GIRLS BASKETBALL: Harlandale ISD Tourney unintentionally previews 28-5A season

Kennedy finishes fourth

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Edison, Harlandale, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, South San.



A bit of the mystery surrounding the District 28-5A season vanished over the weekend.

The brackets in the 16-team Harlandale ISD Tournament put the combatants on a collision course. Although none of them occurred in the first round, six games featured two district teams going head-to-head.

With six district representatives among the nine area teams participating, it was an unavoidable situation. Harlandale and McCollum, the host schools, were moved into the traditionally SAISD-heavy district in the most recent realignment – which took effect this year.

Burbank (2-2) was the team effected most by the sneak preview. The Bulldogs played three district opponents in four games, defeating Harlandale 52-41 and McCollum 54-49 back-to-back on Saturday.

“It’s good because it kind of gives us a sense of what the competition has,” said Lanier coach Laura Negrete-Fernandez, whose Voks defeated both district teams it faced. “That’s the main thing. But you also know you’re going to play these teams twice more in district, and it makes it harder to beat them later on because you know each other so well.”

It’s worth speculating whether some of the six 28-5A teams may ponder a different tournament destination next season. Edison coach Angie Alonzo indicated she was inclined to stay the course.

“I like the tournament,” Alonzo said. “Everybody from Harlandale and McCollum is great. We’ll have to see.”

In the championship game, Churchill (5-0) defeated Roosevelt (4-1) 53-47 in a battle of the unbeatens. The Chargers won 53-38 over Kennedy in the semifinals.

Kennedy was the area’s top finisher, placing fourth Saturday. The Rockets (3-2) won their first three games this season, including victories over Harlandale and Marshall Friday. Boerne Champion (4-1) downed Kennedy 52-30 in the third-place contest.

“Champion’s height took us out of our regular zone offense,” first-year Kennedy coach Steve Biddison said. “Their strength defensively is their height, and that’s not our strength.”

The Rockets won their two games Friday by nearly identical scores. They defeated Harlandale 48-40 and Marshall 48-39.

“We need these games to find out where we are,” Biddison said. “Marshall’s a 6A Northside team. Any time you can beat one of them, it’s a good thing. We just need some practice time to fix our mistakes and right the ship. To be 3-2 is a great start for where we’re at right now.”

Lanier (2-3) advanced to the consolation bracket championship, where the Voks fell 56-35 to Lee (3-2). Lanier advanced with a convincing 65-36 win over Edison. On Friday, the Voks defeated Burbank 49-41.

Against Lee, Lanier bolted to a 12-6 lead. However, the Volunteers ripped off 27 unanswered points before the Voks could silence the run.

“We’re going through some growing pains,” Negrete-Fernandez said. “I brought a lot of young sophomores and their making little mistakes from inexperience. It’s that team unity and coming together as a team that we lack now, but I have two very good players who are out right now.”

Edison lost a heartbreaker 38-35 to St. Anthony (5-2) in the consolation third-place game.

“We only have one returning starter,” Alonzo said. “We have kids who were on freshman and JV teams last year. We need to get games under our belt.”

It was a challenging weekend for the host schools. Harlandale (1-4) and McCollum (0-4) mustered one win between them.

“We’ve had a rough start,” Harlandale coach Jackie Contreras said. “We’re just trying to bring it together. We’re starting to use our guards a little more. We’re small, but fast.”




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