BOYS BASKETBALL: East Central vs. O’Connor photo gallery, Feb. 17. 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

Hornets point guard Ceddrick Ali tries to catch an opponent off balance so he can drive.
Hornets point guard Ceddrick Ali tries to catch an opponent off balance so he can drive.

 

East Central senior Jeremy Jones rises for game-winning dunk vs. O'Connor. Jones produced his seventh steal and sealed the win with a dunk 7.7 seconds before the end.
East Central senior Jeremy Jones rises for game-winning dunk vs. O’Connor. Jones produced his seventh steal and sealed the win with a dunk 7.7 seconds before the end.
Jeremy Jones splits two O'Connor defenders.
Jeremy Jones splits two O’Connor defenders.
His East Central teammates celebrate Jeremy Jones' game-winning dunk.
His East Central teammates celebrate Jeremy Jones’ game-winning dunk.

SOFTBALL: South San vs. Memorial photo gallery, Feb. 13, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

Alyssa Montes connects for South San.
Alyssa Montes connects for South San.
Bridget Gomez (7) locks in on the path of the grounder as a South San runner takes off on contact.
Bridget Gomez (7) locks in on the path of the grounder as a South San runner takes off on contact.
South San senior pitcher Nikki Velasquez has been one of the Bobcats' leaders in her fourth varsity season.
South San senior pitcher Nikki Velasquez has been one of the Bobcats’ leaders in her fourth varsity season.
Memorial's Esther Martinez (14) takes a cut at Nikki Velasquez's pitch.
Memorial’s Esther Martinez (14) takes a cut at Nikki Velasquez’s pitch.
Memorial's Gabriella San Miguel relieved starting pitcher Bridget Gomez against South San.
Memorial’s Gabriella San Miguel relieved starting pitcher Bridget Gomez against South San.

SOFTBALL: This week’s results (thru March 1)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 23-March 1

Tuesday’s games

Non-district

Holy Cross (9-4)  4, Bandera (0-3 ???) 3
East Central (9-2) 10, Reagan (4-8) 0 (5 innings)
Judson (10-4) 2, Southwest (8-4) 1
Highlands (2-5) 4, Kennedy (2-5) 3
South San (6-1) 13, Burbank (2-7-1) 0 (5 innings)
Lanier (4-5) 22, Memorial (1-6) 7 (3 innings)
Brackenridge (8-3-1) 18, Southside (3-9) 3 (3 innings)
Johnson (10-5) 11, Edison (1-9) 0 (5 innings)
MacArthur (5-8) 12, Harlandale  (6-6-1) 2 (5 innings)
La Pryor (1-0 ???) 24, Sam Houston (0-8) 3 (3 innings)

Jefferson (4-4) vs. Hawkins (0-2 ???) at Mission Concepcion Sports Park, 6 p.m. (score unavailable)

Lee (4-5) vs. McCollum (3-3) at Tejeda Complex, 7 p.m. (score unavailable)

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Seguin Tournament

East Central (10-2) 13, El Paso Burges 0 (5 innings)

Bandera 5, Holy Cross (10-5) 3
Holy Cross (10-5) 12, Laredo Alexander 0 (3 innings) 
Navarro 3, South San (6-2-1) 1 
East Central (11-2) 9, Seguin 7
Friday’s games

District 28-4A

Brennan (10-3, 1-0) 9, Jefferson (4-5, 0-1) 8

Highlands (3-5-1, 1-0) 17, Burbank (2-8-1, 0-1) 2 (5 innings)

Edison (2-9, 1-0) 10, Lanier (4-6, 0-1) 0 (5 innings)

District 29-4A

Floresville (7-8, 1-0) 11, Kennedy (2-6, 0-1) 1  (5 innings)

Uvalde (7-5, 1-0) 17, Harlandale (6-7-1, 0-1) 4

McCollum (4-3, 1-0) 11, Southside (3-10, 0-1) 0 (5 innings)

Memorial (1-6, 0-0) at Medina Valley (11-1, 0-0), 7:15 p.m. (score unavailable)

Non-district

Providence (3-3) vs. Sam Houston (0-8) at Burbank, 5:30 p.m.  (score unavailable)

Brackenridge (8-3-1) at Carizzo Springs (1-1-1 ???), 6:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Southwest (9-4) 12, Smithson Valley (11-2) 2 (5 innings)

Seguin Tournament

East Central (13-2) 17, New Braunfels (1-6 ???) 2 (5 innings)

East Central (13-2) 13, New Braunfels (3-6) 4 (6 innings)

Holy Cross (11-6) 11, El Paso Burges 0 (3 innings)

Devine (10-3) 9, Holy Cross (11-6) 0

El Paso Burges (???) 9, South San (6-5-1) 3

Uvalde (7-5) 13, South San (6-5-1) 0 (5 innings)

Saturday’s games

Non-district

Seguin Tourney

East Central (14-3) 12, Incarnate Word (4-5) 0

Holy Cross (13-6) 6, South San (7-6-1) 4

Holy Cross (13-6)  6, Navarro (9-4) 1

South San (7-6-1) 5,  La Vernia (9-9) 1

Judson (15-4) 7, East Central (14-3) 2.

BASEBALL: This week’s results (thru March 1)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 23-March 1

Monday’s results

Non-district

St. Anthony (5-3) 19, Memorial (0-4) 5 (5 innings)

Tuesday’s games

Non-district

Central Catholic (4-2) 3, Brennan (3-4) 1
New Braunfels (5-1) 13, Highlands (2-3) 0
Southside (2-4) 
4, Jefferson (1-4) 0
South San (5-2) 
10, Holy Cross (3-4) 1
Harlandale (3-3) 
7, Lanier (1-3) 2
McCollum (6-0) 10, Sam Houston (0-4) 1
Alamo Heights (6-1) 9, Burbank (2-3-1) 1

Edison (0-4) at Seguin (3-1), TBA (score unavailable)

Floresville (3-2) 15, Brackenridge (2-3) 14 (8 innings)

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Edgewood ISD Tournament

Memorial (1-5) 8, Edison (0-6)

Kennedy (3-2) 15, Sam Houston (0-5) 2 (4 innings)

Cole 10, Memorial (1-5) 3

Hays 11, Edison (0-6) 1 (5 innings)

Floresville Tournament

Holmes 4, Brackenridge (2-3) 1

OTHER AREA TEAMS – Lanier (1-3), Southside (2-4). 

Judson Tournament

Clemens 6, Jefferson (1-6) 

Central Catholic (6-2) 2, Hays 1 
Steele 15, Jefferson (1-6)  0 
Central Catholic (6-2) 11, Laredo United South 5 

Kerrville Tivy Tournament

AREA TEAMS – East Central (4-1). Finals – Saturday. (scores unavailable)

NEISD Tournament

Highlands (3-3) 3, Taft 2 
Clark 7, South San (5-3) 2  

New Braunfels Canyon Tournament

Austin St. Michael’s (???) 7, Burbank (2-4-1) 3

Southwest Tournament

Medina Valley 4, McCollum (6-1) 0
Uvalde 8, Harlandale (3-4) 2
Southwest (4-1-1) 2, Uvalde 2  

Friday’s games

Non-district

Edgewood ISD Tournament

Dilley (???) 19, Sam Houston (2-7) 0

Memorial (3-6) 11, Cole (2-7) 10
Sam Houston (2-7) 13, Memorial (3-6) 9
Memorial (3-6) 8, Edison (0-7) 4
Hays (5-1) 7, Kennedy (3-3) 1

Floresville Tournament

Brackenridge (3-3) 6, Lytle (1-2 ???) 3 

La Vernia (6-2) 17, Lanier (1-4) 1 (4 innings)
La Vernia (6-2) 13, Southside (2-5) 2 (6 innings)

Judson Tournament

Warren (7-3) 16, Central Catholic (7-3) 6 (4 innings)

Central Catholic (7-3) 13, Wagner (0-6) 5  

Bastrop (???) 15, Jefferson (1-8) 8

Judson (3-6) 10, Jefferson (1-8) 2

Kerrville Tivy Tournament

East Central (5-1) 3, Fredericksburg (???) 0

NEISD Tournament

South San (7-3) 4, Brandeis (2-7) 3 

Austin Bowie (???) 9, Highlands (3-5) 5
South San (7-3) 8, Roosevelt (2-4) 4
Churchill (6-3) 9, Highlands (3-5) 1

New Braunfels Canyon Tournament

Corpus Christi Calallen (???) 12, Burbank (2-5-1) 0 (4 innings).

Southwest Tournament

Brennan (5-4) 7, Southwest (5-2-1) 1

McCollum (8-2) 13, Harlandale (3-6) 6

Southwest (5-2-1) 4, Harlandale (3-6) 1

Jay (1-6) 4, McCollum (8-2) 3

McCollum (8-2) 8, Stevens (1-9) 0

Saturday’s games

Non-district

Edgewood ISD Tournament

St. Anthony (8-4) 5, Kennedy (4-4) 1

Kennedy (4-4) 4, Dilley (2-2 ???) 1

St. Anthony (8-4) 14, Memorial (3-7) 8

Floresville Tournament

Lanier (3-5) 11, Lytle (1-5 ???) 8

Southside (3-5) 7, Brackenridge (3-4) 6

Judson Tournament

Judson (3-6) 15, Central Catholic (7-4) 5

Kerrville Tivy Tournament

AREA TEAMS – East Central (5-1). Finals – Saturday. (scores unavailable)

NEISD Tournament

Highlands (4-6) 9, Roosevelt (2-6-1) 7

Clark (6-6) 5, South San (7-5) 1

Taft (2-7-1) 7, Highlands (4-6) 6

Austin Bowie (???) 4, South San (7-5) 2

New Braunfels Canyon Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Burbank (2-5-1). Finals – Saturday. (scores unavailable)

BOYS BASKETBALL: Foul shooting enables Dripping Springs to hold off Edison

Tigers make 20 of 25 free throws in fourth quarter

A thriller devolved into a horror movie for Edison as the fourth quarter progressed last Friday at Canyon Lake High School.

Edison, which finished with a 24-11 record, trailed Dripping Springs (24-11) by two points with little more than three minutes remaining in the Class 4A area-round game. The Tigers then embarked on a seemingly uninterrupted parade to the foul line, somewhat due to the Golden Bears hopes to extend the game and improve its chances for advancement.

Unfortunately for Edison, Dripping Springs sank 20 of 25 free throws in the fourth quarter to eliminate the Golden Bears 54-44. Three Edison players fouled out in the fourth quarter and another drew his fourth foul.

“We just fell short,” Edison coach Art Vela said. “They’re very long and very conservative on defense. We tried to spread them out and break them down to get to the basket. We got some open looks, but we didn’t knock down too many.”

The Golden Bears were within 40-38 with 3:03 left in the physical game when senior point guard Justin Torres (20 points, 12 rebounds) made a short jumper off a spin move.

Torres had kept Edison close with nine points in the third quarter.

“Justin has been our foundation,” Vela said. “He’s really improved this year. Everything you saw today was something he’s been doing for us all year. He’s a lockdown defender and he runs our offense. He always gives great effort. He’s done a great job for us.”

The Tigers scored the next nine points, scoring seven from the free-throw stripe. Six-foot-7 Patrick Bullock (11 points, 16 rebounds) made five of the attempts.

“We’re a very mature team,” Dripping Springs coach Craig Swannack said. “In the fourth quarter, our seniors really took the lead.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on is making our free throws in the fourth quarter. That’s something I was really happy with.”

Edison didn’t score again until 39 seconds remained, when Angelo Leyvani nailed a three-point basket from the top of the key. Dripping Springs led 49-43.

Bullock and defensive standout A.J. Huff each made two free throws and Brogan Lynch made one to cement the Tigers’ win. A free throw from senior post Andy Castro with 11.3 seconds to play counted as the Golden Bears’ final point in the 2013-14 season.

Edison led 18-14 with 3:23 remaining in the first half after Lorenzo Vela, the coach’s son, was fouled on a three-pointer and made two free throws. It was the third time the Golden Bears had increased their lead to four points.

The Tigers scored the next 12 points, including the first six in the second half. Their lead reached 10 points when Torres scored nine-consecutive Edison points. He converted a steal into a layup to bring the Golden Bears within 32-31 when the third quarter ended.

“Our kids, they give 100 percent,” Vela said. “In the third quarter, there was a period when it looked like they were going to give up. But one or two kids stepped up and, suddenly, we were right back in the ballgame.”

Dripping Springs ended the game on a 14-6 run. Guards Blake Chiuminetta and Bryce Hegemier each scored 13 points for the Tigers. Combined, they made nine of 10 free throws in the fourth.

“They all did a good job,” Vela said of his players. “That’s a heck of a team.”

Lorenzo Vela finished with nine points and four rebounds. However, he never found his shooting touch against tight defense from Huff.

“One of the things we told him was that he had to stay on Vela’s left,” Swannack said. “He did that very well.”

Castro and Jared Zapata claimed seven rebounds apiece, as Edison had a 37-36 rebounding advantage against the taller Tigers.

“One of the things we talked about was winning the rebounding battle in the second half – and it was a scrum,” Swannack said. “We challenged (the kids) to get every single rebound. We didn’t get every single one, but we got almost all the important ones.”

Edison had opened some eyes with a 61-56 win over Alamo Heights (28-5) Tuesday in the bi-district round. The Mules, who recently lost 6-9 Georgia Tech signee Ben Lammers to a season-ending injury, were ranked No. 18 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state rankings.

Torres led the Golden Bears with 21 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Lorenzo Vela scored 18 points, making three 3-point shots, and added four rebounds, four steals and four assists. Edson Salazar and Zapata each scored eight.

“We had a lot of motivation, because we neighbor each other,” Vela said. “Their school district boundary borders on ours. But we come from two different circumstances. The guys were really hungry to beat Alamo Heights, because they ended our season last year.

“Even without Lammers, they’re still a good team. We spread them out and got to the basket. In the second half, they switched (defenses) and they hit a lot of shots, but we made our free throws to hold them off.”

The Golden Bears will lose Torres, Castro, Salazar, Tony Alvarado and Justin Rodriguez to graduation from the playing rotation.

“What I love abour our team is that they’re a big family and that they’ve bonded together,” Vela said. “They’ve stuck together and worked together. They’ve done everything I’ve asked. They’d run through a wall for me if I asked them to.”

The prospective returnees are led by Lorenzo Vela and Zapata, both of whom made big strides this season. The Edison coach pointed out that his team won’t be as tall without the 6-6 Castro and 6-4 Alvarado.

“We’ll have our JV kids, and we’ll have Lorenzo and Jared back,” Vela said. “We’re losing everybody else, but I think those two kids will be our leaders and they’ll set the tone for the others. The JV had a lot of guys who were workhorses.

“We’ll be a lot smaller, but we’ll make some adjustments and, hopefully, we’ll be back in the mix next year.”

 

BOYS BASKETBALL: Curtain comes down on Bernal’s Lanier career

Hays makes last 12 free throws, defeats Voks 60-52

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

 

Lanier coach Rudy Bernal enjoys a light moment against Jefferson earlier in  his final Voks season.
Lanier coach Rudy Bernal enjoys a light moment against Jefferson earlier in his final Voks season.
Lanier's Louis Garza (left) applies trademark Voks defensive pressure against Jefferson's Anthony Friere.
Lanier’s Louis Garza (left) applies trademark Voks defensive pressure against Jefferson’s Anthony Friere.

There’s no way to know how many wins first-year Hays coach Robert Lucero will accumulate in his career, but there was a feeling that a torch was being passed Feb. 18 in New Braunfels.

With the New Braunfels High gym packed from the floor to last row of bleachers – predominately with Lanier fans — Voks coach Rudy Bernal watched his time at the west-side school expire. Lucero and his Rebels (21-9) made the shots when they counted for a 60-52 bi-district victory.

“They’re extremely patient and poised,” Bernal said. “We tried to hit them with our pressure early to try to offset their size, but they did a good job of handling our traps.”

Bernal finished the Lanier phase of his coaching career with a 568-443 record. This year’s Voks produced a 25-9 mark.

It was a Voks team that had to work harder to score than it’s immediate predecessors, who were adroit from the three-point line. That absence was felt throughout the Class 4A bi-district game. Lanier missed three field-goal attempts in a row before 6-foot-4 freshman Isaiah Vargas (8 points, 7 rebounds) scored with .5 seconds on the clock.

By that point, the Rebels had finished making their last 12 foul shots.

“Lanier always plays with a lot of heart and is very physical,” Lucero said. “For us, we had to try to make each possession count. We tried to use our height and length inside, but they play so hard they sometimes negate it. We also wanted to keep their guards under control.”

Hays twice built six-point leads in the first half, but Lanier stayed in striking range.

The poised Rebels tied the score 40-40 as the third quarter ended. The Voks then surged ahead, scoring six of the next eight points with help from senior point guard Louis Garza’s jumper off the dribble and a three-pointer Carlos Gutierrez hit from the left wing.

Hays took a 48-45 lead, but sophomore Raul Solis (11 points) connected on his third 3-pointer and swished a 15-foot jumper for a two-point Voks advantage with 3:05 remaining.

“He did a great job,” Bernal said. “He kept us in the game. Raul made 3 threes and a couple inside shots. He was definitely valuable today. He played JV most of the season, but then we lost a couple of kids.”

The next 12 points belonged to Hays.

Hayden Cagle (9 points, 11 rebounds), a 6-8 post, tied it 50-50 with a pair of free throws. A rebound basket from 6-4 forward Heath Agnew put the Rebels ahead to stay. Stephen Ayala, Alec Mozee, Cagle and senior leader Jacob Rodriguez (12 points, 4 assists, 3 steals) each made two free throws down the stretch.

“We lost a tough game earlier this year to Boerne Champion,” Lucero said. “The guys learned from that loss and have done well in close games since then. Jacob is such a great leader and a great shooter. At the end of the game, we want him to have the ball.”

Adding to the Voks’ frustration in trying to buy their coach at least a few more days was the fact that they were missing close range shots they typically make.

“Overall, I felt the kids did a good job,” Bernal said. “They wanted to do well. We don’t have the scorers we had last year. I think they wanted to win so badly, they tried to do too much.

“But we still had an opportunity to win the game at the end.”

Lanier senior wing Ajax Reyes ended his career with 11 points and five assists.

“I’m proud of past years,” Reyes said, the sting of the loss still fresh. “This year really hurts. It’s my last year, and I wanted it to be my best year. I didn’t want it to end like this.”

The 5-4 Garza scored 10 to go with six rebounds and three steals. Classmate Rodrigo Garcia battled foul trouble to post five points and four steals.

“It has been amazing,” Reyes said of playing for Bernal. “He’s definitely the best coach I’ve ever been taught by. I really like him as a coach and a person.

“If I ever need anything, I know I can come back to him and he’ll be there for me.”

Bernal, who is retiring as a Lanier teacher at the end of the school year, plans to continue his coaching career at a private school. He stressed that he would not elect to coach at a school where he might be recruiting athletes who would otherwise play for the Voks.

“It has been a fun 31 years,” he said. “It’s difficult to end on a game like this but, unless you win a state championship, you’re going to go out on a loss.

“The kids put their hearts on the floor and played with a passion that not a lot of players possess.”

That’s precisely why opponents have feared Bernal-coached Lanier teams for more than three decades.

BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: Central Catholic finishes one game shy of state finals

Sam Houston breezes to quarterfinals; Harlandale snares OT win in bi-district round

Photo taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

Senior guard George Rodriguez helped Harlandale pull out an overtime win against Victoria East.
Senior guard George Rodriguez helped Harlandale pull out an overtime win against Victoria East.
Highlands' JerMichael Shirley scored nine points against Clemens.
Highlands’ JerMichael Shirley scored nine points against Clemens.
South San senior Eric Alcozer competed in the Bobcats' bi-district game against  Brandeis.
South San senior Eric Alcozer competed in the Bobcats’ bi-district game against Brandeis.

TEAMS INCLUDEDCentral Catholic, Harlandale, Highlands, McCollum, Memorial, South San, Sam Houston.

When Central Catholic was 3-6, some observers must have doubted that this year’s Buttons would finish their season on the doorstep of the TAPPS Class 5A state finals.

Once the senior-dominated Buttons (25-8) jelled, they were pretty close to unstoppable. Central Catholic won 22 of its last 24 games to end their season Saturday as one of the state’s top eight teams.

The Buttons, No. 7 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private School state rankings, lost 58-54 to No. 2 Plano John Paul II Saturday afternoon at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station.

Central Catholic trailed the state quarterfinal game just 14-10 after one quarter. John Paul (25-6) maintained the margin and led 25-21 at halftime.

The Buttons advanced with a 67-51 win over Argyle Liberty Christian (12-21) in the area round Friday at A&M Consolidated.

Central Catholic established a 19-13 first-quarter lead against the Warriors. By halftime, the Buttons had extended their lead to 35-22. They led 51-35 entering the final quarter.

Individual statistics for Central Catholic from both games were unavailable.

Sam Houston 76, Wimberley 44

Sam Houston 82, La Grange 63

The Hurricanes (24-9) roared into postseason play, cruising to a pair of convincing victories in the opening week.

Sam Houston, No. 6 in the TABC Class 3A poll, advanced to play No. 24 Fredericksburg (28-8) in the Region IV quarterfinals. If the Hurricanes win, they’ll advance to the Class 3A region finals for the fourth-consecutive year.

Senior Jordon Harris led the Hurricanes with 20 points in the bi-district win over Wimberley (10-21) at Canyon Lake. Sophomore Robert Christian supplied 18 points.

At Luling in the area round, Harris again led the way with 24 points against La Grange (19-12). Raymonte Prime added 13 points. Devin Allen and freshman Jawon Anderson each scored 12.

Harlandale 68, Victoria East 66 (OT)

Corpus Christi Flour Bluff 76, Harlandale 67

Harlandale (23-12) began the postseason with an upset win Tuesday over District 30-4A co-champion Victoria East (19-14), but the Indians’ run ended with an area-round game Friday against Corpus Christi Flour Bluff in Three Rivers.

In the bi-district game at Gonzales, senior Armando Guerrero gave Harlandale a 67-66 lead on a three-point shot with 11 seconds left in overtime. The Indians secured the win from the foul line.

Victoria East’s Datryan Evans scored the first four points in the extra session before the Indians rallied. The game was tied 60-60 at the end of regulation.

The Indians were tied 29-29 at halftime, but the Titans led 58-49 with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Harlandale senior Ram Torres mustered a team-best 24 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Ramon sank eight free throws and scored 20 points. Ramon also recorded 14 rebounds, eight steals and five assists.

Jose Salinas scored nine points on three 3-point baskets. Senior guard Jacob Martinez contributed five steals and four assists. Junior Tommy Vital added three steals.

Against Flour Bluff (19-12), the Indians trailed 36-23 at halftime and 60-37 after three quarters.

Cody Brewer scored 24 points for the Hornets. Harlandale individual statistics were unavailable from the game.

Victoria West 59, McCollum 57

McCollum (22-11) had a five-point lead at several stages of the fourth quarter Tuesday in Gonzales. In the final half-minute, however, the Warriors (21-12) claimed the Class 4A bi-district win.

The Cowboys were tied 55-55 on a three-pointer from sophomore Tre Johnson with about 55 seconds to play, answering a three-pointer from the Warriors’ Victor Simmons. McCollum re-tied it 57-57 with 29 seconds left. Victoria West responded with the game-winning shot from Chris Erskine (17 points) in the closing seconds.

Cowboys led 14-13 as the first quarter ended and 29-26 at halftime. McCollum took a one-point lead into the final quarter.

McCollum individual statistics were unavailable

Corpus Christi Calallen 70, Memorial 58

The Wildcats (20-10) opened a 14-8 first-quarter lead and held off a determined effort from Memorial thereafter in a Class 4A bi-district game Tuesday at Edgewood Gym. The Minutemen (11-19) were making their first postseason appearance in five years.

Memorial closed within 29-26 at halftime and trailed just 41-37 entering the fourth quarter. Calallen scored 29 points in the final period.

Steven Weaver led Calallen with 24 points. Individual statistics for Memorial were not available.

Clemens 91, Highlands 73

The host Buffaloes (29-4), No. 11 in the TABC Class 4A poll, overwhelmed Highlands (16-16) in the second half of a bi-district game Tuesday in Schertz.

The Owls led the District 27-4A champions 20-18 at the end of the first quarter. Highlands was within 45-40 at halftime. Clemens raced to 38 third-quarter points for a commanding win.

Sophomore Joseph Jackson was Highlands’ top scorer with 16 points. Anthony Garza scored 13 points. Christopher Hartfield (11 points) and Jamaria Moody (10 points) also scored in double figures. JerMichael Shirley scored nine.

Cayne Edwards scored 24 points for Clemens.

Brandeis 65, South San 33

The Broncos (20-7) bolted to a 16-4 but couldn’t put the Class 5A bi-district game out of reach until the second half.

The Bobcats (15-17) fought back to within 24-20 at halftime Tuesday at the Bill Greehey Arena on the St. Mary’s University campus. Brandeis outscored South San 16-5 in the third quarter.

South San individual statistics were unavailable.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff schedule/results (thru March 1)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 24-March 1

Friday’s games

CLASS 5A

Regional quarterfinals

Madison (27-6) 64, East Central (25-9) 58

CLASS 3A

Regional quarterfinals

Sam Houston (25-9) 66, Fredericksburg (28-9) 50

Friday’s games

CLASS 3A

Region IV semifinals

Sam Houston (26-9) 63, Hidalgo (30-9) 42

Saturday’s games

CLASS 3A

Region IV finals

Sam Houston (27-9) 72, Corpus Christi West Oso (23-6) 46

SOFTBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Brackenridge comes back to take SAISD title from Edinburg

South San stingy in own tournament

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

Memorial's Esther Martinez (14) takes a cut at Nikki Velasquez's pitch.
Memorial’s Esther Martinez (14) takes a cut at Nikki Velasquez’s pitch.
South San senior pitcher Nikki Velasquez has been one of the Bobcats' leaders in her fourth varsity season.
South San senior pitcher Nikki Velasquez has been one of the Bobcats’ leaders in her fourth varsity season.
Memorial's Gabriella San Miguel relieved starting pitcher Bridget Gomez against South San.
Memorial’s Gabriella San Miguel relieved starting pitcher Bridget Gomez against South San.
Bridget Gomez (7) locks in on the path of the grounder as a South San runner takes off on contact.
Bridget Gomez (7) locks in on the path of the grounder as a South San runner takes off on contact.
Alyssa Montes connects for South San.
Alyssa Montes connects for South San.

TEAMS INCLUDED:Brackenridge, Harlandale, McCollum, Memorial, South San.

Brackenridge softball picked up where the basketball team left off, sweeping its way to the SAISD Tournament over the weekend.

The Eagles (4-1) trailed 2-1 entering the top of the seventh inning Saturday in the championship game. Brackenridge scored the tying run against Edinburg in the seventh and won the game 3-2 in the eighth to complete an undefeated tournament run.

Edinburg was the first team to score against Brackenridge. The Bobcats took a 1-0 lead in the second inning and scored in the bottom of the fourth, after the Eagles tied it in the top of the inning.

Brack junior pitcher Alexis Berlanga limited the Bobcats to seven hits. The Eagles mustered six against Edinburg ace Desiree Mamelejo.

Berlanga pitched a shutout in the semifinals as Brackenridge blanked Del Rio 3-0. The junior, who also plays shortstop, permitted just two hits.

The Eagles beat San Antonio Christian 8-0 and recorded a key 10-0 win over Reagan on Friday. Against Reagan, Berlanga pitched a two-hitter. The Eagles scored two runs in both the first and third innings. They ended the game through the 10-run rule after rallying for six runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Harlandale (3-2) tied Del Rio 4-4 in the semifinals, but did not advance Del Rio had more baserunners. Edinburg defeated the Indians 8-2 in the third-place game. Harlandale was trailing 2-1 when the Bobcats erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Mamelejo hit two home runs and was the winning pitcher.

The Indians’ Sabrina Esparza hit a home run against Del Rio.

Harlandale stomped Roosevelt 15-2 and Jay 10-4 Friday in its first two tourney games.

South San ISD Tournament

Host South San (2-0-1) didn’t allow a run over the weekend in three games at its own tournament.

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, neither did Carrizo Springs in its semifinal game with South San. Carrizo Springs reached the championship game because of the tournament’s tiebreaker rule and lost 7-2 to Natalia for the title.

In addition to the 0-0 tie with Carrizo Springs, South San defeated Memorial (1-2) 16-0 Thursday and McCollum (2-2) 5-0 Saturday.

McCollum defeated Lytle 5-3 Thursday, but lost 5-3 to Natalia Friday.

SOFTBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 22)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 16-22

Tuesday’s games

Non-district

Eagle Pass Winn (???) at Kennedy (1-2), TBA (score unavailable)

Lanier (0-2) vs. Hawkins (0-0) at Mission Concepcion Park, 5:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

East Central (3-2) 14, Lee (1-4) 4 (6 innings)

Roosevelt (2-3) 12, Southside (2-3) 8

Southwest (1-1) at Eagle Pass (5-0), 7 p.m. (score unavailable)

Jefferson (2-2) vs. Providence (0-2) at Mission Concepcion Park, 6 p.m. (score unavailable)

South San (3-0-1) 11, Madison (1-3) 10 (9 innings)

Reagan (2-3) at Burbank (1-3) at Villarreal Field No. 3, 7:15 p.m. (score unavailable)

Boerne Champion (4-2) 6, Highlands (1-4) 0

Brackenridge (4-1) vs. McCollum (2-2) at Tejeda Complex, 7:15 p.m. (score unavailable)

Harlandale (3-2-1) 17, Edison (0-3) 12

Memorial (1-2) at Boerne (4-2), 7:15 p.m. (score unavailable)

Holy Cross (5-1) 17, Poteet (0-1 ???) 1 (4 innings)

Thursday’s games

Non-district

East Central-Judson Tournament

East Central 11, Uvalde 2

Brandeis 12, Edison 7

Harlandale ISD Tournament

Harlandale 5, San Antonio Christian 2

Stevens 26, Highlands 3

Kennedy 8, Dilley 5

South San 5, Holmes 3

South San 15, Harlandale 0

Del Rio 4, Harlandale 1

Hondo 8, Memorial 2

NEISD Tournament

Holy Cross 10, MacArthur 5

Reagan 1, Southside 0

Wagner 2, Brackenridge 0

Clemens 13, Southside 4

Brackenridge 7, Madison 6

Holy Cross 6, Warren 4

Southwest Tournament

Southwest 14, La Vernia 8

Southwest 7, New Braunfels 6

Friday’s games

Non-district

East Central-Judson Tournament

East Central 9, Boerne Champion 3
Judson 8, Edison 3
East Central 7, O’Connor 0
Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway 19, Edison 3

Harlandale ISD Tournament

Stevens 5, Kennedy 0
Highlands 2, Dilley 2
Stevens 3, South San 0
Brandeis 13, Kennedy 0
Harlandale 8, McCollum 2

NEISD Tournament

Seguin 1, Brackenridge 0
Antonian 16, Southside 0
Brackenridge 6, Reagan 0
Holy Cross 8, MacArthur JV 6
Johnson 9, Holy Cross 2
Roosevelt 5, Lanier 2
Burbank 6, St. Anthony 6
Lanier 20, Sam Houston 0
Providence 8, Jefferson 6

Southwest Tournament

Southwest 2, Eagle Pass 1
Southwest 7, Holmes 4

Saturday’s games

Non-district

East Central-Judson Tournament

Uvalde 8, Edison 4

 

East Central 7, Brandeis 1

 

Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway 11, Edison 0

 

East Central 5, Judson 4

Harlandale ISD Tournament

Brennan 4, Harlandale

 

Harlandale 9, Hondo 6

 

South San 8, Del Rio 0

 

McCollum 20, Harlandale JV 0

 

NEISD Tournament

Clemens 8, Holy Cross 4 

Warren 7, Holy Cross 5 

MacArthur 9, Southside 5
Brackenridge 3, McAllen 3
Southside 16, MacArthur JV 1
Lanier 9, Burbank 3
Burbank 17, Sam Houston 1
St. Anthony 8, Providence 4

Southwest Tournament

Southwest 5, Corpus Christi Moody 0
Smithson Valley 3, Southwest 1

BOYS BASKETBALL: Jones’ gamble pays off in Hornets’ bi-district win

East Central holds off O’Connor for first playoff win in at least five years

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

East Central senior Jeremy Jones rises for game-winning dunk vs. O'Connor. Jones produced his seventh steal and sealed the win with a dunk 7.7 seconds before the end.
East Central senior Jeremy Jones rises for game-winning dunk vs. O’Connor. Jones produced his seventh steal and sealed the win with a dunk 7.7 seconds before the end.
Hornets point guard Ceddrick Ali tries to catch an opponent off balance so he can drive.
Hornets point guard Ceddrick Ali tries to catch an opponent off balance so he can drive.
Jeremy Jones splits two O'Connor defenders.
Jeremy Jones splits two O’Connor defenders.
His East Central teammates celebrate Jeremy Jones' game-winning dunk.
His East Central teammates celebrate Jeremy Jones’ game-winning dunk.

With the game on the line Monday at South San, East Central senior forward Jeremy Jones was playing with house money.

As O’Connor brought the ball upcourt, trailing by one point with 16.4 seconds on the clock, Jones stuck to the ballhandler like glue. Then suddenly he made an aggressive move for the ball. When the first pounce didn’t free it, he struck again and suddenly was on a breakaway.

“We only had four fouls, so we had two to give,” the Rice University football signee said of his seventh steal. “There were only 16 seconds, so I had to go for it. That’s just what our coach told me to do. He told me to go for the steal.”

Twice earlier in the Class 5A bi-district game, he’d passed on potential dunk opportunities in favor of safe layups. This time, he was going for broke.

Jones rammed home the game-clinching dunk with 7.7 seconds on the clock. District 28-5A champion East Central (24-8) had secured its first postseason win in at least five year, 55-52, over O’Connor (18-13) at the Durbon Center.

“I had to dunk that,” Jones said. “I had to let them know we were going to win it right now.”

The Panthers had time for one final shot. The attempt shot past the rim and none other than Jones was there to collect the rebound. The six-foot-6 senior finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.

East Central didn’t trail in the last three quarters of its third consecutive victory and 13th in 14 games, but O’Connor made it uncomfortably close for the Hornets after falling behind 23-15 at halftime.

“They hit a lot of shots,” Hornets senior point guard Ceddrick Ali said. “I knew my teammates were counting on me, so I gave it all I had. They shot the ball really well, so I had to find a way to step it up (defensively).”

O’Connor scored the last nine points in the third quarter, closing to 38-33 when post Josh Campos converted a three-point play. Panthers guard Chandler Kearns made a three-point shot less than a minute into the fourth quarter, cutting the Hornets lead to two.

Ali, who scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, scored off a rebound and hit a three-pointer from the right wing to hike the lead back to five points with 6:09 remaining. Another three from the 5-10 guard made it 43-38 with 3:34 to play.

“I just had confidence in my shot,” Ali said, “so I let it go.”

Hornets senior Albert Jimenez scored inside to rebuild a seven-point lead at the 2:53 mark.

The Panthers rallied with a 9-3 spurt that carried them into the final minute with a chance to win. A third three-pointer from Chandler Kearns was a crucial shot with little more than two minutes to play.

A driving layup from Kyle Massie (8 points, 4 steals) slashed East Central’s lead to 53-52 with 58.5 seconds on the clock. A free throw from Jimenez before Massie’s basket was responsible for the advantage.

Jones was fouled with 21.5 seconds, but missed the front end of a one-and-one. O’Connor came up with the rebound and called a timeout with 16.4 seconds left.

“Jeremy’s a good kid,” East Central coach Jeff Sweet said. “He was upset that he missed that free throw, and he wanted to make up for it.”

MORE TO COME

BASEBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 22)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 16-22

Monday’s games

Non-district

Lanier (1-0) 11, Sam Houston (0-1) 0 (5 innings)

McCollum (1-0) 6, Marshall (0-1) 3

Brackenridge (1-0) 6, Southwest (0-1) 3 (8 innings)

Central Catholic (1-0) 16, Edison (0-1) 1 (5 innings)

East Central (1-0) 9, Burbank (0-1) 0

Holy Cross (1-0) 6, Lytle (0-0) 0

South San (1-0) 11, Jefferson (0-1) 0 (6 innings)

Tuesday’s games

Non-district

Highlands (1-0) 6, Lee (0-1) 3

Southside (1-0) 8, Somerset (0-1) 4

Holy Cross (1-0) vs. Harlandale (0-0) at Tejeda Complex, 7 p.m. (score unavailable)

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Border Olympics

At Laredo

Laredo Johnson 9, South San 3

South San 9, Laredo Cigarroa 1

Harlandale ISD Tournament

Harlandale 7, Memorial 4

McCollum 11, Warren 1

Central Catholic 15, Southside 3

Pleasanton Tournament

Devine 3, Holy Cross 1

Freer 10, Holy Cross 6

SAISD Tournament

Seguin 10, Brackenridge 1

Austin LBJ 12, Highlands 1

Jefferson 2, Kennedy 0

East Central 11, Edison 0

Southwest 9, Roosevelt 8

Friday’s games

Non-district

Border Olympics

At Laredo

Corpus Christi Ray 8, South San 5
South San 10, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo North 9

Harlandale ISD Tournament

Brandeis 10, Harlandale 3
McCollum 17, Southside 2
Harlandale 12, Southside 4
McCollum 19, Memorial 0

Pleasanton Tournament

Poteet 8, Holy Cross 7

SAISD Tournament

Burbank 8, Brackenridge 4
Highlands 12, Sam Houston 3
Austin Johnson 5, Lanier 1
Kennedy 6, Edison 4
Southwest 8, Floresville 0

Saturday’s games

Non-district

Border Olympics

At Laredo

South San 10, Houston Milby 3

Harlandale ISD Tournament

Medina Valley 10, Southside 0
Medina Valley 15, Central Catholic 3
McCollum 9, Brandeis 5
Warren 7, Harlandale 3

 

Pleasanton Tournament

Holy Cross 10, Bandera 7

SAISD Tournament

Roosevelt 11, Sam Houston 10

 

Brackenridge 10, Edison

 

Burbank 6, Kennedy 3

 

Austin Akins 3, Highlands 2

 

Southwest 3, Austin Johnson 2

 

Lee 5, Jefferson 2

 

Burbank 2, Austin Akins 2

 

East Central 14, Austin Johnson 0

 

Southwest 6, Seguin 3

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Reagan ambushes Southwest in area round

Dragons can’t overcome cold shooting against state-ranked Rattlers

PLEASE RETURN TO THIS STORY TUESDAY FOR A LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE

Coming off one of the biggest wins in Southwest girls basketball history, there may have been some concern about a letdown last Friday in its Class 5A area-round game.

Instead, what the Dragons (24-11) needed to be concerned about was an avalanche. Reagan (28-4) hit them with an offensive landslide early and often in a 78-48 victory at South San’s Durbon Center.

Meanwhile, the Dragons made just one of 19 field goals they attempted in the opening quarter.

“The thing about Reagan is that they can play so many different ways,” Southwest coach Bill Avey said. “They’re very efficient when they’re running the court, and they proved they could be very effective in the halfcourt as well.”

The Rattlers, No. 16 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state poll, scored the game’s first 10 points. With 2:10 left in the first quarter, their lead had grown to an oppressive 19-1, from the Dragons’ perspective.

“We compared them to a lower seed that had beaten a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament,” Reagan coach Terry Barton said, referring to Southwest’s first-round win over O’Connor. “We felt like we needed to take control early and be very focused, and we did exactly that.”

Avey had spoken of the game as a matchup of two of the city’s top three players, Southwest senior Tiffani Rodriguez and Rattlers senior Wendy Knight.

Knight accumulated 12 points and seven rebounds in the first 16 minutes. She totaled 18 points and nine boards.

Six-foot-three post Sara Lewis (10 points, 11 rebounds) scored four of Reagan’s first 10 points. Anastasia Curtiss made two free throws and scored on a driving layup as the lead grew to 18.

“We knew Wendy Knight was the best player in the city and Sara Lewis was a dominant force in the paint,” Avey said. “We wanted to stop their drives, but that was easier said than done. All credit to Reagan.”

A three-pointer from Emily Sandoval (19 points) 30 seconds into the second quarter made it 27-5.

Southwest answered with a three-pointer from sophomore Alexandra Busby, who was scoreless in the first quarter. It counted as her only points in the game and was the last time the Dragons were within 20.

“When you shoot threes like we do,” Avey said. “It’s really hard when they’re not dropping. Life is good when they’re going in. But we got behind 19-1 really quickly.”

Reagan wing Mailee Jones, who hurt Southwest with her dribble penetration, contributed seven of her 13 points in the quarter as the Rattlers’ lead ballooned to 38-15 at halftime. Reagan’s largest lead was 72-36 midway through the fourth quarter.

“We played to pretty well tonight,” Barton said. “We shot the ball much better than we did in the first round.”

Brackenridge and Southwest were the only area girls teams to advance from the bi-district round last week. Eight teams advanced to the postseason.

Southwest, which took third in District 28-5A, had defeated O’Connor 66-56 Feb. 11 in the bi-district round. Guard Tiffani Rodriguez scored 25 points in that contest.

“In some ways, that was the best win in the history of the program,” Avey said. “Tiff was just brilliant in that game. She did everything we needed her to do, but a bunch of our kids played well.”

Rodriguez ended her Dragons career with team bests of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Jenyl Henry added 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Senior Emilee Martinez grabbed six rebounds.

Reagan limited Rodriguez to one point in the first quarter and two in the opening half.

“We wanted to take away her penetration, as much as we could,” Barton said. “We played good help-side defense.”

Rodriguez and Martinez along with guard Angie Avila and forward Victoria Alvarez comprised Southwest’s senior class. The Dragons will return 10 players who’ve seen significant playing time.

“I already know what our slogan is for next year, ‘Take it to the next level,’ ” Avey said. “Reagan showed us what that next level is.”

MORE TO COME

 

BOYS BASKETBALL: Highlands beats Brack without top scorer

Second-quarter Owls run gives Eagles uphill climb

PLEASE RETURN TO THIS STORY TUESDAY FOR A LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE

Playing without its top scorer, DeMarcus Hartfield, Highlands needed to find willing volunteers to put points on the scoreboard in what was anticipated to be a close regular-season finale against Brackenridge.

Fortunately for the Owls (16-15, 9-5), 6-foot junior JerMichael Shirley was ready to shoulder more of the load. Shirley produced a game-high 17 points, leading fourth-place Highlands to a 71-60 win over fifth-place Brackenridge (16-15, 9-5) last Monday at Lanier’s Alumni Center.

“I was trying to take it to the hole,” said Shirley, who chipped in with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. “I felt like I had an advantage. Posting up is something I’m still trying to work on.”

Hartfield, who leads the Owls with a 16.7 points a game scoring average, remained out with a loose tooth from a collision against Lanier Jan. 31.

Brackenridge led 12-10 when senior sharpshooter Gabe Hildebrand (10 points) nailed a three-pointer with 36.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Highlands opened the second quarter with 12 unanswered points and had a 30-17 edge with 2:38 left in the first half.

“I try to emphasize that what we do in practice dictates what we do on the floor,” Highlands coach Rufus Lott said. “Somebody different has been stepping up for us every game.”

Owls senior Xavier Long scored 12 of his 14 points in the second quarter.

The Eagles outscored Highlands 39-32 in the second half. They picked up the tempo at the start of the final quarter and reduced the lead to single digits on a driving layup from Ramon Richards (4 rebounds, 3 assists) and a three-point basket from sophomore Antonio Lopez (9 points, 4 rebounds).

“It was a tough game, a physical game,” Brackenridge coach Joey Isaac said. “We made adjustments and got everybody playing hard, but we had a rough second quarter. It was an uphill battle after that.”

Brackenridge was within 64-56 with 3:04 left as sophomore Richard Wallace (15 points, 11 rebounds) scored inside. Highlands guard Samuel Jackson scored four straight points to keep the Owls out of danger.

“This was a good team win,” Shirley said. “We worked together and we didn’t give up.”

MORE TO COME

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff results (thru Feb. 22)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 17-22

Monday’s games

CLASS 5A

BI-district round

East Central (24-8) 55, O’Connor (18-13) 52

Tuesday’s games

CLASS 5A

BI-district round

Brandeis (20-7) 65, South San (15-17) 33

CLASS 4A

BI-district round

Edison (24-10) 61, Alamo Heights (28-5) 56

Hays (21-9) 60, Lanier (25-9) 52

Clemens (29-4) 91, Highlands (16-16) 73

Harlandale (23-11) 68, Victoria East (19-14) 66 (OT)

Victoria West (21-12) 59, McCollum (22-11) 57

Corpus Christi Calallen (20-10) 70, Memorial (12-20) 58

CLASS 3A

BI-district round

Sam Houston (23-9) 76, Wimberley (10-21) 44

Friday’s games

CLASS 5A

Area round

East Central (25-8) 80, MacArthur (21-13) 75

CLASS 4A

Area round

Dripping Springs (24-11) 54, Edison (24-11) 44

Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (19-12) 76, Harlandale (23-12) 67

CLASS 3A

Area round

Sam Houston (24-9) 82, La Grange (19-12) 63

TAPPS CLASS 5A

Area round

Central Catholic (25-7) 67, Argyle Liberty Christian (12-21) 51

Saturday’s game

TAPPS CLASS 5A

State quarterfinals

Plano John Paul II (25-6) 58, Central Catholic (25-8) 54

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Acuna’s foul shots help Eagles finish comeback victory over Hays

Brackenridge wipes out eight-point deficit in final quarter, but falls to Rouse in area round

Photo taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: kjtoso.photoreflect.com

Brackenridge's Skyler Reyna (31), guarding Highlands' Kiara Pesina (1) in a recent game, in a December game, battled through injuries in the postseason.
Brackenridge’s Skyler Reyna (31), guarding Highlands’ Kiara Pesina (1) in a recent game, in a December game, battled through injuries in the postseason.
Brackenridge senior  Miranda Acuna led the Eagles with 17 points against Leander Rouse.
Brackenridge senior Miranda Acuna led the Eagles with 17 points against Leander Rouse.

PLEASE RETURN TO THIS STORY TUESDAY FOR A LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE

Hays couldn’t anticipate the full ramifications of what it had done when it fouled Brackenridge senior guard Miranda Acuna repeatedly in the fourth quarter Tuesday at New Braunfels Canyon.

The Rebels probably were aware during the Class 4A bi-district game that the Eagles’ primary ballhandler was a proficient free-throw shooter. Hays, however, was unaware of the degree that Acuna had devoted to her art. We’re talking three years of 50 post-practice free throws a day when she might have been preparing for her evening’s pursuits.

Acuna made eight of the nine free throws she attempted. Six of them came at a crucial stage of the fourth quarter and helped Brackenridge (26-7) deliver a 55-49 win.

“I was nervous, but my teammates told me just to make them like I always do in practice,” said Acuna, who finished with 18 points. “I always shoot 50 free throws in practice, every day for the last three years.”

Unfortunately for the Eagles, they were eliminated a game later. No area girls teams advanced beyond the area round.

Hays (24-12) held a 44-36 lead when Amanda Benjamin nailed a three-point shot .6 seconds before the third-quarter buzzer.

The Rebels had led or been tied most of the time since breaking a 12-12 tie about 40 seconds into the second quarter on a rebound basket from 6-foot Jordyne Dugger (14 points, 8 rebounds). Hays scored the last seven points in the third quarter, starting with a rebound basket from 6-foot-4 Jill Borreson (14 points, 9 rebounds), a Columbia University signee.

“We didn’t have a very good offensive night,” Hays coach Danny Preuss said. “We had too many turnovers, and that enabled them to turn things around. They were making big shots and big plays.

“The last three or four minutes, we were missing layups and missing free throws. If we’d made them, we would have had a chance.”

The Eagles outscored the Rebels 19-5 and forced eight turnovers in the fourth quarter.

“We had to be aggressive and help on defense,” first-year Brackenridge coach Tamiko Matthews said. “Especially at the end, we came together as a team.”

Brackenridge scored the first six points in the final quarter. Junior Tevis Thomas (9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) scored off a steal, Acuna scored on a runner and Sabrina Coronado added a basket to cut the Rebels’ lead to 44-42 with 6:17 left in the game.

“I felt really confident, because we had played Brennan twice,” Thomas said, referring to the state’s top-ranked team. “We knew that Hays would be really good. As long as we played together and had each other’s backs, we knew we could get the win.”

The Eagles didn’t regain the lead until junior Skyler Reyna (20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) converted a steal into a layup with 54.9 seconds to play. Reyna, who was bothered by leg cramps, fought through the pain to finish the game.

“I didn’t want to come out,” Reyna said. “I would have felt like I was giving up on my team. We played together. Everybody played like it was our last game.”

Acuna made three free throws to establish a 54-48 lead with about 15.5 seconds left. Hays turned the ball over on its last two possessions and Thomas sank a free throw that sealed the win.

“Especially with Skyler hurt, we needed people to step up,” Acuna said. “My teammates were telling me I should take the ball to the basket.

“It feels good. This is my senior year. I didn’t want it to end. I needed to make my free throws, and when I did, it felt great.”

Brackenridge advanced to play Leander Rouse Friday in Leander. Rouse (26-8) won the area-round game on its home court 76-42.

“They were definitely a run-and-gun type of team,” Matthews said. “We just didn’t respond with total intensity. They had a lot of seniors and lots of experience.”

Acuna scored a team-high 17 points for the Eagles. Thomas contributed nine points and senior Brittney Morales scored eight in her final game.

Mariah Merriweather led Raiders with 19 points. Rouse led 45-28 at halftime. The Raiders only added two points to their lead in the third quarter while Brack scored nine, but they surged again in the final period for a comfortable win.

“We had a really good third quarter,” Matthews said. “That was about the only quarter when we hung with them. When they got the ball across into halfcourt, they were putting up three(-pointers). We didn’t have the intensity we had in the (last) Brennan game or the Hays game, but they were a different team.”

Reyna was not at full strength and mustered just four points.

“Skyler played but she wasn’t herself,” Matthews said. “She was having issues with her knees.”

Although she had hoped to guide her team deeper into the playoffs, Matthews was satisfied with her first season at Brackenridge.

“(The seniors) were leaders, with only a few exceptions,” she said. “We had some issues, but overall it was a very successful season. I’m looking forward to next year, because our juniors coming up are leaders as well. That’s always a positive.

“I really feel blessed to have had the leaders I had on the team. We didn’t have a lot of players who were fundamentally sound, but I enjoyed working with them and was really happy to see how far they came.”

MORE TO COME

BOYS & GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (final)

Through Feb. 16

 

BOYS TOP 15:

 

Final

 

1. Central Catholic

2. East Central

3. Edison

4. Lanier

5. Sam Houston

6. McCollum

7. Harlandale

8. Highlands

9. South San

10. Southwest

11. Memorial

12. Brackenridge

13. Burbank

14. Jefferson

15. Kennedy

 

GIRLS TOP 15:

 

Final

 

1. Brackenridge

2. Southwest

3. Highlands

4. Southside

5. Harlandale

6. Lanier

7. East Central

8. Sam Houston

9. Edison

10. Kennedy

11. Holy Cross

12. South San

13. Jefferson

14. McCollum

15. Burbank

BOYS BASKETBALL: Buttons get revenge against St. Anthony in championship game

Central Catholic wins two close games in 2-5A tourney

Central Catholic (24-7) exacted its revenge on St. Anthony Saturday at Alamo Convocation Center for ending their 20-game winning streak three days earlier. The Buttons prevailed 84-83 over the Yellowjackets (21-11) in the finals of the TAPPS District 2-5A Tournament.

St. Anthony had defeated Central Catholic 71-68 Wednesday.

Central Catholic, No. 6 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private School state rankings, built a 46-32 halftime lead. However, the young Yellowjackets rung up 51 points in the second half to make it a close game.

Junior guard Jaime Nava led the Buttons with 15 points. P.J. Escobar and Tony Lewis contributed 14 points apiece. Danny Kellum popped in 11 points. Senior wing Chris Paz scored nine.

Freshman Isiah Saenz led St. Anthony with 24 points.

The Buttons defeated Antonian (25-13) 65-61 in the semifinals Saturday morning to reach the championship game.

The teams were tied 13-13 after a quarter. Central Catholic opened a 45-39 lead over the next two quarters. Antonian outscored the Buttons 14-8 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Kellum led the Buttons with 17 points. Escobar contributed 15 points and Lewis produced 14. Senior Matt Wetesnik added nine.

Alec Boggess (21 points) and Logan Huff (20) were the top scorers for the Apaches.

Central Catholic, the top seed from 2-5A, will play next in the TAPPS state tournament area round next weekend against the sixth-place finisher from District 1. The winner will advance to the state semifinals.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Carroll ends Southwest’s playoff hopes in tiebreaker

Corpus Christi Carroll (18-10) pulled out a victory in the closing minutes of the District 28-5A fourth-place tie-breaker game against Southwest (10-23) Friday at Victoria East. The Tigers won 82-76.

Both teams finished the 28-5A season with 4-6 records. In fact, each lost its last district game. They split two head-to-head games, necessitating the additional, neutral-site game.

Southwest led 45-41 at halftime and 64-61 after three quarters.

No individual statistics are currently available for the Dragons. The loss ended their season.

BOYS BASKETBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: McCollum edges Harlandale to nail down second place in 29-4A

TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, South San, Southwest.

Host McCollum (22-10, 12-2) won its sixth-consecutive game, bumping rival Harlandale (22-11, 11-3) out of second place in District 29-4A Tuesday by a slim margin. One of the two teams has swept the series each of the last five years. The Cowboys’ last previous sweep was in 2012.

McCollum outscored Harlandale 21-17 in the third quarter to claim the victory. The Cowboys also led 21-15 in the opening quarter, but Harlandale forged a 36-33 lead at halftime. Entering the final quarter, the Indians still had the upper hand, 48-46.

Seniors Nate Martinez and Joey Villarreal paced an amazingly balanced Cowboys lineup with 16 points apiece. Freshman Santiago Vasquez scored 15 points and sophomomore Tre Johnson had 14. Only six McCollum players scored.

Senior guard Joshua Rodriguez (4 steals, 4 assists) led Harlandale with 17 points. Fellow seniors Ram Torres (15 points, 6 rebounds) and Brandon Ramon (12 points, 14 rebounds, 6 steals) also scored in double figures. Jesus Maltos chipped in eight points and four rebounds. Mando Guerrero contributed three assists.

McCollum won the first meeting with Harlandale this year 75-68 Jan. 17 at Harlandale. Harlandale leads the all-time series with a 58-29-1 record.

Harlandale and McCollum will play as part of a bi-district doubleheader Tuesday in Gonzales. The Indians will play Victoria East (19-13) at 6 p.m. McCollum will play Victoria West (20-12) at 8 p.m.

East Central 76, Corpus Christi King 56

The Hornets (23-8, 9-1) locked up an outright District 28-5A title with the victory over last place Corpus Christi King (6-20, 0-10) in Corpus Christi.

East Central’s determination won over any possible road weariness. The Hornets made a statement by outscoring the Mustangs 24-6 in the opening quarter.

Senior Albert Jimenez led East Central with 15 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Ceddrick Ali contributed 14 points, four assists and four rebounds.

Jeremy Jones added 13 points for the Hornets. Brandon McClure scored 11. Junior Brandon Keno chipped in five steals.

South San 61, Corpus Christi Carroll 39

The Bobcats (15-16, 5-5) wrapped up third place in District 28-5A Tuesday with the win against Corpus Christi Carroll (17-10, 4-6). The teams were part of a three-way tie for third before tipoff.

Outstanding defense carried South San to a surprisingly convincing win at the Durbon Center.

The Bobcats took control in the first quarter, building an 18-5 cushion. They squelched the Tigers’ comeback hopes by outscoring them 25-10 in the third quarter.

Senior Eric Alcozer produced a career-high 32 points for South San. David Valdez added in 14 points. Olando Lopez scored nine.

Memorial 71, Kennedy 50

The Minutemen (11-18, 5-7) avoided a letdown from its victory over Medina Valley last weekend, and delivered a crushing blow to rival Kennedy (5-25, 3-11) Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.

Memorial’s second victory over the Rockets in district season entrenched it in fourth place in District 29-4A, to earn a playoff bid.

The Rockets were within 16-10 as the first quarter ended, but Memorial extended its lead to 37-21 at the half.

Senior Joe Aguilar was the top scorer for Memorial with 17 points. Joseph Aguillen finished with 15 points. Xavier Abrigo supplied 10 points.

Kennedy tied Uvalde (9-20, 3-11) for sixth place in 29-4A.

Steele 79, Southwest 76

Southwest (10-22, 4-6) came close to notching a sweep in the season series against District 28-5A runner-up Steele, but the Knights prevailed Tuesday on their home court. The loss dropped Southwest into a fourth-place tie and forced a tie-breaker game Friday with Corpus Christi Carroll (17-10, 4-6), which will take place 7 p.m. Friday at Victoria East.

Steele raced to a 27-16 first-quarter lead. Southwest continued to nibble away at the lead, however. The Dragons closed to 38-32 at halftime. They trailed 61-53 after three quarters.

Brian Perez led Southwest with 16 points, five rebounds and three steals. Devanta Hayes made five of six free throws and finished with 13 points. Aaron Embry provided 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

Hector Murillo added nine points and six rebounds for the Dragons. Ricardo Garcia grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots.

MORE TO COME

GIRLS BASKETBALL MID-WEEK/PLAYOFF REPORT: Southwest downs O’Connor for bi-district win

Harlandale pushes Victoria West to brink in 53-50 loss; Holy Cross ends season with blowout win

Photo taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: kjtoso.photoreflect.com

Southwest freshman Briana Longoria looks for driving room in a December game. Longoria helped the Dragons beat O'Connor Tuesday in a bi-district game.
Southwest freshman Briana Longoria looks for driving room in a December game. Longoria helped the Dragons beat O’Connor Tuesday in a bi-district game.

TEAMS INCLUDED:East Central, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Lanier, Sam Houston, Southside, Southwest.

Southwest recorded its second bi-district win in four years Tuesday at the University of Texas-San Antonio Convocation Center, defeating O’Connor in a Class 5A playoff game.

The Dragons (24-10) separated itself from the District 27-5A runner-up early in the fourth quarter for a 66-56 victory.

Senior guard Tiffani Rodriguez led Southwest with 25 points. Alexandra Busby contributed 18 points. Freshman Missy Lockridge added eight points.

Amber Vidal scored 28 points for O’Connor (24-8), which was ranked No. 8 in the Express-News area poll and posted a 14-2 district record.

Southwest, which finished third in District 28-5A, will play Reagan (27-4). The Rattlers defeated Smithson Valley 50-29 in their bi-district game.

Victoria West 53, Harlandale 50

The victorious Warriors (27-4) didn’t secure their 13th-consecutive win until the final minutes of the Class 4A bi-district game Tuesday in Gonzales. Senior post Connie Garza had 25 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots helped keep the final outcome in doubt in her final Harlandale game.

The Indians (19-14) took a 39-35 lead into the final quarter. The Warriors led 24-22 at halftime.

Harlandale sophomore Justyne Perez scored 12 points, including two 3-point baskets. Junior Elizabeth Herrera corralled seven rebounds.

Tiana Davila led Victoria West with 17 points.

Holy Cross 64, Austin Hyde Park Baptist 43

The Knights (13-23, 3-6) finished their season with a resounding victory Monday at Holy Cross. They bounced back from a tough loss to San Antonio Christian in their previous district game.

“We regrouped,” Holy Cross coach Jesse Arguello said. “I was really happy with the way we played (Tuesday). It was the first time in a long time we’d put four good quarters together.

“It was great to be able to end the season playing well.”

The TAPPS District 3-4A teams were tied 13-13 at the end of the first quarter. Holy Cross inched ahead 27-26 at halftime. The Knights opened the floodgates in the second half, outscoring Austin Hyde Park Baptist 37-17.

Seniors Joslyn Flores and Julia Flores led Holy Cross with 20 and 12 points, respectively.

“It’s always tough saying goodbye to our seniors,” Arguello said. “It was nice that the two seniors that start led us in scoring.”

Hayley Andrade supplied nine points for the Knights.

The game had been rescheduled from last Friday because of the icy conditions that day. Holy Cross finished seventh in the district. The top six teams qualified for the playoffs.

Kerrville Tivy 58, Highlands 40

District 27-4A runner-up Tivy (25-6) built a 16-11 lead in the first quarter and continued to extend it against the Owls (23-12) in a Class 4A bi-district game Tuesday at Alamo Convocation Center.

Highlands sophomore Aaliyah Prince recorded 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Fellow sophomore Jazmine Jackson grabbed a whopping 19 rebounds – including 12 from the offensive glass – to go with 10 points and four steals. Freshman Kiara Pesina and junior Emily Pearce each were credited with two steals.

Olivia Robertson scored 20 points for the Antlers.

Clemens 66, Lanier 46

Clemens (27-4), which won District 27-4A with an undefeated record, opened a 21-7 lead on Lanier (14-17) Tuesday in Schertz.

The Buffaloes had a 40-16 halftime lead in the bi-district contest. The Voks recovered to have a 30-26 scoring advantage in the second half.

Lanier sophomore Ruby Garza scored a game-high 21 points. Ashley Lopez added 11 points.

Fredericksburg 49, Sam Houston 29

Sam Houston (10-18) made this Class 3A bi-district game a battle through the first half. The Hurricanes were tied with the Battlin’ Billies (17-13) at halftime, but they fell behind in the second half Monday at Boerne Champion and weren’t able to catch up.

Fredericksburg had a 7-6 lead after the first quarter. Sam Houston pulled even at 14-14 by halftime. The The Battlin’ Billies took charge in the third quarter, outscoring Sam Houston 19-9.

Individual scoring for Sam Houston was unavailable.

Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway 56, Southside 31

The Cherokees made things tough for Southside (18-14) early in a Class 4A bi-district game Monday at Kenedy (Texas). Tuloso-Midway (22-10) established a 17-2 lead in the first quarter.

The Cardinals matched the Cherokees in the second half. Both teams scored 18 points.

Seniors Sabrina Guzman led Southside with 14 points, six rebounds and four steals. Sophomore Mayra Sendejo scored eight points, cleared 10 rebounds and made three steals. Desiree Rodriguez also had three steals.

Stevens 61, East Central 35

The Falcons (23-6) bolted to a 20-3 lead over East Central (10-20) in the first quarter Tuesday at Paul Taylor Gym.

Freshman Brittany Rodgers scored nine points and Janik Alexander-Smith added eight for the Hornets. Julia Rendon led the Falcons with 19 points, six rebounds and five steals.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff schedule (updated Feb. 16)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 17-22

CLASS 5A

BI-district round

East Central (23-8) vs. Brandeis (19-7) at South San, 7 p.m., Monday

South San (15-16) vs. O’Connor (18-12) at Bill Greehey Arena, St. Mary’s U., 8 p.m., Tuesday

CLASS 4A

BI-district round

Edison (23-10) vs. Alamo Heights (28-4) at U. of Incarnate Word, 8 p.m., Tuesday

Lanier (25-8)vs. Hays (20-9) at New Braunfels, 7 p.m., Tuesday

Highlands (16-15) at Clemens (28-4), 7 p.m., Tuesday

Harlandale (22-11) vs. Victoria East (19-13), at Gonzales, 8 p.m., Tuesday

McCollum (22-10) vs. Victoria West (17-9) at Gonzales, 6 p.m., Tuesday

Memorial (12-19) vs. Corpus Christi Calallen (19-10) at Edgewood Gym, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday

CLASS 3A

BI-district round

Sam Houston (22-9) vs. Wimberley (10-20) at Canyon Lake, 6 p.m., Tuesday

TAPPS CLASS 5A

Area round

Central Catholic (24-7) vs. TBA, Friday or Saturday, TBA

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Hurricanes storm into playoffs with win over Pleasanton

Green rises to Senior Night challenge with career game

PLEASE RETURN TO THIS STORY TUESDAY FOR A LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Sam-Houston-wins-fourth-consecutive-game-5221851.php

Once the District 28-3A season began, Sam Houston’s fortunes began to turn around — as if the Hurricanes had found the light switch.

The truth behind their metamorphosis that normalcy had returned to their daily routine. Their veteran coach, Milyse Lamkin, had come back from a surgery-related leave of absence and had time to work with her inexperienced team.

The Hurricanes (10-17, 8-2) won for the fourth-consecutive game and eighth time in nine outings Tuesday, defeating Pleasanton (7-24, 4-6) 71-32. Sam Houston finished second in 28-3A and the Eagles took fourth.

“We’re doing OK,” Lamkin said. “We have a young group of girls this year. We only had two returnees, one senior (Dionne Camino) and one junior (Dajah Thomas). We’re young experience-wise.”

Sam Houston will play Fredericksburg (17-13) at 7 p.m. Monday in the bi-district round at Boerne Champion. The Hurricanes kept alive their streak of 10-straight playoff appearances under Lamkin. Twice, they reached the area round, but haven’t yet made it to the regional quarterfinals.

That seemed doubtful to outsiders when they took a 2-15 record into the district season. Sam Houston closed 2013 with a 30-point loss to Smithson Valley in its last non-district game.

“We had kind of a bad start,” Sam Houston senior Dominique Green said. “So we wanted to show people what we were capable of doing.”

Lamkin had unanticipated hip surgery, specifically a socket-joint replacement, on Oct. 28. She missed the preseason, while her assistants coached the team, and didn’t return until Dec. 16.

“It happened so abruptly. It was the Friday before the season started,” said the Sam Houston alumna. “It was hard for me, because I wasn’t able to be there for the girls. But I left it in the Lord’s hands.”

The Hurricanes turned a game that was close early into a rout against Pleasanton by selectively mixing full-court pressure with half- and three-quarter court traps.

“We still have to work on a lot of stuff,” Lamkin said. “We’re still trying to get them to catch up. We’ve been working a lot on defense. We’re still trying to see what we’re better at.”

The combination of defenses clicked to force a whopping 37 turnovers, most on steals. Green definitely was in the forefront there, scoring the majority of her points in transition, but she also had the range from distance as well.

Green and her classmates all seemed to rise to the occasion. She said that has been their role throughout the season.

“We’ve just tried to pick each other up,”Green said. “Everybody working together has brought out what we’re capable of doing.”

Lamkin, of course, appreciates that her Class of 2014 kept the team’s hopes alive when wins were scarce.

“They’ve stepped it up. They’ve worked hard,” she said. “They were a little frustrated and a little upset when i wasn’t here, and I understand that because it’s their senior year and I left so abruptly. But they didn’t quit. They just showed more leadership.”

There’s still more growth to come, if time permits, as the playoffs unfold.

“We’re still working on the bench, but we’re getting there,” Lamkin said. “They’ve made a lot of improvement. When we’re really playing and working hard, we execute.”

Green led Sam Houston with 26 points, nine steals and five rebounds. Camino added 15 points and six steals. Thomas also had four steals, Chardonnay Green finished with five rebounds and Jasmyne Perkins made four assists.

“I was playing my last home game,” Dominique Green said. “I wanted to put on a show. I wanted to go out with a bang.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Memorial takes step toward playoffs with win over Medina Valley

Minutemen’s press generates 25 turnovers, fuels second-half resurgence

Photo taken by KJ Toso. To view or purchase more photos, please visit: kjtoso.photoreflect.com

Memorial senior Joe Aguilar (15) hauls down a rebound against Kennedy. The rivals will have a rematch 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.
Memorial senior Joe Aguilar (15) hauls down a rebound against Kennedy. The rivals will have a rematch 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE: Link unavailable

The first time Memorial employed its full court press, it didn’t seem to rattle host Medina Valley a bit. So, the second time, the Minutemen applied the wall-to-wall pressure more forcefully in the crucial District 29-4A showdown.

Memorial (11-19, 6-7) forced 25 turnovers, many from its press, and gained the ball on three 10-second counts in the backcourt. The Minutemen forced 16 second-half turnovers and finished the game on an 11-6 run for a 53-46 victory last Saturday in Castroville.

“In the first half, we used it to tire them out,” Memorial coach Jon Sanchez said. “In the second half, their passes got slower and they weren’t going to the basket as much. We got a few steals, and the kids got excited”

The Memorial players noticed something about Medina Valley’s top player, 6-foot-5 Joseph Dauphin, at halftime that inspired them to come back from a 27-17 halftime deficit.

“That was the time for us to go for the kill,” said Memorial senior Joe Aguilar, who made three key free throws in the last 30 seconds to seal the win. “(Dauphin) was gasping for air.”

The win, in a game postponed nearly 24 hours because of icy conditions, put the Minutemen on the verge of the playoffs. The top four finishers in each district qualify for the playoffs

Memorial needed to win Tuesday’s scheduled game against rival Kennedy (5-24, 3-10) to secure its first playoff berth in five years. Central Catholic, Edison, East Central, Harlandale, Highlands, Lanier, McCollum and  Sam Houston are the area teams that have qualified for the playoffs so far.

“We just want to make it,” said junior Bryan Obregon, who led Memorial with 25 points. “Everyone was doubting us.”

The Panthers (14-17, 5-8) led until 6:24 remained in the game. They weathered the storm when the Minutemen went to the press after trailing 20-9 with 5:15 until halftime. Memorial only managed to shave six points off the lead before Medina Valley hit it with anther scoring spurt.

The press’ impact was immediate in the second half. Obregon hit a three-point basket that cut the Panthers’ lead to seven. Obregon scored off a steal and Aguilar made a three-pointer in succession to bring Memorial within 29-25 with 4:59 left in the third quarter.

Jose Pargas tied it 36-36 at the third-quarter buzzer. A three-pointer from Albert Machado and a layup from Obregon off a steal put Memorial in the lead to stay.

MORE TO COME

BOYS BASKETBALL: East Central-South San photo gallery, Feb. 7, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

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

East Central senior point guard Ceddrick Ali turns the corner against South San. Ali scored 16 points on Senior Night.
East Central senior point guard Ceddrick Ali turns the corner against South San. Ali scored 16 points on Senior Night.
South San's Sammy Rodriguez breaks East Central's press.
South San’s Sammy Rodriguez breaks East Central’s press.
East Central's versatile Albert Jimenez had a productive Senior Night with 17 points.
East Central’s versatile Albert Jimenez had a productive Senior Night with 17 points.
East Central celebrates clinching at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A. The Hornets can win the title outright Tuesday in Corpus Christi.
East Central celebrates clinching at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A. The Hornets can win the title outright Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

BOYS BASKETBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Edison hands state-ranked Brennan first 28-4A loss

East Central clinches share of title while Southwest enters playoff hunt in 28-5A; Highlands returns to playoffs

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, South San, Southside, Southwest.

East Central senior point guard Ceddrick Ali turns the corner against South San. Ali scored 16 points on Senior Night.
East Central senior point guard Ceddrick Ali turns the corner against South San. Ali scored 16 points on Senior Night.
South San senior Eric Alcozer rallied the Bobcats in the second half Friday at East Central.
South San senior Eric Alcozer rallied the Bobcats in the second half Friday at East Central.
East Central celebrates clinching at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A championship. The Hornets can win the title outright Tuesday in Corpus Christi.
East Central celebrates clinching at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A. The Hornets can win the title outright Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

Second-place Edison (22-10, 11-2) tagged first-place Brennan (26-5, 12-1) with its first loss of the District 28-4A season Saturday at the Alamo Convocation Center. The Bears are No. 5 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state Class 4A rankings.

Junior Lorenzo Vela, son of Edison coach Art Vela, led the Golden Bears with 21 points, four rebounds and three steals. Vela made six 3-pointers. Andy Castro added six rebounds and Jared Zapata dealt three assists. Jordan Murphy led Brennan with 28 points.

The Golden Bears’ 29-4A rival Highlands (15-15, 8-5) joined Central Catholic, East Central, Harlandale, Lanier, McCollum, Sam Houston and Edison as the area’s district qualifiers thus far.

East Central 81, South San 62

The Hornets (22-8, 9-0) pulled out to a 21-9 lead in the first quarter and used the momentum to clinch at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A with a win over South San (14-16, 4-5) Friday at East Central.

Fittingly, East Central’s seniors took center stage on Senior Night.

Brandon McClure recorded a team-high 19 points, making all 10 attempts from the free-throw line. McClure also was credited with five rebounds. His starting backcourt partner, Ceddrick Ali, finished with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Up front, Albert Jimenez scored 17 points, hitting a pair of three-point shots, and grabbed five rebounds. Jeremy Jones added seven points with four assists and two blocked shots.

Another senior big man, Eric Ray, returned from an injury and scored three points.

South San individual scoring was unavailable.

East Central will try to maintain its unblemished district record in the regular-season finale Friday at Corpus Christi King.

Highlands 86, Fox Tech 44

The fourth-place Owls (15-15, 8-5) bounced back from a difficult loss to Brennan to qualify for the postseason for the second-straight year in District 28-4A.

Highlands took charge against Fox Tech (1-27, 0-13) Friday in the second half at Alamo Convocation Center. The Owls outscored the Buffaloes 28-6 in that quarter. Fox Tech led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Junior JerMichael Shirley led 13 Owls scorers with 18 points. Post Joseph Jackson scored 13 points. Xavier Long and Alejandro Trevino each had 10 points. Point guard Jamaria Moody had eight points.

Long-distance shooter Santos Vargas led Fox Tech with 19 points. Ruben Chapa supplied 11 points.

Southwest 95, Corpus Christi King 75

The Dragons (10-21, 4-5) notched their second high-scoring win of the week Saturday at home against King (7-18, 0-8). They forged a three-way tie for fourth place in District 28-5A with Corpus Christi Carroll (17-9, 4-5) and South San with one game remaining.

Individual and team scoring statistics from the Southwest-King game were unavailable.

Southwest had routed Carroll 119-76 Feb. 4, setting school records for single-game points and with 17  three-pointers in the process. Dragons seniors Tony Rodriguez and Ricardo Garcia scored 23 and 22 points, respectively.

The Dragons will finish the 28-5A season Tuesday at Steele (7:30 p.m.). Carroll will play at South San (7 p.m.).

McCollum 62, Southside 35

The Cowboys (21-10, 11-2) prepared for their Tuesday District 29-4A second-place showdown with rival Harlandale by trouncing Southside (6-26, 1-12) Friday in the Cardinals’ gym. It was McCollum’s fifth-consecutive win.

McCollum manufactured a 29-13 halftime lead over Southside.

Joey Villarreal was the Cowboys’ top scorer with 16 points. Tre Johnson (12 points), Nathan Martinez (11 points) and Steve Villarreal (10) also scored in double figures.

Cardinals post Drevon Brown led Southside with 14 points. Senior Francisco Solis added eight points.

McCollum plays host to Harlandale at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Lanier 80, Brackenridge 53

Senior point guard Louis Garza led the way as the third-place Voks (24-8, 9-4) doubled the point total for Brackenridge (15-17, 5-8) in the second half, breaking open a relatively close District 28-4A game Friday at Alamo Convocation Center.

Lanier scored more than 20 points in each of the first two quarters to build a 44-35 halftime lead. The Voks recorded their second-highest point total of the season.

Garza produced a game-high 22 points. Fellow seniors Rodrigo Garcia and Ajax Reyes chipped in 19 and 15 points, respectively. Freshman Isaiah Vargas scored 10 and Nick Garcia added eight points.

Eagles senior Gabe Hildebrand knocked down a game-high 23 points. Richard Wallace contributed 11 points.

Harlandale 88, Uvalde 39

The host Indians (22-10, 11-2) dismantled Uvalde (9-19, 4-7) Friday in a District 29-4A game.

Harlandale bolted to a 26-9 halftime lead. The Indians outscored the Coyotes 47-19 in the second half.

Senior Mando Guerrero led Harlandale with 17 points. Guerrero also made five steals. The Indians had five double-figure scorers, including Joshua Rodriguez (6 rebounds, 4 steals) and Chris Padilla with 15 points apiece.

Brandon Ramon tallied 14 points to go with team-bests of seven rebounds and six steals. Ram Torres finished with 11 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots. Jose Salinas had four steals.

BOYS & GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (thru Feb. 9)

Through Feb. 9

 

BOYS TOP 15:

 

1. Central Catholic

2. East Central

3. Edison

4. Lanier

5. Sam Houston

6. Harlandale

7. McCollum

8. Highlands

9. Southwest

10. South San

11. Memorial

12. Burbank

13. Brackenridge

14. Jefferson

15. Kennedy

 

GIRLS TOP 15:

 

Final

 

1. Brackenridge

2. Southwest

3. Highlands

4. Southside

5. Harlandale

6. Lanier

7. East Central

8. Sam Houston

9. Edison

10. Kennedy

11. Holy Cross

12. South San

13. Jefferson

14. McCollum

15. Burbank