MAYPEARL — Maypearl now joins a short list of prestigious basketball teams to be ranked in the state in Class 2A, according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

With a 19-3 season record and still undefeated after seven games, the Panthers entered the TABC statewide poll ranked No. 19.

Maypearl coach Joel Donalson said he isn’t surprised that the team eventually became ranked because of the season the senior-laden Panthers have been having.

The longtime coach received an e-mail from a regional director asking how Maypearl was doing in terms of winning, in terms of losing.

Davison admitted he hadn’t realized that the only three losses had come against teams that were in higher classifications than Maypearl’s.

“It’s a good honor for our players, the hard work they put into their practices and games has paid off for them,” Donalson said. “I think by midseason we knew we were a pretty good team and figured we would get some kind of recognition.”

In their first game since learning about the statewide ranking, Maypearl didn’t have trouble winning. The Panthers beat the palmer Bulldogs in a district game by more than 20 points.

It was a low scoring game but then Donalson has always been stringent on having solid defenses.

Where and when

Donalson probably suspected that something was up when he received an e-mail from a TABC official, snooping around and asking him questions about the team.

“He told me he would get back to us by Monday and he never did, but the next thing I knew we are No. 19 in the state,” Donalson said.

He found out through one of his players, Jesse Davison, who texted him and informed the coach about the valuable information.

“One of our players checked his computer and texted me, ‘coach, we are ranked No. 19 in the state.’

“He’s actually the smartest kid on the team. He’s No. 1 in the class; I guess he’s always on the computer and checking this kind of stuff out.”