AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Brooks Academy, Burbank, Highlands, Holy Cross, Lanier, Sam Houston, South San, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
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Brackenridge coach Tamiko Matthews challenged her team at halftime Jan. 2 to do something special.
“It’s not often you get a chance to beat an undefeated,” Matthews informed the Eagles. “If you want it more. We can do this, but you can’t let up for the next two quarters.’ ”
Brackenridge (11-13, 3-3) trailed 19-14 at the time, but rallied in the third quarter to claim a 36-34 victory over Burbank (13-10, 5-1). The Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 13-6 in the third quarter after scoring just one point in the second against Burbank’s veteran squad.
Matthews said a 47-44 win over Sam Houston (5-13, 2-4) Dec. 29 boosted her team’s confidence, which was a key element in defeating the determined Hurricanes.
“That’s been the biggest (issue) for my team,” Matthews said. “Last year it was injuries – and we had every kind of injury a team could have. This year, it’s confidence. Especially among the girls that were injured and had to sit out the season last year.
“Being able to overcome it and pull off those wins was great.”
Brackenridge climbed into fifth place with the win. Burbank dropped from a first-place tie with Highlands into second. Sam Houston is tied for sixth place with Edison (9-11, 2-4).
Eagles senior Skyler Reyna led Brackenridge in scoring in both games. Reyna scored 24 points against Burbank, making key free throws in the stretch, and had 19 against Sam Houston.
“I call Skyler the director,” Matthews said. “There are times when my team can look like a beautiful symphony on the court, but it has a lot to do with her. She pulls them all together.”
Matthews said Ciara Ramos also made a big shot to help the Eagles close out the win over Burbank. Antwanisha Riddle and Savannah Cassiano each scored 10 points for the Bulldogs.
“It was definitely a team effort to come together and finish it,” she said. “It was great to win. You can tell Burbank has matured. They have a lot of chemistry and work together as a unit. That’s something my girls are working on.”
Ashley Hernandez scored 13 for the Eagles in what Kerley called a wild game against Sam Houston. Samonica Davis led the Hurricanes with 19. Ashawntae Brown and Christine Goode supplied eight points apiece.
“It was a sloppy game all the way around, being the first game back from the break,” Matthews said. “We had three (consecutive) losses prior to the Sam Houston. I’m extremely proud of the girls, because Burbank was looking really good.”
Young Women’s Leadership Academy 36, Brooks Academy 28
The Cardinals (7-8) defeated Brooks Academy Jan.2 in a non-district game at the Lanier Athletic Center.
YWLA established a 16-11 halftime lead and scored 10 points in each of the last two quarters to defeat the Bengals. Senior Karease Williams led the Cardinals with 19 points.
Brooks Academy received double-digit scoring from both Jovanni Castillo (12 points) and Alyssa Quintanilla (10 points).
Highlands 63, Lanier 39
The Owls (12-10, 6-0) gained sole possession of first place in District 28-5A with a Dec. 29 win over third-place Lanier (13-6, 5-2) and a 63-39 win over Sam Houston Jan. 2. Both games were played at the Alamo Convocation Center.
Senior Aaliyah Prince led Highlands with 30 points. Junior Kiara Pesina added 21 points and Jazmine Jackson chipped in with 15.
Lanier lost despite 34 points from Sabrina Cortinas. Ruby Garza added 11 points.
Against Sam Houston, Highlands led 34-15 at halftime. Prince scored 19, Pesina 16 and Jackson 12. Davis led Sam Houston with 19 points and Josephina Sanchez contributed 13 points.
South San 80, Laredo United South 79
The Bobcats (12-9) edged Laredo United South (10-6) in a non-district game Jan. 2 at Laredo St. Augustine. It was the first game South San had played since Dec. 15.
Sophomore Ilana Sanford led the Bobcats with 21 points. Daniella Coronado (15 points), Rhiannon Gamez (12) and Tayla Trinidad (11) also were key contributors for South San.
Samantha Zamora scored 20 points for United South.
Holy Cross 49, TMI 21
The Knights (14-7, 3-1) smashed the host team in a TAPPS District 4-4A game Jan. 2 at TMI (3-15, 1-4). Individual scoring information about Holy Cross and other game details were unavailable.