Quarterfinals. With a slight improvement in overall record in 2017-18, Duncanville looked poised for a deep run, only to be cut down in the Area Round by eventual state champ Allen, which was a buzzsaw that year.

Then comes 2018-19. It's the senior year for Jahmi'us Ramsey and the team is deeply-rooted as the No. 1 team in the state pretty much after the end of the football season. Following an 81-74 loss to the state's No. 1 5A team, Lancaster, Duncanville rattled off 25 straight wins on the way to the crown, including a 14-0 record in district. In the playoffs, Duncanville won five of its seven playoff games by an average of just 3.8 points per game.

The following year, just like the other boys team, Duncanville was primed for another deep run. The talent was stacked up and down the roster and the team was rolling through the competition. Outside of two forfeits to begin the year, Duncanville started the season 11-2, which included dominating the Whataburger Tournament. Duncanville went 13-1 in district play and was ripping right through its playoff opponents, winning by an average of 14 points per game except for a one-point overtime win over Grand Prairie.

Once again, things shut down just before Duncanville was prepared to play Northside Brandeis in the State Semifinals.

This year, Duncanville has been as solid as ever - maybe even better - as it sits 27-1, having just avenged its only loss of the season against the state's No. 1-ranked team in Waxahachie. Out of all of its games this year, Duncanville has only played in four games inside of 10 points, two of them being against Waxahachie.