DeSoto, Terrell Eye 5A State Title

On Friday at 3:30, the DeSoto Eagles will be making their third state tournament appearance in the last seven years. This year, the Eagles bring a balanced team that features two of the top football prospects in the state of Texas, one of which is future Longhorn Darius Terrell. Burnt Orange Beat spoke with Terrell this week before the big state tournament.

The DeSoto Eagles have become one of the top basketball programs in the state of Texas under head coach Chris Dyer. On Friday at 3:30pm when DeSoto takes the court against top ranked Strake Jesuit, the Eagles will make their third state tournament appearance since the 2002-03 season. The third such trip to Austin will tie Kingwood for the most appearances in the decade.

In 2003, the Eagles cut down the nets after disposing of Corpus Christi Ray in the title game 94-73 finishing 33-6 on the season. The Eagles returned to the state tournament for a second time in 2005 losing in the title game in heartbreaking fashion to Kingwood 54-52 and finished with an impressive 37-4 record.

After three years of quality playoff basketball without advancing to the state tournament, the Eagles are back in Austin in 2009 with a 31-8 record. DeSoto won the 5A Region II tournament beating CyWoods 52-42 in the semifinals and then a Mesquite team 47-42 in the finals that beat the Eagles once in district play.

One of the key cogs for the Eagles in the late season run through district and the playoffs has been future Texas Longhorn tight end Darius Terrell. The 6-3 wing is averaging around eight points per game with a high game of 24. As Terrell says, this is not a year anyone expected the program to advance to the state tournament.

"We're just real excited. Nobody expected us to get this far. We started 3-4 this year while some of us were still in football, but we worked hard and improved as the season went on. I really wasn't intending to play this year, but Evan (Washington) and Coach Dyer talked me into it. We are really a team this year. We don't care about who scores or about who gets the credit. Someone can score four points or 20 points and no one cares as long as we are winning. We play as a team and it's been great," Terrell said.

While the players were thrilled to win the regional title and did their fair share of celebrating, things quickly back to business as the Eagles prepare to play the #1 team in the state on Friday.

"We definitely celebrated that night. The next day, we started getting ready for our next game. We've been hearing things about Strake Jesuit. We know they are undefeated and are guard-oriented team," Terrell said.

Friday will be an especially big day for the future Longhorn, as he will take the court at the Frank Erwin Center.

"I haven't really thought a lot about it yet, but I'm going to be nervous and excited to play on the Longhorns' court. From what I hear, the football coaches aren't allowed to attend the game. I know I'll be nervous, but it's exciting," Terrell said.

In Strake Jesuit, the Eagles will face a 37-0 team with a trio of guards that signed with D-I programs in November. Joey Brooks, a 6-5 wing, signed with Notre Dame, 6-2 combo guard Tim Frazier inked with Penn State and 5-10 point guard Steven Rogers signed with Rice.

The second 5A semifinal matchup will tip-off at 8:30pm featuring Cedar Hill (34-4) and San Antonio Wagner (32-7). The 5A state championship game will be played on Saturday at 8:30pm.

On the recruiting front, Terrell says he stays in contact with Cedar Hill linebacker Aaron Benson the most, as well as working on Eagle teammate Adrian White, will announce his decision on Friday in Austin.

Horns Digest Top Stories