FOOTBALL: Rouse second-half comeback takes down Harlandale

Indians built halftime lead in second region-round game

Brandon Ramon’s Harlandale career lasted long enough for it to come full circle, if only for a fraction of one play.

As a sophomore, Ramon started at wide receiver. He became a receiver again in the first quarter of the Indians’ Class 4A Region round game at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos.

When the ball was snapped, he took a pitch back from senior back Nick Martinez and launched a 25-yard flea-flicker pass to Ian Martinez (76 yards, 6 receptions) for the game’s first touchdown six seconds from the end of the quarter.

Harlandale (10-3) also scored in the second quarter, on a 31-yard strike from Ramon (29 of 42. 302 yards) to James Mendoza (64 yards, 6 receptions) for a 13-8 halftime lead. Ramon completed 14 of 18 passes in the first half.

The lead held for the first 45 seconds of the second half. Then the Raiders (10-3) broke away for a 43-21 victory.

Rouse quarterback Billy McCrary (249 yards, 17 carries) dashed 54 yards for the first touchdown of the second half. About 2 ½ minutes later, Andre Alger (99 yards, 11 attempts) ran for another Raiders score.

McCrary passed just five times for the school from Leander, completing two. Wesley Geisler caught both,  including the 29-yard, back-breaking reception. He also scored on a 28-yard reverse. McCrary added a 74-ayrd scoring run.

An 18-yard pass from Ramon to senior tight end Kevin LaFosse ended a Rouse streak of 35 uninterrupted points with 4:27 to play.

Rouse ran for 456 yards while limiting Harlandale to 39. Nick Martinez ran for 42 yards. Eddie Pedroza made eight catches for 82 yards for the Indians.

Harlandale won 10 games for the sixth time in school history and advanced to the region round for the second time.

FOOTBALL: Area playoff results 2013 (complete)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 15-16

Friday’s games

CLASS 5A

Division I

Bi-district round

Warren (9-2) 48, East Central (5-6) 44

O’Connor (8-3) 31, Southwest (5-6) 6

CLASS 4A

Division I

Bi-district round

Hays (9-2) 45, Brackenridge (7-4) 20

Harlandale (9-2) 37, Gregory-Portland (4-7) 35

Division II

Bi-district round

Kerrville Tivy (7-4) 58, Burbank (3-8) 6

Alamo Heights (8-3) 28, Lanier (4-7) 7

CLASS 3A

Division II

Bi-district round

Navarro (101) 61, Sam Houston (2-9) 20

Saturday’s games

TAPPS DIVISION I

Quarterfinals

Argyle Liberty Christian (8-3) 52, Central Catholic (4-7) 6

TAPPS DIVISION II

Quarterfinals

Holy Cross (8-3) 55, Houston Northland Christian (3-7) 28

Games of Nov. 22-23

Saturday’s results

CLASS 4A

Division I

Area round

Harlandale (10-2) 33, Rio Grande City (5-7) 28

TAPPS DIVISION II

Semifinals

Katy Pope John XXIII (9-2) 22, Holy Cross (8-4) 14

Games of Nov. 29-30

Friday’s results

CLASS 4A

Division I

Regional round

Rouse (10-3) 43, Harlandale (10-3) 21

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Nov. 30)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 25-30

Tuesday’s results

Non-district

Southwest (1-3 ???) 67, Marshall (3-5) 61

South San (2-2) 60Southside (3-6) 59

Holmes (6-6) 70, Jefferson (1-6) 32

Edison (2-5) 65, Harlandale (2-2) 57

McCollum (6-2) 58, Burbank (2-4 ???) 55

Antonian (7-1) 68, Highlands (3-6) 53

Lanier (1-1) vs. Memorial (3-6), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Central Catholic (4-6) 68, Holy Cross (0-4) 42

Wednesday’s results

Non-district

Churchill (11-0) 69, East Central (4-4) 68

New Braunfels (3-1) 73, Southside (3-7) 48

Friday’s games

Non-district

Border Olympics

At Laredo

Laredo United (???) 71, Fox Tech (1-8) 23

Lanier (3-1 ???) 66, Laredo Cigarroa (???) 32

Laredo United South (???) 47, Lanier (3-1 ???) 42 (OT)

Saturday’s games

Non-district

Antonian (8-1) 76, Kennedy (0-8) 49

Holy Cross (0-3) at Brooks Academy(0-2 ???), 2:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Border Olympics

At Laredo

Lanier (4-2 ???) 45, Laredo St. Augustine (???) 42

Lanier (4-2 ???) 59, Laredo Martin (???) 31

Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (???) 58, Fox Tech (1-9) 36

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Nov. 30)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 25-30

Monday’s results

Non-district

Memorial (4-5) 35, Pearsall (5-10) 29

Tuesday’s results

District 28-4A

Brennan (9-0, 1-0) 73, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-6, 0-1) 4

Brackenridge (13-4, 1-0) 55, Fox Tech (3-8, 0-1) 14

Highlands (8-5 ???, 1-0) 62, Burbank (2-6 ???, 0-1) 38

Lanier (3-6 ???, 1-0) 56Jefferson (4-7, 0-1) 49

Non-district

Cole (13-1) 33, Southside (8-5) 22

Southwest (8-3) 64, Marshall (8-8) 35

South San (2-4 ???) at Memorial (4-5), noon (score unavailable)

Kennedy (1-4 ???) at San Marcos (1-2 ???), noon (score unavailable)

Edison (6-9) 51, Sam Houston (0-7 ???) 42

Hawkins (2-2 ???) at Holy Cross (3-5), 6:30 p.m. (did not play)

Floresville (8-6 ???) 43, East Central (3-5 ???) 41

Laredo Martin (10-2) 47, Providence (2-6) 25

Saturday’s results

Non-district

Providence (2-6) at Stockdale (0-4 ???), 1 p.m. (score unavailable)

Holy Cross (4-5) 59, Schertz John Paul II (1-2 ???) 44

FOOTBALL: Holy Cross seniors silenced naysayers, kept tradition intact

Knights’ second-half comeback falls short in state quarterfinals

When they were freshmen, observers weren’t all that impressed with Holy Cross’ football class of 2014. Think of 2012 Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney and her dour expression after receiving a medal that wasn’t gold.

This season rendered those doubts among the Knights’ faithful. In fact, the seniors helped extend Holy Cross’ recent string of successes.

“This group of kids,” Holy Cross coach Mike Harrison said, “I find it humorous that, as freshmen, they were one of our most maligned groups. People would say they’re not going to be very good and they don’t have that kind of talent. It’s a testament to their ability, what they were able to accomplish.

“They really represent what it means to be a student-athlete.”

Holy Cross (8-4) shared the TAPPS 3-II championship this season after winning the district outright the previous two seasons. Saturday, the Knights played in its third-consecutive Division II quarterfinal game.

A late comeback effort wasn’t able to push Holy Cross to the semifinals. Katy Pope John XXIII (9-2) prevailed 22-14 at Buffalo Stadium in Giddings with a touchdown in the final minute.

“I think we let one get away,” Harrison said. “We didn’t have our best game of the year. We really didn’t, and it’s unfortunate, not to take anything away from a very good (Pope John XXIII) team.”

Holy Cross fought back to tie it 14-14 after falling behind by two touchdowns. However, the Lions produced a long kickoff return following the tying touchdown and manufactured a game-winning drive.

Pope John XXIII back Greg Moore, who recorded a game-high 160 rushing yards on 25 attempts, opened the scoring with a 12-yard run with 5:27 left in the first quarter. Lions quarterback Graham Secades (100 yards, 12 carries) ran for the two-point conversion, then provided his team’s second touchdown on a nine-yard run about four minutes into the second period.

“We had our chances and we didn’t execute,” Harrison said. “I don’t want to take anything away from the Lions. They had a really good game plan. They had two very good backs, one that went 225-230 and the other went about 210. And they had a pretty good offensive line. They also had some athletes and some speed. “We just didn’t play that well – and it kills me.”

The Knights scored on a 19-yard pass from Cisco Flores (12 of 22, 126 yards) to junior Steve Villela. Flores also ran 12 times for 87 yards.

With 3:39 remaining in the game, Greg Scott (88 yards, 17 carries) pounded up the middle for a four-yard touchdown that tied it 14-14. At the 31-second mark, Moore scored the backbreaker on a 10-yard sprint.

Having three 100-yard rushers helped the suburban Houston school overcome four turnovers forced by Holy Cross. John Paul outgained Holy Cross 393-317 in total yards.

“We outscored them 14-8 in the second half and we came up with four turnovers,” Harrison said. “Ninety percent of the time, if we force four turnovers and have more than 300 yards, we’re going to win.

“It just wasn’t meant to be yesterday.”

Edd Williams ran for 128 of the Lions’ 392 rushing yards. John Paul only attempted three passes, but had an interception to go with three fumbles.

Holy Cross committed one turnover. Senior receiver Greg Kelly caught five passes for 77 yards in his final game for the Knights.

“Losing Greg Kelly will be hard,” Harrison said. “In my 27 years of coaching, he was one of the best players and leaders I’ve ever had.

“He had more than 60 catches for 900 yards, he ran for about 200 yards, he threw a touchdown pass he had three picks, had a punt return for a touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown. He’s such an amazing talent.”

Holy Cross defined itself in the previous four games.

After defeating Central Catholic in the Holy Bowl, the Knights lost to Antonian and Navarro, allowing 40 or more points in each game. They won their first games in District 3-II before hitting a bump in the road.

Following a seven-point loss to Austin Regents, Holy Cross defeated Cornerstone Christian and Victoria St. Joseph by a combined 96-0 total to earn a first-place showdown against Austin Hyde Park Baptist in Austin. The Knights prevailed 28-14 to share the title and began the playoffs with a 55-28 win over Houston Northland Christian at Harlandale Memorial Stadium Nov. 16.

“I think what was really good about our kids,” Harrison said, “they went through district undefeated the last two years. When we were in the 5A district, we were the only team ever to beat Austin St. Michael’s, something I’m still very proud of. To me, that was a huge statement about where the program is headed.

”These kids, a lot of people tried to refute them and denounce them, but it’s a huge credit for them to go on after that and win a district championship.”

After the final game of the season, Holy Cross traditionally separates the seniors from the prospective returning players.

“I promise you, this is a great group of kids,” Harrison said, referring to the entire team. “We take the kids coming back and move them to the side. We give them a hurrah and talk about what we’re going to do next year.

“Then we say goodbye to the seniors. It was hard to say goodbye to this group of seniors.”

Scott (1,577 rushing yards), who emerged ahead of a group of contenders to win the running back job, and Southside-transfer Flores (1,727 passing yards and 1,137 rushing yards) lead the group of returnees. The Knights will have some repair work to do on defense with just four returning starters.

“I’m excited about where we’re going with this,” Harrison said. “We’ve won three district championships, three area championships and been to three area championships now. Obviously, our goal for next year will be to get to the next round and the next level. That’s going to be our battle cry in the off season.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Late 3-pointer gives South San first victory

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NOTE: Photos from this game and the Harlandale-South San JV game from Nov. 22 at Harlandale available for purchase at: kjtoso.photoreflect.com

Harlandale can’t maintain eight-point halftime lead in first loss

A three-point shot from senior wing Eric Alcozer with about 2.5 seconds remaining enabled South San (1-2) to edge Harlandale 57-53 Friday at the Indians’ gym.

The Bobcats outscored their hosts 20-12 in the fourth quarter to claim their first victory of the season. South San outscored previously undefeated Harlandale by a 12-point margin in the second half. The Indians jumped to an 11-5 lead in the first quarter and led 27-19 at halftime.

“They hit some shots,” Harlandale coach Chris Adamek said, “and we struggled a little bit (shooting). They turned up the pressure a little more.”

The Indians’ early lead dissolved as the fouls mounted.

“We were kind of in control from the start,” Adamek said. “We had an 8-10 point lead. Then we ended up having foul trouble. We ended up with three guys fouling out.

“That had a little bit to do with it, but South San had more to do with it. They were shooting a little better and playing a little bit better defense (in the second half).”

Junior point guard Olando Lopez led South San with 18 points. Jesus Samarripas scored 12. The late basket gave Alcozer 10 points. David Valdez contributed nine points.

Senior George Rodriguez was the top Harlandale scorer with 15 points. Jesus Maltos scored 10. Armando Guerrero and Joshua Rodriguez each added nine.

“It was a good game,” Adamek said. “They have a good coach and they communicate well. Playing games like that, with a good crowd is a lot of fun.

“I wish South San was still in our district. When they were in the same district, we both were always near the top of the district standings.”

Post Ram Torres scored eight before fouling out. The Indians also lost their starting guards with five fouls apiece.

“We struggled to control our glass when Ram fouled out,” Adamek said.

The Indians incurred their first loss with a rotation that’s quickly gaining varsity experience. A day later, senior leader Brandon Ramon and a handful of others extended their football season by at least another week.

“We’re adjusting really well and getting our JV guys in,” Adamek said. “They got some great experience in a pressure cooker like that.

“I’m really excited about the way the season’s going. We have a lot of potential to get better. We’re good now, but they could improve more in the next two months.”

FOOTBALL: Houston-area school eliminates Holy Cross with late TD

Knights’ second-half comeback falls short in state quarterfinals

Three 100-yard rushers helped Katy Pope John XXIII (9-2) overcome four turnovers and defeat Holy Cross Saturday in a TAPPS Division II quarterfinal game.

Holy Cross, which finished its season with an 8-4 record, fought back to tie it 14-14 after falling behind by two touchdowns. However, the Lions produced a long kickoff return following the tying touchdown and manufactured a game-winning drive.

Pope John XXIII won 22-14 at Buffalo Stadium in Giddings.

Greg Moore, who recorded a game-high 160 rushing yards on 25 attempts, opened the scoring with a 12-yard run with 5:27 left in the first quarter. Lions quarterback Graham Secades (100 yards, 12 carries) ran for the two-point conversion, then provided his team’s second touchdown on a nine-yard run about four minutes into the second period.

The Knights scored on a 19-yard pass from Cisco Flores (12 of 22, 126 yards) to junior Steve Villela. Flores also ran 12 times for 87 yards.

With 3:39 remaining in the game, Greg Scott (88 yards, 17 carries) pounded up the middle for a four-yard touchdown that tied it 14-14. At the 31-second mark, Maore scored the backbreaker on a 10-yard sprint.

John Paul outgained Holy Cross 393-317 in total yards. Edd Williams ran for 128 of the Lions’ 392 rushing yards. John Paul only attempted three passes, but had an interception to go with three fumbles.

Holy Cross committed one turnover. Senior receiver Greg Kelly caught five passes for 77 yards in his final game for the Knights.

The loss ended a four-game winning streak for Holy Cross.

FOOTBALL: Harlandale erupts early, holds on late to beat RGC

Indians defense, Ramon keys to 23-point second quarter

Behind a courageous performance from senior quarterback Brandon Ramon, Harlandale advanced to the third round of the playoffs and second time in school history Saturday at the Laredo Student Activity Center.

The Indians (10-2) used a 23-point scoring flurry in the second quarter to down tenacious Rio Grande City (5-7) 33-28 in the area round.

Harlandale advances to face Leander Rouse (9-3) in the Region round. The game will take place 8 p.m. Friday at Bobcat Stadium on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos.

“It’s huge,” Harlandale coach Isaac Martinez said, referring to the magnitude of the achievement. “We’ll go back and celebrate with the fans of Harlandale. The school’s support, the team’s support and the community’s support has been tremendous. They’ve came out and watched us all year long, no matter where we’ve played.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Harlandale scored the game’s first 23 points in a span of three minutes, 24 seconds.

The stretch was initiated by Indians defensive back Ruben Zavala’s seventh interception of the season. The senior returned his latest pick about 60 yards to set up Harlandale’s first touchdown. Ramon, who completed 17 of 21 passes, threw six yards to Eddie Pedroza for a 7-0 lead.

The defense also paved the way for Harlandale’s next score. Senior defensive tackle Bryan O’Tani carried a fumble recovery about 20 yards to make it 14-0.

The Indians defense then hemmed the Rattlers deep in their own territory. A bad punt snap went out of the end zone and it was 16-0.

Following the ensuing free kick, Harlandale wasted no time in returning to the RGC end zone. Ramon passed 19 yards to Ian Martinez to make it 23-0 with 4:19 until halftime.

“We had some big catches, especially in the second quarter,” Martinez said. “We also executed in the running game. I thought we moved the ball pretty well.”

Ramon sustained a knee injury early in the game, but still took virtually all of Harlandale’s snaps. Unable to scramble, he threw three touchdown passes in a gutsy performance.

“Brandon Ramon is a leader,” Martinez said. “If he’s able to go, he will go. He showed that tonight. He had a little bump on his knee. I thought, maybe, he wouldn’t be able to play. But he said he wanted to go out and finish the job. He was able to move the ball and get us in the end zone.”

Rio Grande City scored its first touchdown late in the first half. The Rattlers also scored on their next three possessions.

A 27-yard reception from Nick Martinez and a 10-yard reception by Ian Martinez led to Harlandale’s final touchdown. James Mendoza caught the scoring pass from Ramon for a 33-21 lead late in the third quarter.

A fourth-and-five conversion led to a touchdown pass to the Rattlers’ Cesar Martinez near the end of the third quarter. Martinez also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass that put RGC within five with 5:58 to play.

“I’m proud of the victory,” Martinez said, “but we let them convert fourth downs three times in the second half. It’s a credit to RGC’s offense, but we’ve got to do a better job with that.”

With 2:21 to play, Zavala recovered a fumble. Coupled with a long run by backup running back John Aguirre and then a bizarre series of three consecutive penalties after the Rattlers had forced Harlandale into a third-and-11, it enabled the Indians to seal the win.

“John Aguirre made an extremely important play,” Martinez said. “We had a second-and-long, and he made one of the biggest plays of the day. It gave us the opportunity to run out the clock.”

FOOTBALL: Week 2 postseason previews

SATURDAY

CLASS 5A

Division I

Area round

Harlandale (9-2) vs. Rio Grande City (5-6) at Laredo Student Activity Center, 3 p.m.

The brackets have been kind to Harlandale. The Indians face a Rio Grande City team that thrilled its home crowd by burying Corpus Christi Ray with 22-consecutive points in the first quarter before Ray scored. The Rattlers still had to hold off a late comeback by the Texans to advance with a 48-40 win.

The Rattlers converted one of their receivers (Noe Gonzalez) to quarterback and unveiled him for the first time against Ray. The element of surprise is no longer available to RGC.

Five of Rio Grande City’s opponents have scored 50 or more points. That doesn’t bode well against an explosive Harlandale offense led by senior quarterback Brandon Ramon. Ramon has thrown for 2,411 yards with 24 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

As usual, the key for Harlandale is to move the chains with senior back Nick Martinez (1,084 rushing yards) to set up Ramon for mid-range and deep strikes to Ian Martinez (667 receiving yards) and Eddie Pedroza (572).

Pedroza had seven catches for 169 yards and three touchdowns last week, so he’ll be a target for the Rattlers’ secondary. Look for a big game from either Martinez or James Mendoza, who returned from an injury last week.

Harlandale had to hold off Gregory-Portland for a 37-35 bi-district championship eight days ago. The defense will need to be more solid against RGC’s spread offense after giving up 433 total yards last week.

quad that carries a five-game losing streak into the postseason.

The key to victory for the Indians may be shutting down the Rattlers running game behind back Jose Castelo. Regional round opponent: Winner plays Rouse (9-3).

TAPPS DIVISION II

Quarterfinals

Katy Pope John XXIII (8-2) vs. Holy Cross (8-3) at Giddings, 3 p.m.

Holy Cross would like nothing more to face Austin Hyde Park Baptist after getting a momentum surge from defeating the Panthers in Austin to close the regular season two weeks ago.

Getting past Pope John XXIII will not be an easy task, however.

The Lions defeated San Antonio Christian 40-34 in the first round. Holy Cross defeated those Lions (yes, both Pope John XXIII and San Antonio Christian have the same mascot) 22-14 on Sept. 27 — but the Knights are playing much better now.

Holy Cross dominated Houston Northland Christian in the first round, winning 55-28. 

Holy Cross produced a whopping 626 total yards in defeating Northland Christian last Saturday. The defense allowed 456, which is a concern, but most of those came in the second half, after the outcome was decided.

Knights junior quarterback Cisco Flores had his best game to date with 457 yards of total offense, including 306 through the air with five touchdowns. He only threw one interception while completing 15 passes in 29 attempts, so it was a step forward in all areas.

Senior receiver-cornerback Greg Kelly played an excellent all-around game, which including 10 receptions for 205 yards and three touchdowns. He even carried the ball for six yards to keep a drive alive.

Junior back Greg Scott added 163 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. The balance he gives the Knights could be an advantage in this outing.

A stronger four-quarter effort from the defense, much like the one it produced against Hyde Park, will be welcome, if not necessary.

The Lions have a 1-2 punch in the backfield with Greg Moore (1,359 rushing yards) and Edd Williams (732), so they’ll to control the ball and then pop a big play. Of their 409 total yards, 348 came on the ground.

Pope John XXIII Quarterback Greyson Secades has thrown for 796 yards with 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Secades also is a running threat. He ran for a 66-yard touchdown against S.A. Christian.

San Antonio Christian scored two touchdowns in the last 3:34 against the Houston-area team last week, so the Lions are vulnerable in the two-minute drill. Semifinal opponent: Winner plays Austin Hyde Park Baptist (11-1).

MID-WEEK GIRLS BASKETBALL REPORT: Brackenridge soars to three quick victories at Jaguar Classic

Memorial comes back for OT win over Fox Tech at Cole

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Lanier, Memorial, Southwest, Southside.

Brackenridge got off to a strong start last Thursday and Friday in one of the area’s most prestigious girls basketball tournaments.

The Eagles (10-3) put themselves in the championship bracket of the Jaguar Classic with a 59-48 win over Medina Valley (1-4). Brackenridge also defeated Hays (4-3) 63-47 Thursday and recorded a 57-48 victory against MacArthur (7-4) Friday morning. The tournament continued through last Saturday.

Brackenridge outscored Hays 23-11 in the second quarter to separate itself from the Rebels.

Senior Breeann Hernandez scored 15 points to lead Brackenridge. Skyler Reyna added 12 points. Senior Brittney Morales supplied 11.

Against Medina Valley, Miranda Acuna scored a team-high 16 points for Brackenridge. Reyna and Hernandez combined for 25 points. Tevis Thomas added 11.

The Eagles outscored the Panthers 19-9 in the second quarter to take firm control of the game. Brackenridge led 28-21 at halftime.

In other first-day tournament games, Southwest defeated Lanier 55-38, Burbank edged Seguin 45-44, Marshall defeated Harlandale 55-45 and Laredo Alexander defeated Highlands 55-42.

Harlandale (5-5) opened Friday’s round with a 64-57 win over Medina Valley.

Cole Tournament

Memorial (2-2) and Southside (5-3) each won their opening games Thursday at the Cole Tournament.

Southside led 22-12 at halftime against Somerset (2-2) and maintained its margin when the Pirates pushed the pace in the second half. The Cardinals won 55-45.

Desiree Rodriguez led Southside with 24 points. Sabrina Guzman scored 14.

Memorial edged Fox Tech (2-6) 47-38 in overtime. The Buffaloes controlled the first half, leading 20-10 at intermission. The Minutemen began their comeback in the third quarter, gaining a 16-9 advantage over the next eight minutes. Memorial scored 12 of 15 points in overtime.

Senior Lucinda Mireles led a balanced Minuteman attack with 11 points. Larissa Lopez and Justine Davila each chipped in with 10.

Fox Tech senior Ashwini Bhakta finished with a team-high 14 points. Ruby Chapa and Elizabeth Narezo contributed eight points apiece.

MID-WEEK BOYS BASKETBALL REPORT: Buttons split first two games at NEISD Tourney

Southside drubs Cotulla at St. Anthony Tourney opener

TEAMS INCLUDED: Central Catholic, Highlands, Southside.

Tuesday morning, Central Catholic (2-4) did what opposing teams need to do against Highlands (3-4). The Buttons weathered the storm in the first pool play game for both teams at the Northeast ISD Invitational.

Central Catholic bolted to a 41-23 halftime lead. The Buttons won 66-48.

“Highlands put a lot of pressure on you,” Central Catholic coach Bruce McConaghy said, “and we handled that pressure well. (Our guards), they did a great job of handling the pressure. Matt Wetesnik also played well against the press.”

Junior center Tony Lewis led Central Catholic with 17 points. Senior guard P.J. Escobar scored 12. Chad Plummer added 10 an Wetesnik had nine.

The Buttons limited Highlands’ top scorer, sophomore wing Demarcus Hartfield, to 11 points. Jermichael Shirley added 10 for the Owls. Jamaria Moody chipped in with nine points and Joseph Jackson added eight.

Highlands did not play again Thursday. Its next game is 10:30 a.m. Friday against Fort Bend Clements.

Clements defeated Central Catholic 64-50 Thursday afternoon. The Buttons’ next opponent is to be determined.

Against Clements, Central Catholic established a 13-9 lead in the opening quarter. The Rangers produced 23 points in the second period. They took a 22-21 lead on a pair of free throws from Matt Rando with 3:56 until halftime.

Lewis (9 points) answered with a nifty move inside, but Clements scored the next seven points and never relinquished the lead.

Escobar (12 points) drove for a layup and Lewis added a half-hook off a steal by Joseph Nava, who recently re-joined the team after playing quarterback for the Buttons during the fall. Central Catholic was within 30-26 with 1:23 remaining in the second quarter.

Although the Rangers notched another basket before halftime, the Buttons wouldn’t score again for six minutes and 16 seconds. When the figurative lid was lifted from their basket, as Nava drove for a layup, Clements held a 38-28 lead.

“I think they scored six in that time,” McConaghy said. “During that time, we still played good defense. After we came out for the second half, we had that drought. We just couldn’t score.”
Stuart Lynch made three of four free throws to keep Central Catholic within striking range at 40-31 as the third quarter ended. The Buttons scored just five points in the quarter.

Central Catholic was within 43-36 on a driving layup by Escobar with 6:04 left. That prompted Clements to call timeout, and emerge with a full-court pressure defense. Although the final score was the Rangers’ biggest lead, the Buttons were never closer than seven points in the fourth quarter – despite seven of eight foul shooting and three-pointers from senior guard Chris Paz and Plummer.

St. Anthony Tournament

Southside/Fox Tech

The Cardinals (3-3) outscored Cotulla () 23-11 in the second quarter Thursday at the St. Anthony Tournament. The outburst built a 47-27 halftime lead.

Southside maintained control by outscoring the Cowboys 13-7 in the fourth quarter.

Eluid Mendez led Southside with 21 points. Alex Rangel scored 15. Rogelio Diaz contributed 12 points.

In Southside’s second game Thursday, the Cardinals vanquished Fox Tech (0-5) 81-43. Southside built a 48-19 halftime.

Fox Tech was led by Ruben Hernandez with 11 points, including three 3-point baskets. Daniel Castillo and Santos Vargas (4 blocked shots) each scored 10. Alex Lopez added eight points and three blocked shots for the Buffaloes. Nick Buys recorded a team-high four assists.

Southside statistics for the Fox Tech game were unavailable.

MORE TO COME

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Young Highlands wins while learning to play together

Brack wins three of four in SAISD Tourney

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Highlands-advances-to-consolation-game-in-4992007.php 

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos (including the Highlands-Brennan JV game) or to purchase photos, please visit: kjtoso.photoreflect.com

Highlands freshman Kiara Pesina looks for a way through top-ranked Brennan's defense.
Highlands freshman Kiara Pesina looks for a way through top-ranked Brennan’s defense.
Highlands' Jina Lackey turns the corner against Brennan, thanks to a pick from post Jazmine Jackson.
Highlands’ Jina Lackey turns the corner against Brennan, thanks to a pick from post Jazmine Jackson.

Highlands has had some growing pains, but its sophomore-dominated team is making good progress, as evidenced by its advancement to the consolation championship game at the Southside Tournament last weekend.

The Owls (7-4) found themselves looking at a big early deficit against Navarro (5-2) and trailed 33-16. By the end of the third quarter, Highlands had reduced the Panthers’ lead to two points. It got no closer. Navarro won 60-51 last Saturday.

“We have a lot to work on,” Highlands coach Adrianna Wiatrek said. “We have an awful lot of new faces, mixed in with young kids. Jelling and chemistry has to come. The discipline also has to develop. We have games where we’re up 17-18 and end up winning by two.”

Highlands began the tournament with a 44-34 loss to Marshall last Thursday, but bounced back to edge Weslaco East 50-46 later in the day. In their only Friday contest, the Owls won 45-42 over Lee (2-7).

Host Southside also had success at its tournament. The Cardinals (2-3) defeated El Paso Del Valle 55-50 and Holmes 38-32 Thursday. On Friday, they downed Beeville 62-37. Del Valle exacted revenge Saturday, however, defeating Southside 39-27.

Sophomores Aaliyah Prince and Jazmine Jackson led the Owls with 18 and nine points, respectively, against Navarro. Jackson also grabbed a team-best 14 rebounds. One of the team’s highest totals behind a 19-rebound outing from Alexis Darden.

Senior Mercedes Reyes contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds against Marshall (6-5).

“It’s not just one person (Prince) doing the scoring this year,” Wiatrek said. “They’ve stepped up across the board. Aliyah and Jina Lackey have been pretty consistent. One of our freshmen, Kiara Pesina, should be No. 1 or 2 in the city in steals. She had 12 in one game.

“Our defense has been great. Emily Pearce is not one of our leading scorers, but she gives us all the intangibles.”

The Owls fashioned an 11-5 record in District 28-4A last year and should be a contender again.

“Once we get all those things ironed out,” Wiatrek said. “I think we’ll compare to the team that made the playoffs in 5A. Give us another year. They’re very much alike.”

Southside senior Desiree Rodriguez erupted for 30 points in the first games against Del Valle. Mayra Sendejo added nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Senior Sabrina Guzman led the Cardinals with 18 points, five assists and four steals against Holmes (0-6). Aimee Wood notched three steals. Senior Amber Martinez blocked two shots.

SAISD Tournament

Brackenridge (7-3) made the best showing among eight area teams, although none ended up placing.

The Eagles finished the tournament with wins over Smithson Valley 66-56 and East Central 54-36 last Saturday. Brackenridge won three of its four tourney games.

Miranda Acuna led the Eagles with 21 points and Brittney Morales added 13 against East Central (3-3). The Hornets, who won two tournament games, received 12 points from Claudia Flores. Acuna had 20 points and Skyler Reyna 16 against Smithson Valley (5-5).

East Central began the tournament Thursday with a 43-33 win over Lanier. Ariel Allen (12 points) and Janik Alexander-Smith (11) were the leading scorers for the Hornets. Ruby Garza contributed 14 points and Sabrina Cortinas had 13 for the Voks (2-5).

Jefferson (3-5) also won two games. The Mustangs closed the tournament Saturday by defeating New Braunfels Canyon (2-5) 43-38. Adriana Aguinaga scored 16 points and Melanie Ybarra finished with nine.

The Mustangs also defeated Sam Houston 61-45 Friday.

BOYS BASKETBALL: While Richards weighs decision, Eagles off to flying start

Southside nets first victory under Vela

 

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Brack-claims-consolation-win-4992006.php

 

 

Now that the Brackenridge portion of his football career is over, the Eagles await Ramon Richards’ decision on whether he’ll play basketball this year. Meanwhile, the senior standout’s prospective teammates have served notice that they’ll be fine, with or without Richards.

Brackenridge (2-2) hadn’t played a game when it embarked on the SACS Fall Classic last Thursday, and the initiation included losses to Lee (67-59) and host San Antonio Christian (53-49). The Eagles wrapped up the tournament with a pair of wins last Friday, defeating Memorial (1-3) 63-52 and Southside (1-3) 64-34 in the maroon bracket consolation final.

“We’re really young, but we have a really bright future ahead of us,” Brackenridge coach Joey Isaac said. “There were a lot of good things that happened this weekend. To go 2-2, I was really happy about our first four games.”

Brackenridge starts two sophomores, Nathan Lopez and 6-foot-4 Richard Wallace, along with three returning veterans. Seniors Devante Anderson and Gabriel Hildebrand are team-leading scorers with deft shooting touches. Junior Aaron Lopez is the point guard in his third varsity season.

Richards incurred a concussion and an ankle sprain during football season.

“He’s a great defensive stopper,” Isaac said. “He’s also a great motivator and leader, but I wish him the best whatever decision he makes.”

The Eagles’ archrival Burbank was the only other area team to win two games at the Fall Classic.

After dropping its season-opener 63-43 to Harlandale, Burbank won its first two tournaments games Thursday. Michael Mascoro led the Bulldogs with nine points against Harlandale.

The Bulldogs defeated Warren 77-58 and Southside 59-35 Thursday. Last Friday, they finished with the gold bracket championship game against Laredo United, but the score was not reported.

Southside

The Burbank game was the season opener for the Cardinals (1-3). New coach Romy Vela, who coached at Central Catholic the previous several years, was hired for the start of the school year, so they had to hit the ground running.

After losing 81-59 to Warren and to Burbank Thursday, Southside began Friday with an 85-79 double-overtime win over Jefferson. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they were feeling the after-effects when they faced Brackenridge.

Vela is building the program around senior veterans Drevon Brown and Francisco Solis. Like Brack, the Cardinals will get a boost from their football team. Four players practiced for the first time last week.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Vela said, “but the kids have responded the way we wanted them to. That was a good win.”

 

Highlands

The Owls (3-2) reached the consolation championship of the challenging Northside ISD Tournament, where they fell to McAllen Rowe 54-39.

Highlands began the season with an impressive 83-71 non-district win over East Central (2-3) Nov. 12 behind 21 points from  sophomore DeMarcus Hartfield. The Owls lost their opening game at the tournament 58-49 to Brandeis last Thursday, but didn’t lose again until they faced Rowe Saturday.

In Friday’s games, Highlands defeated Laredo Martin 74-57 and Roosevelt 56-54. In the consolation championship, Hartfield led the Owls with 19 points. Joseph Jackson was the next-highest scorer with six.

Central Catholic

The Buttons (1-4) had a rough first week under Vela’s successor, Bruce McConaghy.

After losing its opener 73-60 to Alamo Heights Nov. 13, Central Catholic trounced Taft 79-47 in its first game at the Northside tournament last Thursday as junior Tony Lewis scored 19 points. A day later, the Buttons lost 73-64 to MacArthur and 61-51 to Stevens. In the tournament finale, they lost a 52-51 heartbreaker to Reagan (3-2).

FOOTBALL: Burbank hopes to grow a playoff tradition from loss to powerhouse Tivy

Bulldogs went from winless to postseason berth

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Burbank-loses-by-wide-margin-but-confidence-4991838.php

The contrast in football traditions between the combatants that met in the Class 4A Division II bi-district game last Friday at Benson Stadium on the University of the Incarnate Word campus couldn’t have been more vast.

Kerrville Tivy (7-4) is currently best known as the alma mater of Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, although its achievements predate the mercurial star’s by decades. Burbank (3-8) was making its first postseason appearance since 1978.

The Bulldogs weren’t able to compete with Tivy’s tradition of success in the short run. The Antlers dominated Burbank in a 58-6 victory. The hope for second-year Bulldogs coach Mark Perez is that the game will be known as an important second step for the program.

“We didn’t want to be satisfied with one playoff game,” said Burbank senior Jeremy Sanchez, who started at quarterback, receiver and defensive end during the season. “We went as far as we could, which is not to say we’re happy about this. But we’re excited for next year.

“They’ll make it to playoffs and, if they have the right mindset, they’ll go further. ”

The first step was to snap a 13-game winning streak, which the Bulldogs did by winning their second game of the season over Pearsall Sept. 5.

Burbank ended its season with five consecutive losses, after opening District 28-4A play with back-to-back wins over Highlands and Jefferson.

“(Tivy) played tough and executed extremely well,” Perez said. “This is a lesson and we’ll learn from it. But I’m proud of my kids. We’re moving forward.”

The Antlers stopped Burbank on four downs in the game’s first series and scored two pass plays later, on a 41-yard completion from Cade Dyal (10 of 12, 132 yards) to Hutch White. They rolled to 24 points in the opening quarter and 27 more in the second.

By halftime, Tivy led 51-0 and had amassed 287 total yards. Antlers wide receiver Tyler Ahrens explained that Tivy’s tradition served as motivation in postseason games.

“It’s very important,” said Ahrens, who caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Bailey McKinney 3:25 before halftime. “The new guys come up just wanting to be a part of it. There is pressure to keep it going. You don’t want to be part of the class that lets it down.

“But I love it. I love the pressure that comes with it.”

Back-breaking injuries to quarterback Daniel Tello, Marcos Luna and fullback-linebacker Damien Gusme, who was hurt against Tivy, derailed the team after a strong start.

Emblematic of their struggles was the fact that the Bulldogs played three quarterbacks, including J.P. Barrera who was promoted from the junior varsity, in the course of the season. Tello suffered a concussion in the  preseason. He came back for one spectacular game against Jefferson, then tore an anterior cruciate ligament in the next game versus Brennan and missed the remainder of the schedule.

Tello is expected to return for next season. Sanchez expects the returners to continue the improvement the program has made in a short span of time.

The senior, who started at quarterback for the first time in three games, scored the game’s last touchdown on a five-yard keeper with 2:45 remaining. The Bulldogs finished with 102 total yards.

“We believed in ourselves and made it all come true,” Sanchez said of the transformation from a winless 2012 to the playoffs.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s schedule/results (updated Nov. 22)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 18-23

Tuesday’s results

Non-district

Clark (5-2) 61, East Central (3-4) 23

Southside (3-3) 67, South San (2-3) 57

Southwest (7-1) 66, McCollum (2-5) 52

Harlandale (4-4) 53, Jefferson (3-6) 43

Kennedy (1-3) 36, Fox Tech (2-5) 13

Holy Cross (3-4) 60, Providence (1-5) 42

Sam Houston (0-4 ???) at Stevens (3-3), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Alamo Heights (2-3) 69, Edison (3-6) 31

Burbank (2-5 ???) at Boerne (4-3), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Wednesday’s results

Non-district

Roosevelt (9-2) 67, Highlands (7-5) 25

Holmes (1-8) 44, Lanier (2-6 ???), 31

Incarnate Word (4-2) 59, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-5) 14

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Providence (1-5) 51, Laredo St. Augustine (???) 8

Cole Tournament

La Vernia (5-0) 57, Edison (3-7) 21

Memorial (2-2 ???) 47, Fox Tech (2-6) 38

Southside (4-3) 55, Somerset (2-2 ???) 45

Eagle Pass Winn Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Kennedy (1-3). FINALS – Saturday.

Jaguar Classic

At Floresville

Brackenridge (9-3) 59, Medina Valley (1-3) 48

Brackenridge (9-3) 63, Hays (4-3) 47

Marshall (7-6) 48, Holy Cross (3-5) 30

Floresville (6-4) 55, Burbank (3-6 ???) 27

Marshall (7-6) 55, Harlandale (4-5) 45

Southwest (8-1) 55, Lanier (2-7 ???) 38

Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway (???) 38, Sam Houston (0-6 ???) 20

MacArthur (7-3) 71, Highlands (7-7) 37

San Marcos (1-2 ???) 43, Sam Houston (0-6 ???) 25

Burbank (3-6 ???) 45, Seguin (1-3 ???) 44

Laredo Alexander 55, Highlands (7-7) 42

Friday’s results

Non-district

Providence (2-5) at TMI (???), 6 p.m.

Jefferson (4-6), 87, Hawkins (2-2 ???) 16

Cole Tournament

AREA TEAMS –  Edison, Fox Tech (2-6), Memorial (2-2 ???), Southside. FINALS – Saturday.

Somerset (4-3) 55, Edison (3-9) 42

Southside (6-3) 71, Randolph (0-5 ???) 47

Southside (6-3) 55, Edison (3-9) 43

Eagle Pass Winn Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Kennedy (1-3). FINALS – Saturday.

Jaguar Classic

At Floresville

AREA TEAMS – Brackenridge, Burbank (2-5 ???), East Central (3-4), Harlandale, Highlands (7-5), Holy Cross (3-5), Lanier (2-6 ???), Sam Houston (0-4 ???), Southwest. FINALS – Saturday.

Brackenridge (10-4) 57, MacArthur (7-4) 48

Harlandale (5-5) 64, Medina Valley (1-4) 57

Brandeis (8-3) 65, Brackenridge (10-4) 51

Incarnate Word (8-2) 58, Southwest (7-2) 54

McAllen ISD Tournament

Laredo Johnson (???) 55, South San (2-4) 47

Saturday’s results

Non-district

Cole Tournament

Fox Tech (3-7) 30, Crystal City (3-3 ???) 27

Edison (5-9) 55, Randolph (1-6 ???) 50

Edison (5-9) 47, Comfort (1-5) 22

Southside (7-3) 58, Crystal City (3-3 ???) 54

Memorial (3-3 ???) 25, Comfort (1-5) 23

Randolph (1-6 ???) 46, Fox Tech (3-7) 22

Somerset (4-3), Memorial (3-3 ???) 25

Eagle Pass Winn Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Kennedy (1-3). FINALS – Saturday. (scores unavailable)

Jaguar Classic

At Floresville

AREA TEAMS – Brackenridge, Burbank (2-5 ???), East Central (3-4), Harlandale (5-5), Highlands (7-5), Holy Cross (3-5), Lanier (2-6 ???), Sam Houston (0-4 ???), Southwest. FINALS – Saturday.

Brackenridge (12-3) 47, Southwest (7-2) 46

McAllen ISD Tournament

AREA TEAMS – South San (2-4). FINALS – Saturday. (scores unavailable)

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s schedule/results (updated Nov. 23)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 18-23

Monday’s results

Non-district

Brackenridge (2-2) vs. Memorial (1-3) at Edgewood Gym, 6 p.m. (score unavailable)

Madison (1-1 ???) 64, Sam Houston (1-1) 45

Tuesday’s results

Non-district

Reagan (4-2) 53, McCollum (1-2) 39

Harlandale (2-0) 49, Jefferson (1-5) 38

New Braunfels (5-2) 80, Kennedy (0-3) 42

Seguin (2-1) 67, South San (0-2) 62

East Central (3-3) 60, Clark (2-1) 54

O’Connor (4-2) 69, Highlands (3-3) 65

Boerne Champion (2-0) 79, Holy Cross (0-2) 45

Burbank (2-3 ???) at Somerset (0-1), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Stevens (4-2) 70, Southwest (0-2 ???) 60

Steele (2-0) 72, Lanier (1-1) 65 (OT)

Wednesday’s results

Non-district

Antonian (5-1) 61, Fox Tech (0-3 ???) 28

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Edgewood ISD Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Kennedy (0-3), McCollum (1-2). FINALS – Saturday at Edgewood Gym.

NEISD Tournament

Central Catholic (2-5) 68, Highlands (3-4) 46

Fort Bend Clements (???) 64, Central Catholic (2-5) 50

St. Anthony Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Brackenridge, Fox Tech, Southside. FINALS – Saturday.

Southside (3-3) 80, Cotulla (0-2 ???) 52

Southside (3-3) 81, Fox Tech (0-6 ???) 43

St. Anthony (3-1) 94, Fox Tech (0-6 ???) 24

Brackenridge (2-2) vs. Lytle (0-2 ???), (score unavailable)

Brackenridge (2-2) vs. Lockhart (???), (score unavailable)

Friday’s games

Non-district

South San (1-2) 57, Harlandale (2-1) 53

East Central (4-3) 94 New Braunfels (5-3) 63

Southwest (0-2 ???) at Del Rio (0-0 ???), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Pearsall (1-0 ???) 43, Holy Cross (0-3) 34

Brandeis (4-3) 59, Sam Houston (1-2) 54

Edgewood ISD Tournament

McCollum (3-2) 68, Kennedy (0-6) 48

McCollum (3-2) 58, Memorial (3-5) 50

Memorial (3-5) 61, Hawkins (1-3) 31

Kerrville Tivy (2-0 ???) 58, Kennedy (0-6) 43

NEISD Tournament

Fort Bend Clements (???) 64, Highlands (3-5) 52

Central Catholic (3-5) 55, McAllen Memorial (???) 35

St. Anthony Tournament

Boerne (6-2) 61, Brackenridge (2-3 ???) 47

St. Anthony (4-1) 99, Southside (3-4) 63

Lytle 58, Fox Tech (0-7 ???) 56

Saturday’s games

Non-district

Edgewood ISD Tournament

Kerrville Tivy (3-1 ???) 53, Memorial (3-6) 45 

Hawkins (2-4) 54, Kennedy (0-7) 44

McCollum (5-2) 77, Hawkins (2-4) 31

Championship

McCollum (5-2) 51, Kerrville Tivy (3-1) 46

NEISD Tournament

MacArthur (6-4)  65, Central Catholic (3-6) 60

St. Anthony Tournament

Gray Bracket

Semifinals

Brackenridge (4-3 ???) 53, Laredo St. Augustine (???) 40

Championship

Brackenridge (4-3 ???) 65, San Marcos Home School (???) 59

Garnet Bracket

Consolation semifinals

St. Mary’s Hall (6-3) 69, Southside (3-5) 58 

FOOTBALL: Area playoff schedule (Nov. 29-30)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 15-16

Friday’s games

CLASS 5A

Division I

Bi-district round

Warren (9-2) 48, East Central (5-6) 44

O’Connor (8-3) 31, Southwest (5-6) 6

CLASS 4A

Division I

Bi-district round

Hays (9-2) 45, Brackenridge (7-4) 20

Harlandale (9-2) 37, Gregory-Portland (4-7) 35

Division II

Bi-district round

Kerrville Tivy (7-4) 58, Burbank (3-8) 6

Alamo Heights (8-3) 28, Lanier (4-7) 7

CLASS 3A

Division II

Bi-district round

Navarro (101) 61, Sam Houston (2-9) 20

Saturday’s games

TAPPS DIVISION I

Quarterfinals

Argyle Liberty Christian  (8-3) 52, Central Catholic (4-7) 6

TAPPS DIVISION II

Quarterfinals

Holy Cross (8-3) 55, Houston Northland Christian (3-7) 28

Games of Nov. 22-23

Saturday’s games

CLASS 4A

Division I

Area round

Harlandale (10-2) 33, Rio Grande City (5-7) 28

TAPPS DIVISION II

Semifinals

Katy Pope John XXIII (9-2) 22, Holy Cross (8-4) 14

Games of Nov. 29-30

Saturday’s game

CLASS 4A

Division I

Regional round

Harlandale (10-2) vs. Rouse (9-3), 8 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos

FOOTBALL: Bi-district previews (Friday’s games)

FRIDAY

Class 5A

Division I

O’Connor (7-3) at Southwest (5-5), 7:30 p.m.

Southwest lost 42-14 to District 28-5A champion Steele last Friday in its final regular-season game, and the road won’t get much easier. They’ll face 27-5A champion O’Connor, which returns several players who reached the state semifinals last year.

The returnees include quarterback Zach Galindo, who threw 31 touchdown passes last year and has 22 so far this season to go with 2,440 yards. His favorite target, Nate Phillips, has 817 reception yards. The ground attack is consistent, but not particularly explosive.

All in all, the Panthers are formidable. Their defense looked a tad vulnerable last Friday against Taft in a 42-31 win.

That’s where Southwest’s hope has to lie, along with the fact that it’s played this caliber of team before (Brennan and Steele). The Dragons know what they need to do.

Senior back Nathaniel Scott ran for 159 yards against the Knights. He can gain the tough yards, as well as produce breakaway runs.

Quarterback Bowen Crisp threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Jon Cruz in the game. He’ll need a few more completions to keep pace with an O’Connor team that can both sustain drives and score quickly.

Southwest committed three turnovers against Steele. The Dragons can’t afford a repeat, as they’ll need to match scores with O’Connor and, hopefully, do a bit better.

Their defense has been inconsistent, but has had its moments – such as in a 14-9 win over Corpus Christi King two weeks ago and a shutout of South San. Southwest probably will need to keep O’Connor in the high 20s or low 30s in terms of point production to have a chance.Area round opponent:Winner plays Madison (8-3).

Warren (8-2) vs. East Central (5-5), 7:30 p.m. at Gustafson Stadium

Both teams appear to be playing their best football of the season.

East Central is as healthy as its been throughout 2013, and will need to be to win a game that shapes up as a shootout. Warren scored 55 points in its season finale last Friday against Clark. There is hope for the Hornets in the fact that the Warriors allowed 33.

Quarterback Jeremy Jones (1,016 passing yards) has emerged as a running threat in the last two weeks, to complement fellow Division I recruit Johnathan Jackson and Javion Polk, who returned from an injury last week. Jones also will need to have junior big-play receiver Wanya Ward (24 yards per catch), who also has been banged up, at his disposal, to stretch the field. He’ll also need to find both backs with screen passes out of the backfield.

Turnovers have been the Hornets’ Achilles heel this year. Avoiding those momentum killers will be a key.

Prior to the Clark game, Warren’s defense pitched a shutout against a solid Taft team. East Central blanked South San two weeks ago. So, both defenses are capable of getting stops at big times, which may be what’s required.

Warren has the edge offensively, with an offense that has scored more than 100 points in the last two weeks and produced 519 total yards against Clark. Warriors quarterback Jordan Sneed leads a relatively balanced attack. He has thrown for 2,007 yards with 20 touchdowns against seven interceptions.

Other Warren players to watch are back Aedric Robinson, who has rushed for 855 yards, and receiver Sean Eddington, who averages 23 yards per catch. Area round opponent: Winner plays Judson (8-2) or Churchill (6-4).

Class 4A

Division I

Brackenridge (7-3) at Hays (8-2), 7:30 p.m.

District 28-4A runner-up Brackenridge’s hopes likely depend on whether Oklahoma State commit Ramon Richards is able to start at quarterback after sustaining a concussion two weeks ago.

No offense intended to sophomore Antonio Lopez, who has done an admirable job replacing Richards. He threw for 389 yards and has 521 for the season. However, he also threw three interceptions in last Friday’s 27-10 win over Highlands.

The key factor in Richards factor is that he’s a proven postseason winner. His combination of athleticism and leadership can be crucial to Brackenridge’s chances for advancement. Avoiding, or at least minimizing, turnovers will be important.

Hays is a playoff-tested opponent with home-field advantage. Like the Eagles, it reached the area round in 2012.  The Rebels defeated Highlands 60-7 in the bi-district round last year and beat Burbank 61-7 Sept. 1. Brack defeated the rival Bulldogs 26-21 but, in fairness, that was the last game that Richards played, and he made an early exit.

The Rebels, who are the third seed from District 27-4A, have won their last five games since losing by three points to Kerrville Tivy Oct. 4. They’ve averaged 35.8 points in the streak, but have given up 28 points or more three times in that stretch – albeit to quality opponents.

Hays quarterback Jeff Jordan has thrown for 1,529 yards and 15 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Jordan is one of four Rebels ballcarriers who’ve rushed for more than 300 yards.

Brackenridge, which has won four in a row, will need a big game from running back Trey Mathis, to give Richards (or Lopez) time to locate the Eagles’ bevy of receivers. Brack’s big-play capability could be a game changer. Area round opponent: Winner plays Rouse (8-3).

Harlandale (8-2) at Gregory-Portland (4-6), 7:30 p.m.

The hopes will be high on Harlandale’s side of the field as a veteran Indians team faces a Gregory-Portland squad that carries a five-game losing streak into the postseason.

The Indians have won three of their last four, but have been grinding out wins, rather than blowing opponents away, as they did early in the season. So that tempers the enthusiasm a bit.

It’s wise not to underestimate a G-P team that plays in a very tough district (30-4A) represents a program which regularly does well in the playoffs. And then there’s the fact that the Wildcats won the coin flip and have home-field advantage.

Still, the Wildcats have allowed 55 or more points in four of the last five games. As long as senior back Nick Martinez is able to help keep the chains moving, it’s reasonable to expect that quarterback Brandon Ramon will find a way to notch a Harlandale win.Area round opponent: Winner plays Corpus Christi Ray (7-3) or Rio Grande City (4-6).

Division 2

Kerrville Tivy (6-4) vs. Burbank (3-7), 7:30 p.m. at University of the Incarnate Word

Burbank has handled its injury setbacks admirably this year, but the hill ahead is getting steeper and steeper.

The Bulldogs lost 41-0 to Lanier last Saturday in their regular-season finale. The face a Tivy team that finished in a three-way tie for second place in tough District 27-4A.

The Antlers aren’t quite Manziel-caliber, but have a four-game winning streak intact. They’ve defeated their  last two opponents by an average score of 52-15 and won the last three by 29 or more points.

Burbank quarterback J.P. Barrera is making his third start. Lanier had him under pressure throughout the game and the Bulldogs never established their passing attack. To make matters worse, they were without big-play receiver and kick returner Marcos Luna (20 yards a catch). Having good field position and moving the chains will be essential to give Jeremy Sanchez (780 rushing yards) room to run.

The Antlers’ current quarterback Jade Dyal has thrown for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns with just three interceptions. Tyler Ahrens has logged 672 receiving yards. Adrian Medran has run for 756 yards. Area round opponent: Winner plays Cedar Park (10-1).

Lanier (4-6) at Alamo Heights (7-3), 7:30 p.m.

Since District 28-4A season began, Lanier has met its challenges head on and fared admirably well. Don’t be surprised if they’re competitive against a storied Alamo Heights program.

The Mules, who shared second place in District 27-5A, will be favored, of course. They’ve scored 40 or more points in five games, led by quarterback Dalton Banks (2,394 passing yards).

Alamo Heights isn’t one-dimensional, either. Back Byron Proctor has gained 917 yards.

Lanier was steeled by playing four playoff qualifiers during its district season.

The dual running threat of  Joe Orta and Julian Castillo has lent balance, and breakaway potential, to the offense. Senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia has been consistent and can move the chains through the air. Rodrigo Garcia and Steven Horton can make plays downfield.

The Voks should be able to score on Alamo Heights. They’ll probably need at least 28 points to make a strong challenge.Area round opponent: Winner plays Austin Vandegrift (9-2).

Class 3A

Division 2

Sam Houston (2-8) at Navarro (9-1), 7:30 p.m.

Navarro entered its last regular-season game needing a win over Canyon Lake to hold second place. The Panthers won 62-0.

Sam Houston rose to the occasion a week ago, also. The Hurricanes won their only District 28-3A game, blanking Poteet 39-0 to earn the fourth seed.

They were shut out a week earlier by exactly the same score. The opponent was district-champ La Vernia, which compares well to Navarro.

Sophomore lefty quarterback Raymonte Prime has been banged up. Sam Houston will need a big game from him to advance.

When senior back Erin Mack gains more than 100 yards, the Hurricanes’ offense is effective. They have plenty of speed and available receivers, so the potential to put Navarro in the hole with a quick touchdown or catch up exists.

Coming off the shutout, Sam Houston will need to play its best defensive game.

Navarro put up 585 total yards against Canyon Lake. Backs Luke Jaroszewski (1,142 rushing yards) and Jay Leal are the key to the Panthers’ offense. Desmond Smith had more than 100 receiving yards last Friday.

The Hurricanes played a murderous schedule, so there will be no surprises, in terms of the intensity needed to win.Area round opponent: Winner plays Columbus (6-3) or Cuero (6-3).

 

 

BOYS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Central Catholic, East Central rebound from opening losses

Burbank wins two at San Antonio Christian Tourney

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Central Catholic, East Central, Memrial, Southside.

Central Catholic and East Central each lost their opening games, but put those losses behind them in the opening round of the Northside ISD Tournament Thursday.

East Central’s senior backcourt of Ceddrick Ali and Brandon McClure combined for 49 points in leading the Hornets (1-1) to an 83-63 victory over Roosevelt (0-2). Albert Jimenez contributed 11 points for East Central, which scored 27 points in the second quarter to lead 43-26 at halftime.

Central Catholic lost to Alamo Heights in Bruce McConaghy’s first game as coach about 24 hours earlier.   The Buttons thumped Taft (0-2) 79-47, outscoring the Raiders 43-17 in the middle two quarters.

Six-foot-9 junior Tony Lewis led Central Catholic with 19 points. Stuart Lynch finished with 15 points and J. Thompson added 13. Paul Escobar scored 12.

SACS Fall Classic

Burbank (2-1) was the only area winner Thursday in the SACS Fall Classic at San Antonio Christian.

The Bulldogs defeated Warren (1-2) 77-58 and Southside (0-2) 59-35. Burbank built on a 29-11 first-quarter advantage in the win over Warren. It limited Southside to 10 points in the first half.

Brackenridge (0-2) lost a pair of close games, falling 67-59 to Lee (1-2) and San Antonio Christian 53-49. New Braunfels (1-2) defeated Memorial (1-2) 63-54.

No individual statistics were available.

GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Southside wins first two games in own tourney

Three area teams win SAISD Tourney openers

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, East Central, Edison, Highlands, Southside.

Southside (2-2) began its tournament by winning its first two games of the season Thursday. The Cardinals defeated Holmes 38-32 and El Paso Del Valle 55-50 on the first day of the tournament.

Against Del Valle, Desiree Rodriguez erupted for 30 points. The senior sank four 3-point baskets and also provided three steals. Mayra Sendejo added nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Senior Sabrina Guzman led the Cardinals with 18 points, five assists and four steals against Holmes (0-6). Rodriguez scored 10 points and made two 3-point shots. Aimee Wood notched three steals. Senior Amber Martinez blocked two shots.

Highlands split its two games, defeating Weslaco East 50-46 and losing to Marshall (5-3) 44-34.

The Owls were led by senior Mercedes Reyes with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Marshall. Sophomore Aaliyah Prince scored eight points and made three steals. Alexis Darden grabbed eight rebounds. Maria Martinez blocked two shots.

SAISD Tournament

Brackenridge (5-2), East Central (2-1) and Edison (3-3) all won their first games Thursday in the opening round of the SAISD Tournament.

Edison edged New Braunfels Canyon (1-3) 43-31. The Cougars outscored Edison 12-9 in the fourth quarter, but the Golden Bears hung on. Senior Marisa Salas led Edison with 15 points. Hannah Diano added nine.

Brackenridge downed Taft (2-4) 61-42. The Eagles’ Breeann Hernandez led all scorers with 21 points. Miranda Acuna and Skyler Reyna each scored 12. Tevis Thomas chipped in with eight points.

 

MID-WEEK GIRLS BASKETBALL REPORT: South San uses strong start to defeat Edison

Floresville edges Brackenridge in OT

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Kennedy, Lanier, Sam Houston, South San.

Senior Kim Tobias scored 18 points Tuesday, leading South San (1-2) to a 55-46 win at Edison (2-3).

The Bobcats built a 25-17 halftime lead. Yasmine Andrade and Kassandra Valadez each contributed 10 points for South San.

Junior post Paula Moreno led the Golden Bears with 15 points.

Floresville 80, Brackenridge 78

The Jaguars (4-2) pulled out the game between Class 4A marquee teams in overtime Tuesday at Brackenridge.

The Eagles (4-2) led 47-46 entering the fourth quarter. Floresville outscored Brack 19-18 in the fourth quarter to force overtime and 15-13 in the extra session.

Miranda Acuna led Brackenridge with 22 points, hitting three 3-point baskets. Skyler Reyna contributed 19 points. Breeann Hernandez finished with 16.

Floresville standout DeHavalan Watts produced 36 points, five assists and three steals.

Lanier 63, Sam Houston 36

The Voks established a nine-point lead in the first quarter and outscored the Hurricanes 35-17 after halftime on the way to a non-district win Tuesday in Sam Houston.

Ashley Lopez scored 16 points for Lanier. Ruby Garza (14 points) and Kim Garza (10) also scored in double figures. Sabrina Cortinas, who joined the team after volleyball season, contributed nine points. Amanda Reyes scored eight.

Dionna Camino led Sam Houston with 17 points. Dajah Thomas scored eight.

Harlandale 55, Burbank 47

The Indians (3-3) played without leading scorer Connie Garza and had to work hard for points, but found a way to defeat the Bulldogs Tuesday at Burbank. Harlandale outscored their hosts 21-4 in the third quarter to secure the win.

Sophomore Justyne Perez and junior LeeAnn Garza each scored a team-best nine points for Harlandale. Elizabeth Herrera contributed six points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Kelly Landin scored six points and grabbed six rebounds.

Senior Alejandra Martinez led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Sophomore post Antwanisha Riddle scored 11 points. Olivia Cardenas added eight points.

Highlands 41, Kennedy 30

The Owls (5-2) outscored Kennedy (0-2) 15-3 in the third quarter to overcome an early deficit and pave the way to a non-district victory Tuesday at Edgewood Gym. The Rockets took an 8-3 lead in the first quarter and were ahead 16-15 at the half.

Freshman Kiara Pesina led the Owls with 14 points. Alexis Darden notched eight points.

The Rockets were led by junior Cameron Orta with 10 points. Janel Contreras added nine.

MIDWEEK BOYS BASKETBALL REPORT: Alamo Heights spoils McConaghy’s Buttons coaching debut

Highlands surprises East Central in opener

TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Central Catholic, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, South San.

Host Alamo Heights defeated Central Catholic 73-60 Wednesday, handing the Buttons a loss in Bruce McConaghy’s first game as the school’s coach.

Central Catholic established a 32-29 halftime lead, but went cold in the third quarter. The Mules outscored the Buttons 22-9 in the third period and 44-28 in the second half.

Senior point guard Paul Escobar led the Buttons with 28-points. He was the only Central Catholic player to score more than six points.

The Mules were led by 23 points from Jim Lammers and 14 points from Bruce Lammers, who signed with Georgia Tech University.

Highlands 83, East Central 71

When the Owls face former district rival East Central, it’s always an exciting game and Tuesday’s matchup was no exception. The exceptional part was Highlands’ performance, vanquishing a talented Hornets’ squad at Highlands in the season opener for both teams.

East Central led after each of the first two quarters and had a 31-26 advantage at halftime behind what turned out to be a 39-point game from senior guard Brandon McClure. The Hornets added a point to their lead by the end of the third quarter, but Highlands was about to erupt. The Owls snared the win by outscoring East Central 32-16 in the fourth quarter.

The Owls were led by sophomore DeMarcus Hartfield with 21 points. Junior Joseph Jackson contributed 12 points. Xavier Long added nine points and junior Jermichael Shirley scored eight.

East Central sophomore Ethan White finished with nine points. Third-year starter Ceddrick Ali did not score for the Hornets.

McCollum 57, South San 49

The Cowboys outscored host South San 20-8 in the first quarter Tuesday and also had a double-digit scoring advantage in the final period. The middle quarters belonged to the Bobcats, but the Class 5A team wasn’t able to defeat its Class 4A opponent in the season opener.

Junior Cosmo Cantu, a third-year varsity player, led McCollum with 19 points. Nathan Martinez and Alex Loera posted 11 points apiece. Senior Eric Alcozer led South San with 18 points. David Valdez contributed 13.

Lanier 70, Kennedy 37

The Voks began their final season under coach Rudy Bernal with a decisive victory Tuesday at Lanier’s Alumni Center. Lanier held the Rockets to 14 first-half points in their season debut.

Seniors Ajax Reyes (23 points) and Louis Garza (20) were the Voks’ scoring leaders. Chris Salazar returned from an injury to generate 10 points. Israel Serna chipped in with eight in his varsity debut.

Kennedy received 10 points from Austin Pena. Erick Moncada added seven.

Memorial 66, Fox Tech 40

Xavier Abrigo led the Minutemen with 14 points and Joseph Aguillen scored nine as Memorial won the season opener for both teams Tuesday at Fox Tech. Memorial led 40-22 at halftime.

The Buffaloes received nine points from Ruben Hernandez and eight points from Ruben Chapa.

Harlandale 63, Burbank 43

The Indians stormed to a 22-11 lead in the first quarter of the season opener for both teams Tuesday at Harlandale. They stayed in control thanks to four double-figure scorers.

Jesus Maltos led Harlandale with 18 points in his first varsity game. Senior Armando Guerrero netted 12 points. George Rodriguez and Jose Salinas each scored 11. Post Ram Torres added eight points.

For Burbank, Michael Mascorro had a team-high nine points. Moses Betancourt and Juan Castillo each scored seven points.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Nov. 16)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 10-16

Monday’s results

Non-district

Holy Cross (2-3) 67, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-2) 34

Tuesday’s games

Non-district

Southwest (6-1) 56, Holmes (0-3) 24

Alamo Heights (1-2) 54,  Southside (0-2) 34.

Highlands (5-2) 41, Kennedy (0-2) 30

Antonian (5-2) 57,  McCollum (1-4) 40

Smithson Valley (4-3) 40, East Central (1-1) 36

Harlandale (3-3) 55, Burbank (2-3) 47

Jefferson (1-3) at Lee (1-3), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Roosevelt (4-1) 70, Fox Tech (1-4) 28

South San (1-2) 56, Edison (2-3) 46

Floresville (4-2) 80, Brackenridge (4-2) 78

Lanier (1-3 ???) 63, Sam Houston (0-2 ???) 36

Laredo Martin (???) 42, Providence (1-4) 25

Thursday’s games

Non-district

SAISD Tournament

Churchill (7-0) 48, Jefferson (1-4) 23

Edison (3-3) 43, New Braunfels Canyon (1-3) 41

O’Connor (5-2) 76, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-2) 13

Smithson Valley (5-3) 53, Sam Houston (0-3 ???) 26

East Central (2-1) 43, Lanier (1-4 ???) 33

Brackenridge (5-2) 61, Taft (2-4) 42 

Southside Tournament

Marshall (5-3) 44, Highlands (6-3) 34

Southside (2-2) 55, El Paso Del Valle (???) 50

Highlands (6-3) 50, Weslaco East (???) 46

Southside (2-2) 38, Holmes (0-6) 32

Friday’s games

Non-district

St. Anthony (3-3) 52, Harlandale (3-4) 43

Holy Cross (2-3) at McCollum (1-4), 6:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

South San (2-2) 63, Kennedy (0-3) 39

Fox Tech (2-4) 37, TMI (???) 31

SAISD Tournament

Clark (3-1) 67, Brackenridge (5-3) 59

O’Connor (6-2) 73, Edison (3-4) 32

Jefferson (2-4) 61,  Sam Houston (0-4 ???) 45

Roosevelt (7-1) 48, East Central (2-2) 24

Brandeis (5-3) 61, Lanier (1-5 ???) 28

Taft (3-4) 42, Burbank (2-5) 12

New Braunfels Canyon (2-3) 50, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-3) 25

Southside Tournament

Highlands (7-3) 45, Lee (2-6) 42 

Southside (3-2) 62, Beeville (???) 37

Saturday’s games

Non-district

SAISD Tournament

East Central (3-3) 52, Edison (3-5) 39

Brackenridge (7-3) 66, Smithson Valley (5-5) 56

Taft (4-4 ???) 43, Jefferson (3-5) 36

Burbank (2-5) vs. Sam Houston (0-4 ???), (score unavailable)

Lanier (2-5 ???) 51,Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-4) 18

Brackenridge (7-3) 54, East Central (3-3) 36

Jefferson (3-5) 43, New Braunfels Canyon (2-5) 38

Southside Tournament

Navarro (4-3) 60, Highlands (8-3) 51

El Paso Del Valle (???) 39, Southside (2-3) 27

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Nov. 16)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 10-16

Monday’s results

Non-district

FEAST (0-0) at Brackenridge (0-0), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Tuesday’s games

Non-district

Memorial (1-0) 66, Fox Tech (0-1) 40

Hawkins (1-0) 58, Holy Cross (0-1) 38

McCollum (1-0) 57, South San (0-1) 49

Holmes (1-0) 76, Southwest (0-1) 74

Lanier (1-0) 70,  Kennedy (0-1) 37

Harlandale (1-0) 63, Burbank (0-1) 43

Steele (1-0) 65, Edison (0-1) 56

Highlands (1-0) 83, East Central (0-1) 71

Antonian (1-0) 58, Jefferson (0-1) 33

Wednesday’s game

Non-district

Alamo Heights (1-0) 73, Central Catholic (0-1) 60

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Northside ISD Tournament

Brandeis (1-1) 58, Highlands (1-1) 39

Stevens (1-1) 44, Edison (0-2) 37

Central Catholic (1-1) 79, Taft (0-2) 47

East Central (1-1) 83, Roosevelt (0-2) 63

SACS Fall Classic

Burbank (2-1) 77, Warren (1-2) 58

New Braunfels (1-2) 63, Memorial (1-2) 54

Lee (1-2) 67, Brackenridge (0-2) 59

Burbank (2-1) 59, Southside (0-2) 35

Laredo United (???) 50, Jefferson (0-3) 37

Warren (1-2) 81, Southside (0-2) 59 

Dripping Springs (???) 70, Memorial (1-2) 31

San Antonio Christian (2-0 ???) 53, Brackenridge (0-2) 49

Holmes (3-0) 74, Jefferson (0-3) 53

Friday’s games

Non-district

Seguin (1-1) 56, McCollum (1-1) 54

Sam Houston (1-0) 76, Kennedy (0-2) 38

Fox Tech (0-1) at Eagle Pass Winn (0-1), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Madison (0-1) at Southwest (0-1), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Northside ISD Tournament

Highlands (3-1) 75, Laredo Martin (???) 57

MacArthur (3-1) 73, Central Catholic (1-3) 64

O’Connor (2-2) 65, East Central (2-2) 57

McAllen Rowe (???) 52, Edison (0-4) 51

Stevens (2-2) 61, Central Catholic (1-3) 51

Highlands (3-1) 56, Roosevelt (1-3) 54

East Central (2-2) 75, Reagan (2-2) 55

Taft (???) 58, Edison (0-4) 49

SACS Fall Classic

Jefferson (1-4) 60, Memorial (1-3) 58

Brackenridge (2-2) 63, Memorial (1-3) 52

Southside (1-3) 85, Jefferson (1-4) 79

Brackenridge (2-2) 64, Southside (1-3) 34

Warren (2-3) 63, Burbank (2-3) 45

New Braunfels (3-2) 60, Burbank (2-3) 55

Saturday’s games

Non-district

Northside ISD Tournament

Reagan (3-2) 52,Central Catholic (1-4) 51

Stevens (3-2) 61, East Central (2-3) 53

McAllen Rowe (???) 54, Highlands (3-2) 39

Edison (0-4) vs. Laredo Martin (???), (score unavailable)

SACS Fall Classic Tournament

Burbank (2-3) vs. Laredo United (???), (score unavailable)

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Harlandale takes fourth behind 5A schools at own tourney

Southwest takes consolation title with win over Edison

PLEASE RETURN TO THIS LINK TUESDAY FOR THE HARLANDALE ISD TOURNAMENT STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE

 

From its early schedule, it’d be easy to assume that Harlandale is a Class 5A school.

After opening the season against 28-5A representative East Central, the young Indians (2-3) found themselves in the land of the giant schools last Saturday. Harlandale was the only Class 4A school to reach the semifinals of this year’s Harlandale ISD Tournament.

With just four returning letterwinners, the Indians predictably took their lumps against a couple of strong 5A teams in their last two games Saturday. Eventual champion Churchill (5-0) defeated Harlandale 70-31 in the semifinals. Roosevelt (4-1) overpowered the Indians 47-8 in the third-place game.

The Indians began the tournament with a pair of wins. They defeated Class 4A Jefferson 42-31 and 5A Lee 45-33 Friday. 

“We started off pretty strong,” Harlandale coach Jackie Contreras said. “We have a talented, skilled team. We just need to look for our shot more.”

Harlandale wasn’t the only school to take home hardware from the three-day tournament. Southwest (5-1) defeated Edison (2-2) 56-32 for the consolation championship.

Southwest, led by arguably the area’s best player in Tiffani Rodriguez, lost its opening game 52-46 to Roosevelt Thursday. The Dragons won their remaining games, starting with wins over Fox Tech (1-3) and McCollum (1-3) on Friday. In the consolation semifinals Saturday, they downed St. Anthony 63-38.

Rodriguez scored 22 points and Briana Longoria added 18 against St. Anthony. Edison held Rodriguez to 12 points, but the Dragons spread out the scoring as they outscored the Golden Bears 22-5 in the second quarter. Jenyl Henry chipped in 11 points.

“We lost a heartbreaker to Roosevelt in the first game,” Southwest coach Bill Avey said. “Other than that, it was a very good tournament. We’ve played a good early schedule, and now we have a lot of work to do on our halfcourt execution.”

The Dragons’ opponent, Edison, opened with a 50-point loss to Churchill, which is picked to make the playoffs from District 26-5A. The Golden Bears rebounded to defeat Memorial (0-3) 57-11 later Friday and edge Jefferson (1-3) 42-38 in the consolation semifinals Saturday.

Edison point guard Marissa Salas scored 13 points and Paula Moreno had 10 against Southwest. Salas put up 17 points in the win over Jefferson.

“We didn’t have a season opener,” Edison coach Angie Alonso said. “Our first game was in this tournament. We’re kind of young, so this is a very good starting point. We know what we need to do now.”

Harlandale senior post Connie Garza scored 20 points against Lee (1-3). Senior Kelly Landin and freshman Miranda Samarripas added eight points apiece.

Against Roosevelt, the Indians played strong defense and committed no unforced errors in the first quarter. They were within 6-3 after the first eight minutes. However, the Roughriders started a run of 27 unanswered points late in the quarter.

“We’ve played some really tough teams,” Contreras said. “This will get us ready for district and the playoffs. This is kind of like a reality check. If we work on our mistakes, it will get us ready for the playoffs.”

Holy Cross (1-3) ended the tournament with a 78-32 loss to Clemens (3-1) in a guaranteed game Saturday. The Knights began with a 45-41 win over McCollum last Thursday. In the quarterfinals, Taft smashed Holy Cross 50-12.

Joslyn Flores led the Knights with 23 points against McCollum. The Cowboys’ Emilee Almazan produced 14.

“I’ve never had a point guard like Flores, who can make (3-point baskets) in transition,” Holy Cross coach Jesse Arguello said. “Now we can spread the court. We can shoot the three if we’re open, or drive the lane and drop it off to the post.”

MORE TO COME

FOOTBALL: Lanier steamrolls Burbank 41-0 in 28-4A finale

Bulldogs had first playoff bid since 1978 in back pocket

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THIS STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Lanier-steamrolls-Burbank-41-0-4975380.php

 

On the heels of a 2012 season during which nothing seemed to go Lanier’s way, the Voks had a little extra appreciation for their return to the playoffs.

Although everything figuratively was set in stone before kickoff last Saturday at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, the third-place Voks (4-6, 4-2) played as if on a mission to extend its season in the District 28-4A contest. Lanier blanked Burbank (3-7, 2-4) 41-0.

“Last year, we were a really good team,” said Lanier senior fullback Steven Veliz, a third-year starter, “but we weren’t able to pull (games) out at the end. In (almost) all of our district games, I want to say, we lost by no more than 10 points.

“We got in the weight room early after the season ended and had a lot of senior leadership. That’s why we are good.”

Burbank has had a litany of injuries this year, but still became the school’s first playoff representative since 1978. The Bulldogs may have breathed a sigh of relief after Highlands lost to Brackenridge 24 hours earlier, confirming their playoff plans. Although they tied for fourth, Burbank defeated Highlands Sept. 26.

“Coach Gatian does a great job with those kids,” Burbank coach Mark Perez said of Lanier coach Don Gatian. “Our kids were excited to make the playoffs, but they weren’t ready at kickoff. I knew, being a young team, that might be a problem.”

The Voks buried Burbank with 20 points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs mustered just 74 total yards.

Lanier scored on its first possession. Junior back Joe Orta (145 yards, 18 carries) carried the ball five times for 60 yards on the drive. Orta scored the first of two touchdowns on a 14-yard run.

The Voks scored again the next time they had the ball, relying on Julian Castillo (63 yards, 12 carries). The sophomore back ran three times for 32 yards on a drive that finished with a 19-yard pass from quarterback Nicholas Garcia to a jubilant Rodrigo Garcia.

“Joe was a starting outside linebacker,” Gatian said, ” but as the year went along, Veliz was out and Joey stepped up. Julian is only a sophomore. It’s nice for next year.”

Castillo took an interception he grabbed in Burbank’s backfield 38 yards to complete the first-quarter scoring. Johnny Glover increased the lead to 27-0 at halftime with a 15-yard touchdown run. Orta, on a 17-yarder and Andrew McCumber, on a four-yarder, ran for fourth quarter touchdowns.

Nicholas Garcia was injured in the game, but Gatian expects him to return for Lanier’s bi-district game at Alamo Heights (7-3). Burbank will play Kerrville Tivy (6-4) at the University of the Incarnate Word. Both games  kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

MORE TO COME