SACS, Harlandale big tourney winners
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Central Catholic, Harlandale, Kennedy, McCollum, Memorial, Sam Houston.
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McCollum started the season strong under first-year coach Marcus Alvarado, but by the Harlandale ISD Tournament, it needed to recapture a little bit of that spark.
The Cowboys (8-8) did exactly that in the two-day tournament it co-hosted with Harlandale. McCollum split its four tournament games, winning the last two Saturday after dropping a couple of close ones.
As it approached the final day, McCollum had lost five of the previous six games.
“I feel we had a good start this year,” Alvarado said. “Then we did hit a little bit of a rough patch, but that’s to be expected. The guys have responded going into district. The practices have been really intense and they’re very focused on what we want to do.”
Harlandale (12-6) fared best among area entries, winning three of its four games. Central Catholic (7-10) split its games. Kennedy (6-9) and Memorial (7-11) each claimed one win in the tournament.
Harlandale’s only loss came against San Antonio Christian, which breezed through its four tournament games without a loss. McCollum played the closest game against the Lions, falling 64-58 Friday.
Jay edged the Cowboys 52-50 in McCollum’s tournament opener.
“They hit a shot with two seconds left,” Alvarado said. “It was a tough shot. We had an opportunity to (win) both of those games. We gave ourselves a chance.”
McCollum triumphed 60-59 over Central Catholic in another nail-biter Saturday and closed the two-day event with a 70-59 win over Kennedy.
Against Central Catholic, McCollum raced to a 41-30 halftime lead. However, the Buttons outscored McCollum 14-4 in the third quarter and stayed close thereafter despite playing without injured 6-foot-10 senior center Tony Lewis.
Sophomore Santiago Vasquez led McCollum wth 17 points. Angel Loera added 11 points and post Roger Martinez, whom Alvarado said emerged during the tournament, had 10. Noah Garcia scored nine points.
“Central Catholic came back and took a five- or six-point lead in the fourth quarter,” Alvarado said. “The guys responded really well. It was really good that we got to experience that kind of competition and that kind of game.”
Raul Aguilar led Central Catholic with 16 points. Thomas Andry and Robert Elizondo scored 13 and 10, respectively. Julian Rodriguez contributed nine points.
Martinez scored a team-high 17 points for the Cowboys against Kennedy. Vasquez and Steven Villarreal each recorded 11 points. Jose Guajardo chipped in nine.
Kennedy had four players in double figures, led by Marc Esquivel’s 18 points. Andrew Rivera (15 points), Julian Landeros (12) and Isaac Castro (10) were the Rockets’ other top scorers.
McCollum began the week with another close loss. Lanier (7-10, 1-0) defeated the Cowboys 70-62 Tuesday in the district opener for both teams.
Alvarado said his goal for the tournament was to get additional players into the games. McCollum has played between eight and 13 players each game.
“Everybody responded very well,” he said, “which allowed us to get some momentum going back into our district schedule.”
Harlandale claimed tournament wins over Carrizo Springs ( 62-41) and Memorial (54-45) Friday. The Indians also defeated Kennedy Dec. 13.
San Antonio Christian defeated Harlandale 52-41 Dec. 13 in the de facto championship game of the round-robin tournament. Senior Ram Torres scored 23 points for the Indians. Ryan Blanquiz added seven points.
Central Catholic defeated Memorial 70-65 and nipped Jay 74-70 Saturday.
Aguilar supplied 18 points against Jay. Senior Tanner Nagel and Rodriguez each scored 16. Individual statistics for Memorial were unavailable.
The Hurricanes (2-8) picked up their first two wins of the season at the River City Classic last weekend. While playing a difficult schedule, Sam Houston was winless in six games going into the tournament, after reaching the Class 3A state tournament last season.
Sam Houston split its four tournament games at New Braunfels Canyon. The Hurricanes defeated New Braunfels 63-56 in its tourney opener Friday. After falling 50-40 to Waco Midway later in the day and 52-45 to Marshall Saturday, the Hurricanes finished the tournament with a 54-50 win over O’Connor.
The Hurricanes outscored New Braunfels 10-3 in overtime. Junior Robert Christian scored a team-high 20 points for Sam Houston. Raymonte Prime (13 points) and Jawon Anderson (11) also reached double digits. Against O’Connor, Christian produced 21 points and Anderson scored 12.
The Hurricanes’ sixth loss was a 60-40 decision Tuesday against Burbank (13-4, 1-0) at the Lanier Athletic Center. The game was the District 28-5A opener for both teams.
In addition to their first district win over Sam Houston, the Bulldogs (2-8) split two games last weekend in the Pride of Texas Tournament at Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway.
Juan Castillo scored 17 points and Jordan Santos added 15 in the win against Beeville. Alejandro Manjarrez and Nathaniel Rodriguez chipped in with nine and eight, respectively.
Castillo again led the Burbank offense with 15 points against Brazosport. Michael Mascorro (12 points) and Moses Betancourt (10) also were in double figures. Matthew Juarez scored nine.