AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Lanier, McCollum, Sam Houston, South San.
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The first ingredient in the accepted playoff recipe is to beat the teams below you in the standings.
Sam Houston (6-11, 2-2) showed that it has the wherewithal to reach coach Marchae Kthe eno’s goal of returning to the postseason recently. The Hurricanes stomped McCollum (1-15, 0-5) 42-22 Dec. 15 and Jefferson (4-15, 0-5) 48-24 Dec. 18.
“I guess there’s a little more chemistry,” said Keno, who was an interim coach last season following the untimely death of her mentor, . “We’ve got about six sophomores and they’re coming up to speed. They’ve adjusted and they’re a little more settled now.”
Sam Houston advanced to the championship game of the Edgewood ISD Tournament Dec. 5 before falling 44-29 to Lee. The Hurricanes have won five of their last eight games.
“It has been touch and go, trying to keep the intensity up,” Keno said. “We’re trying to focus on winning each quarter.”
At McCollum, not only did the Hurricanes outscore the Cowboys in each quarter. They held their hosts scoreless in the second quarter while building a 21-6 advantage.
“I think the defensive pressure turned up for us,” Keno said. “We try to keep pressure on teams. I thought that game worked out well for us.”
She said the defense has fueled the offense thus far.
The Hurricanes’ scoring leader against the Cowboys was senior Samonica Davis with 17 points. Davis is from a military family, Keno said, and transferred from Grand Forks, North Dakota this year.
“Samonica is our go-to player so far,” Keno said. “Our scoring has to improve. That’s one of the things we’re focused on.”
Against Jefferson at Lanier Athletic Center, Sam Houston had better scoring balance. Six-foot-2 sophomore Ashawntae Brown led the Hurricanes with 13 points, as they outscored the Mustangs in each quarter. Ariyan Mondy pitched in 11 points. Davis scored 10 and Faith Hights finished with eight.
“(Playoffs) are always the goal,” Keno said. “There’s a couple of games I know we have to take care of, a couple of teams we lost to. We need to come back and beat them.”
Highlands 78, Harlandale 74 (OT)
The Owls (11-8, 5-0) edged Harlandale (9-10, 3-2) Dec. 18 to hold onto a share of second place in District 28-5A. Highlands also defeated Edison (9-9, 2-2) 83-54 Dec. 15 at Lanier.
Against Harlandale, the Indians climbed back from a 34-27 halftime deficit. Junior Kiara Pesina and senior Aaliyah led Highlands with 26 and 23 points, respectively. Jazmine Jackson scored 12 points.
Kayla Nunez led Harlandale with 25 points. Justyne Perez supplied 17 points and Deanna Chavaria added 10.
In the Edison game, Prince finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Pesina also had a big outing with 23 points and five assists. Alyssa Rivera (14 points) and Judilynn Mayorga (13) were Edison’s scoring leaders.
South San 66, Eagle Pass 20
The Bobcats (11-9) shelled Eagle Pass (0-10) in their last scheduled game of 2015 Dec. 15 at South San.
South San sophomore Ilana Sanford recorded a career high with 32 points. Sanford, who made three 3-point shots, grabbed six steals and five rebounds. Rhiannon Gomez and Katherine Dimas scored nine points apiece. Each dealt three assists.
Saraya Sierra pulled down six rebounds and blocked three shots for the Bobcats.
Lanier 68, Brackenridge 63
Sabrina Cortinas scored 30 points, leading the Voks (12-5, 4-1) to a District 28-5A win over Brackenridge (9-13, 1-3) Dec. 18 at the Alamo Convocation Center.
Freshman Marissa Martinez added 12 points and Ruby Garza scored 9.
Skyler Reyna led the Eagles with 29 points, 19 rebounds, seven steals and four assists. Ashley Hernandez scored 15 points. Ciara Ramos grabbed 16 rebounds and Jasmin Gutierrez claimed 15 for Brackenridge.
Burbank 42, McCollum 20
The Bulldogs (12-9, 4-0) built a 24-8 halftime lead and rolled to a District 28-5A win against McCollum (1-15 ???, 0-5) Dec. 18 at Burbank.
Junior Cory Sepulveda led Burbank with 12 points and Jovana Cabello chipped in 11. Antwanisha Riddle added seven points.
McCollum was paced by sophomore Elany Guerra with seven points.