It wasn’t LeBron James and Kevin Durant dueling at the American Airlines Center on national television Wednesday, but Harker Heights junior Alexus Dukes and Shoemaker senior Shane Johnson engaged in a shootout for the ages this week in the KDHPressbox.com Player of the Week voting.
In the end, Dukes held on to win, tallying 1,734 votes to beat Johnson by 179.
“That just blew my mind away,” Dukes said. “I was not expecting that at all.”
The honor, Dukes’ first in the contest, comes after she scored 30 points in a 72-69 loss to district-champion Ellison, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and 19 in a win against Shoemaker.
By late Wednesday, with nearly 24 hours left in the vote, Dukes and Johnson had a combined 2,354 votes with Dukes 90 votes ahead.
The voting raged on Thursday morning.
Dukes was able to stay in front of Johnson, despite Shoemaker players tallying more votes than the entire field in most weeks.
Dukes said her mother helped her get votes from family in Mississippi, and while the total still surprised her, she figured she’d need those votes to win.
“That always happens,” Dukes said. “The second time I got nominated, it was against Daysha (Roberts of Shoemaker).”
In late December, Dukes tallied 1,006 votes but lost to Roberts by 68 votes.
In this week’s vote, Johnson ended the race with 1,555 votes after averaging 16.5 points to lead the Grey Wolves to wins against Harker Heights and Killeen.
Salado senior soccer player Chase Crenweight tallied 580 votes after scoring two goals, including the lone score in a championship win against Gatesville, to help his team win its Salado Eagle Classic.
Belton swimmer Maggie Murphy also was nominated after winning four events at the District 12-5A Meet, including the 100-yard breaststroke and the 50 freestyle.
Dukes and the Lady Knights now turn their attention to Waco Midway, which they host tonight in the first of two crucial games to end the regular season in District 8-5A.
And Dukes is ready.
“My mindset is just going in the game confident, holding my composure, keeping my teammates together and winning,” she said.