BOYS BASKETBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Edison edges Lanier in overtime to open 28-4A season

Central Catholic fends off Sam Houston for 8th-straight win; East Central makes up 17-point deficit to beat Reagan 

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Lanier, Sam Houston.

Edison outscored the host Voks 10-7 in overtime to win 59-46 at Lanier Friday in the District 28-4A season opener for both teams. It was the fifth win in six games for the Golden Bears (12-9).

“We were fortunate to knock down some free throws at the end,” Edison coach Art Vela said. “We got the lead and we maintained it. In regulation, both teams had a chance to win it at the end. I think we were able to get into a little better rhythm in the second half.

“We made some shots, hit our free throws and were able to control the ball more.”

Lanier (14-4, 0-1), ranked No. 20 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state Class 4A poll, led 15-7 after one quarter and 31-23 at halftime.

“We definitely had some good stretches in the first half, and we also had some lulls,” Lanier coach Rudy Bernal said. “We let them get a little closer after halftime. In the third quarter, we were able to regain a nice lead, but we let it slip away in the fourth quarter.”

Edison began its comeback by outscoring the Voks 14-7 in the third quarter.

Junior Lorenzo Vela led Edison with 22 points. Senior Justin Torres added 11 points and Jared Zapata scored 10.

“In the first half, our matchups were downright terrible on defense,” Vela said. “Our intensity wasn’t there. At halftime, we made some adjustments on defense and also on offense. We were getting erratic (offensively), and we started to control the ball more – and our defense picked up a notch. They pretty much controlled the game the whole first half.”

For Lanier, senior Ajax Reyes scored a team-high 20 points. Rodrigo Garcia also was in double figures with 10 points. Senior post Nicholas Garcia finished with nine points.

“These guys remember that we lost two big scorers to graduation with Joe Luis Gonzales and Martin Sanchez,” Bernal said. “They were two really good three-point shooters. We don’t have that right now, so our scoring has to come from different areas of the floor. We have to do some different things to score.”

Central Catholic 67, Sam Houston 62

The Buttons (11-6) won their eighth-consecutive game Friday at Sam Houston (8-7). Central Catholic rolleto a 40-19 halftime lead, but the Hurricanes made it close in the end.

Senior guard P.J. Escobar led Central Catholic with 24 points. Tony Lewis contributed 15 points. Chris Paz scored eight

For the Sam Houston, senior Jordon Harris was the top scorer with 17 points. Juwan Anderson scored 13 points. Sophomore Raymonte Prime chipped in with 10. Robert Christian provided eight points.

East Central 67, Reagan 57

The Hornets (10-6) outscored Reagan (7-7) 33-16 in the second half to win the non-district game Saturday afternoon at East Central. The Rattlers led 41-34 at halftime.

Senior guard Ceddrick Ali led East Central with 17 points. Brandon McClure chipped in with 11 points. Jeremy Jones and sophomore Ethan White each scored 10 points.

Highlands 71, Burbank 65

The Owls (6-10, 1-0) notched their second solid victory of the week, defeating Burbank (8-9, 0-1) Friday at Lanier on the first night of District 28-4A season.

Highlands, which defeated Southwest in overtime Tuesday, established an 18-12 lead in the first quarter but the Bulldogs were within four points entering the final quarter.

Sophomore DeMarcus Hartfield led the Owls with 21 points. Jamaria Moody scored 12 points. Jacob Cedillo, Joseph Jackson, JerMichael Shirley and Xavier Long all had seven points apiece.

Moses Montalvo led a typically balanced Bulldogs lineup with 12 points. Michael Mascorro and Jordan Santos each contributed eight points.

Harlandale 66, Medina Valley 44

Harlandale (9-4, 1-0) blitzed Medina Valley (9-10, 0-1) Friday in Castroville, outscoring the Panthers 44-10 in the first half.

Joshua Rodriguez supplied a team-best 13 points for  Harlandale. Armando Guerrero, George Rodriguez and Guy Vargas each finished with 10 points. Ram Torres recorded nine points.

Brackenridge 68, Fox Tech 32

The Eagles (10-9, 1-0) started their District 28-4A season with a commanding win over the Buffaloes (1-16, 0-1) Friday at Brackenridge.

Sophomore post Richard Wallace led Brackenridge with 16 points. Nathan Avila scored 11 points and Everett Patino added eight.

Senior Santos Vargas scored 10 points for Fox Tech.

Memorial 81, Southside 64

The Minutemen (6-12, 1-0) raced to a 37-21 halftime lead over the Cardinals (5-14, 0-1) in the District 28-4A opener for both teams Friday at Edgewood Gym.

Junior guard Bryan Obregon led Memorial with 28 points. Xavier Abrigo contributed 19 points. Senior Joe Aguilar scored 14.

Junior David Garza was the leading scorer for Southside, scoring 21 points. Post Drevon Brown added 19.

GIRLS BASKETBALL WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Memorial surprises Southside for first 29-4A win

Jefferson gives undefeated Eagles scare in 28-4A

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Jefferson, Lanier, Memorial, Southside, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Memorial tasted the agony of defeat Tuesday. Friday at Southside, the Minutemen (5-13, 1-2) experienced the thrill of a decisive, yet unexpected victory.

Coming off a 49-18 loss to archrival Kennedy, Memorial displayed its resilience with a 53-41 win over Southside (9-10, 1-2).

The Minutemen grabbed a 24-4 lead on the Cardinals in the first quarter. Southside wasn’t able to make up the deficit, despite outscoring Memorial 17-10 in the second quarter and 20-19 in the second half.

Unfortunately, individual scorers for Memorial weren’t available.

Point guard Sabrina Guzman recorded 17 points, seven steals and three assists for Southside. Desiree Rodriguez scored 12 points, had four rebounds and made two steals. Selena Raudales was credited with four steals and Aimee Wood made three.

Brackenridge 56, Jefferson 50

Jefferson (7-11, 2-5) was tied with the undefeated Eagles (17-4, 6-0) 29-29 at halftime Friday and 40-40 after three quarter, before host Brackenridge finally pulled away to win the District 28-4A game.

Sophomore forward Skyler Reyna led second-place Brackenridge with 17 points. The backcourt duo of Breann Hernandez and Miranda Acuna provided 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Adriana Aguinaga led Jefferson with14 points. Angela Hardcastle scored 12 and Mary Loera put in eight points.

Lanier 60, YWLA 29

The third-place Voks (8-12, 5-2) won for the third time in four games Saturday at Lanier, defeating Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-16, 0-6).

Ruby Garza scored a whopping 26 points for Lanier. LeeAnn Martinez added 12 points. Sabrina Cortinas and Amanda Reyes each produced eight points.

YWLA received 11 points from Serina Trevino and 10 from Clarissa Castro.

Edison 58, Burbank 39

The Golden Bears (9-14,3-3) prevailed in each of two very different halves Friday. Edison led 16-8 at halftime and outscored the Bulldogs 42-31 in the second half.

Senior Marisa Salas led Edison with 17 points. Amy Marcos scored 13 points and Jody Alatorre added 11.

Alejandro Martinez led Burbank with 15 points. Cory Sepulveda contributed nine points.

BOYS BASKETBALL MIDWEEK REPORT: Hurricanes get past pesky Brack

efferson gets back on track with win over Southside

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Sam Houston, Southside.

Sam Houston (8-6) got 17 points from senior guard Jordon Harris to win a non-district rivalry game 45-40 Tuesday at Brackenridge.

The teams were tied 12-12 after one quarter, but the Hurricanes got some separation by outscoring the Cardinals 14-7 in the second period. Brackenridge was within 35-31 entering the fourth quarter.

No Hurricanes player other than Harris scored more than six points.

Sophomore post Richard Wallace led the Eagles with 14 points and seven rebounds. Aaron Lopez scored eight points and dealt five assists.

Jefferson 50, Southside 35

The Mustangs (4-11) ended a four-game losing streak with a non-district win over Southside (5-11) Wednesday at Jefferson.

Jefferson outscored the Cardinals 16-11 in the first quarter and led 26-14at halftime.

Tony Lopez led the Mustangs with 13 points and Brandon Garcia scored 11. Southside received 13 points from senior Drevon Brown and 11 from Francisco Solis.

Somerset 72, Holy Cross 71

Jacob Gonzalez scored 36 points, pushing Somerset (1-11) to a one-point victory – its first of the season – Tuesday at Holy Cross (4-11).

The Knights made it close in a high-scoring fourth quarter. Holy Cross outscored the Bulldogs 31-27 in the final eight minutes. Somerset led 35-26 at halftime.

Junior Eric Contero led Holy Cross with 19 points. Post Richard Larque contributed 13 points. John Autry and Jonathan Bailey each scored 11.

GIRLS BASKETBALL MIDWEEK REPORT: Dragons blend experience and youth to craft 4-game win streak

Edison launches comeback to defeat Jefferson in 28-4A

TEAMS INCLUDED: Edison, Harlandale, Jefferson, McCollum, Sam Houston, South San, Southwest.

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

Southwest junior Alexandra Busby (3) pulls up for a jumper over the entire Somerset team. Busby scored 10 points.
Southwest junior Alexandra Busby (3) pulls up for a jumper over the entire Somerset team. Busby scored 10 points.
Southwest freshman Briana Longoria (21) defends Somerset's top scorer Alexis Trevino, who scored eight points.
Southwest freshman Briana Longoria (21) defends Somerset’s top scorer Alexis Trevino, who scored eight points.
Southwest's Gaby Bernal drives for two points.
Southwest’s Gaby Bernal drives for two points.

When Southwest senior Tiffani Rodriguez was a freshman, she had good role models to look up to.

Then-senior Shana Holmes, the No. 4 all-time scorer in the San Antonio area, was the Dragons’ top scorer.

Holmes, who averaged 23.8 points in 2010-11, amassed nearly 2,600 points in her Southwest career. Classmate Chatavia Boone-Fudge accounted for roughly 1,500 points and 1,200 rebounds.

Cut to this season when Rodriguez is approaching the 2,000-point mark herself, despite deferring to Holmes and Boone-Fudge as a young player. She carried a 13.8 average that season.

“We’ve been really blessed,” Southwest coach Bill Avey said, “with a young team to have a senior like Tiff. She’s just closing in on 2,000 points, and that’s a pretty special number.”

Rodriguez leads the Dragons (16-5) with a 13.9 average, which has dropped from 17.8 last season. The reason for the decrease is that she’s helping to bring along a young group that includes three freshmen and a precocious sophomore,

“Tiff has been there,” Avey said. “Now she has a chance to mentor this team. She knows what they’ve been through and she’s providing a lot of leadership.”

Rodriguez deferred to the youngsters a bit Monday. She scored 12 points against Somerset (9-8).

Freshman Brianna Longoria came off the bench to lead the Dragons with 16 points at Southwest as they demolished Somerset 68-22. Longoria has an 8.3 scoring average.

Busby scored 10 points and freshman post Melissa Lockridge added seven points. The other freshman, point guard Jenyl Henry, mustered four points.

Henry helped Southwest register a key 66-60 win over Alamo Heights Dec. 10 with 13 points, including four clutch points down the stretch.

“I haven’t had a freshman point guard in 15 years,” Avey said. “Jenyl doesn’t score much, but she has a positive assist-to-turnover ratio and she averages five assists a game.

“Brianna gives us a lot of firepower off the bench and Missy (Lockridge) is a very sound player.”

Southwest claimed another important victory during its current four-game winning streak. The Dragons defeated Smithson Valley 65-51 Dec. 13. Rodriguez scored 32 points in that game and 28 against Alamo Heights.

“We’re playing very well as a team,” Avey said.

Edison 53, Jefferson 50

The Golden Bears (8-14, 2-3) overcame a nine-point, first-quarter deficit to defeat Jefferson (7-10, 2-4) in a District 28-4A game Wednesday.

The Mustangs bolted to a 23-14 lead in the first eight minutes. Edison closed to 32-26 at halftime. The Golden Bears overtook Jefferson by outscoring their district rival 13-7 in the final quarter.

Hannah Diano led Edison with 16 points in one of her best offensive outputs of the season. Amy Marcos added 11 points. Jasmine Alvarado and Jody Alatorre each scored nine.

Sasha Barrientes topped Jefferson’s scorers with 12 points. Adriana Aquinaga and Angela Hardcastle each supplied 11 points. Melanie Ybarra chipped in with nine points.

Harlandale 44, McCollum 34

Senior post Connie Garza produced a career-high 37 points to help the Indians (13-7, 2-0) hold off a strong effort from the rival Cowboys (4-12, 0-2) Tuesday at Harlandale for a District 29-4A  victory.

The Indians took an 11-6 lead in the first quarter. McCollum closed within 17-14 at halftime, but Harlandale gradually pulled away.

Elva Rios led the Cowboys with nine points. Only three players scored for Harlandale.

South San 62, Sam Houston 57

In a rare scheduled meeting between Class 5A South San (9-10) and Class 3A Sam Houston (1-4) Tuesday, the outcome wasn’t decided until the final quarter. Host Sam Houston came back like a tidal wave in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bobcats 26-13 as they tried to work off a double-digit halftime deficit.

South San built a 39-23 halftime lead and extended their lead to 18 points when the third quarter ended.

Junior Kassandra Valdez led the Bobcats with a career-high 26 points. Kimberly Tobias added 15 points and Lauren Estrada scored 11.

Junior Monisha Jones had an outstanding game for the Hurricanes with 21 points. Dionna Camino scored 16.

FRIDAY BOYS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Edison edges Lanier in overtime to open 28-4A season

Central Catholic fends off Sam Houston for 8th-straight win

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Central Catholic, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Lanier, Memorial, Sam Houston, Southside.

Edison outscored the host Voks 10-7 in overtime to win 59-46 at Lanier Friday in the District 28-4A season opener for both teams. It was the fifth win in six games for the Golden Bears (12-9).

Lanier (14-4, 0-1), ranked No. 20 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state Class 4A poll, led 15-7 after one quarter and 31-23 at halftime. Edison began its comeback by outscoring the Voks 14-7 in the third quarter.

Junior Lorenzo Vela led Edison with 22 points. Senior Justin Torres added 11 points and Jared Zapata scored 10.

For Lanier, senior Ajax Reyes scored a team-high 20 points. Rodrigo Garcia also was in double figures with 10 points. Senior post Nicholas Garcia finished with nine points.

Central Catholic 67, Sam Houston 62

The Buttons (11-6) won their eighth-consecutive game Friday at Sam Houston (8-7). Central Catholic rolleto a 40-19 halftime lead, but the Hurricanes made it close in the end.

Senior guard P.J. Escobar led Central Catholic with 24 points. Tony Lewis contributed 15 points. Chris Paz scored eight

For the Sam Houston, senior Jordon Harris was the top scorer with 17 points. Juwan Anderson scored 13 points. Sophomore Raymonte Prime chipped in with 10. Robert Christian provided eight points.

Highlands 71, Burbank 65

The Owls (6-10, 1-0) notched their second solid victory of the week, defeating Burbank (8-9, 0-1) Friday at Lanier on the first night of District 28-4A season.

Highlands, which defeated Southwest in overtime Tuesday, established an 18-12 lead in the first quarter but the Bulldogs were within four points entering the final quarter.

Sophomore DeMarcus Hartfield led the Owls with 21 points. Jamaria Moody scored 12 points. Jacob Cedillo, Joseph Jackson, JerMichael Shirley and Xavier Long all had seven points apiece.

Moses Montalvo led a typically balanced Bulldogs lineup with 12 points. Michael Mascorro and Jordan Santos each contributed eight points.

Harlandale 66, Medina Valley 44

Harlandale (9-4, 1-0) blitzed Medina Valley (9-10, 0-1) Friday in Castroville, outscoring the Panthers 44-10 in the first half.

Joshua Rodriguez supplied a team-best 13 points for  Harlandale. Armando Guerrero, George Rodriguez and Guy Vargas each finished with 10 points. Ram Torres recorded nine points.

Brackenridge 68, Fox Tech 32

The Eagles (10-9, 1-0) started their District 28-4A season with a commanding win over the Buffaloes (1-16, 0-1) Friday at Brackenridge.

Sophomore post Richard Wallace led Brackenridge with 16 points. Nathan Avila scored 11 points and Everett Patino added eight.

Senior Santos Vargas scored 10 points for Fox Tech.

Memorial 81, Southside 64

The Minutemen (6-12, 1-0) raced to a 37-21 halftime lead over the Cardinals (5-14, 0-1) in the District 28-4A opener for both teams Friday at Edgewood Gym.

Junior guard Bryan Obregon led Memorial with 28 points. Xavier Abrigo contributed 19 points. Senior Joe Aguilar scored 14.

Junior David Garza was the leading scorer for Southside, scoring 21 points. Post Drevon Brown added 19.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Top-ranked Judson slips away from East Central after halftime

Rockets chipped away at Hornets’ second-quarter lead

Even No. 1-ranked teams have to consider they’re best path to victory and steer around possible dead ends.

Judson coach Mike Wacker knew from experience that his team didn’t want to run with host East Central (9-6) Tuesday at the Stan Bonewitz Center. So the Rockets (16-1) worked on slowing things to a crawl in the second half of a 56-44 non-district victory over their former district rivals.

The veteran Rockets coach understood the threat posed by Hornets senior guards Ceddrick Ali and Brandon McClure. He also respected East Central’s team speed.

“(McClure) is such a great scorer,” Wacker said. “He and Ceddrick are outstanding. They lit us up last year. We didn’t want to run with East Central. It was to our advantage to lower the number of possessions. Our defense was really good in the second half.”

Unranked East Central led the Rockets, No. 1 in the Express-News area rankings, by as much as seven points in the second quarter. Judson, however, scored seven of the last nine points in the first half in what became a 20-7 run.

“We turned the ball over six times (in the third quarter) when they were not pressing,” East Central coach Jeff Sweet said. “We only turned it over once in the first half, and we were still tied at halftime. We should have been ahead. Then we just got sloppy.”

East Central took an 8-4 lead at the outset, following back-to-back, three-point baskets from McClure and 6-foot-7 senior post Jeremy Jones (10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals). The Hornets’ lead quickly grew to 13-5 as junior wing Brandon Keno nailed a 15-footer and Jones scored three more points off a pair of drives.

“Jeremy was really effective early in the game,” Sweet said. “He had bigger guys on him, so he’s going to look to go (to the basket). He was our leading scorer with 10 points at halftime, but then he didn’t score in the second half.”

After a steal, Jones was on a breakaway when a Judson player fouled him from behind. The flagrant foul left Jones with a bloody nose, which meant that Sweet could choose a player to shoot the resulting foul shots Ethan White came off the bench to make a free throw and it was 14-7 Hornets.

As a consequence of the flagrant foul, the Hornets maintained possession. Ali drove the ball and dished to senior Albert Jimenez to complete the three-point possession with 2:38 left in the first quarter.

“We played pretty well,” Sweet said of the first half. “We were very competitive and we opened up a lead, but I thought (Judson) did a good job of coming back and getting the win. We played well, but we still were tied at halftime.”

Judson slashed into East Central’s nine-point lead with a long outlet pass from 6-7 Tanner Leissner to speedy guard Julian Erickson. Erickson (19 points, 3 assists) returned the favor with an alley-oop lob to Leissner (14 points, 9 rebounds) for a dunk that made it 16-13 on the Rockets’ next possession.

“Julian is a tremendous competitor,” Wacker said. “He’s still learning the pace of the game. He can drive the basketball and he can pull up and shoot. He’s a talented young man.”

The second quarter opened with Judson trailing by three, but East Central quickly doubled the deficit with a three-pointer from McClure (8 points) on the left wing. A basket by Jones on a skillful finger roll and a three-pointer from Wanya Ward off an assist from Jones extended the lead to 26-19 with 3:48 until halftime.

“I give a lot of credit to East Central,” Mike Wacker said. “They knocked us on our heels. They made it hard to score. They’re a quality team. Any time you win at the Bonewitz Center, you’re fortunate.”

Two consecutive baskets from 6-9 David Wacker, son of the Judson coach, followed by two from substitute Rayshon Winn – the latter a three-pointer – gave the Rockets a brief 28-26 lead. Ali (14 points) closed the half with a driving layup.

“The height really helped us,” Wacker said. “It’s been a while since we’ve had this much height.”

Ali scored the first five points in the second half, but Erickson launched two 3-pointers to put Judson ahead. The second began a run of 10 unanswered points that made it 41-33. It included a three-pointer and a rebound basket from Wacker.

“We couldn’t get a run like that,” Sweet said. “(Erickson) really hurt us in the third quarter. He was good coming off their screens.”

East Central, which only made one turnover in the first half, committed five in that stretch.

“We switched defenses effectively,” Sweet said of the first half. “But they started hitting some shots and knocked down some threes. We stopped scoring and the pace got really slow. They ran some matchup zone. That hurt us.

“We got really sloppy.”

A basket from Jimenez ended the run with 3:22 remaining in the third quarter, but it counted as the Hornets’ last points until 5:49 remained in the game. Judson outscored East Central 15-7 in the quarter.

The Rockets began the final quarter with a 7-2 spurt. A jumper from Jimenez on the right side, a transition basket from Ali off a steal and a three-pointer by the senior guard put East Central within 52-44 with 46.3 seconds remaining.

Judson made four of six free throws to secure the win.

“It’s a good group,” Wacker said of his team. “We have good senior leadership. We have good players inside and good players outside. And they work well together.”

East Central has had some big wins against Judson in recent years, and looked like it could be on the verge of another in the first half.

Ali scored 29 points and McClure had 21 as the Hornets won the scheduled game last year. The Rockets won the first meeting of the season. East Central also nipped Judson 62-61 in  2010 when they were in the same district.

“Judson was No. 1 coming in, so this game meant a lot,” Sweet said. “Defensively, they got their hands on a lot of balls. Leissner did a great job. We didn’t get many rebounds. We didn’t play well offensively in the second half. We just weren’t sharp.”

Unfortunately for the Hornets, the same problems that plagued their football team have dogged them on the court.

Jones and Jimenez were both playing with shoulder injuries.  Additionally, McClure was under the weather with the flu against Judson.

“We’re going to be right in the mix,” Sweet said. “We definitely have a chance to win it. We need to lock teams up defensively and our young guys have to continue to get better, and it’s tough to do that when the minutes aren’t there.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Southwest-Somerset photo gallery, Dec. 16, 2013 (photos by KJ Toso)

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

Southwest's Gaby Bernal drives for two points.
Southwest’s Gabby Bernal drives for two points.
Southwest freshman post Melissa Lockridge powers past a Somerset defender to the basket. Lockridge scored seven points.
Southwest freshman post Melissa Lockridge powers past a Somerset defender to the basket. Lockridge scored seven points.
Southwest junior Alexandra Busby (3) pulls up for a jumper over the entire Somerset team. Busby scored 10 points.
Southwest sophomore Alexandra Busby (3) pulls up for a jumper over the entire Somerset team. Busby scored 10 points.
Southwest freshman Briana Longoria (21) defends Somerset's top scorer Alexis Trevino, who scored eight points.
Southwest freshman Brianna Longoria (21) defends Somerset’s top scorer Alexis Trevino, who scored eight points.
Southwest freshman Briana Longoria looks for driving room to score two of her game-high 16 points.
Southwest freshman Brianna Longoria looks for driving room to score two of her game-high 16 points.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Edison takes fifth place in Pride of Texas Tourney

Burbank undefeated in first two days to finish fourth at Pride; Central Catholic undefeated at Harlandale ISD Tourney

Highly competitive tournaments have been very kind to Edison recently.

The Golden Bears (11-9) won three of four games last weekend in the Pride of Texas Tournament at Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway. A week earlier, Edison finished second at the Marble Falls Tournament, losing only in the championship game to Alamo Heights, which is No. 1 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state Class 4A rankings.

Edison’s victims at Marble Falls included two of the top 4A teams in the Houston area.

The Golden Bears didn’t have any high-profile victories in Corpus Christi, but won those three games by an average margin of more than 13 points. Edison placed fifth in the tournament, just behind fourth-place Burbank (8-8).

“It went OK,” Edison coach Art Vela said of the Pride of Texas Tournament. “We opened up with Roma and beat them by about 30. Our only loss was to Georgetown, 39-35. I think the guys were a little bit worn out by Saturday.

“Coming off (the Marble Falls tourney) and playing a game (against Kennedy Dec. 10), they didn’t have a lot left by Saturday. But any time you win three of four games in a tournament, you have to be happy.”

For a team that lost five of its first six games this season, the recent accomplishments are a sign of great improvement. It’s important to note that five of those losses were by 10 points or fewer and that they came against tough opponents.

“We’ve worked hard on offense and defense,” Edison senior point guard Justin Torres said. “Last year, we went one-and-out (in the playoffs). We can do well this year. We have good focus and a good work ethic.”

Edison opened the Pride of Texas with a 63-32 win over Roma, which pitted the Golden Bears against Georgetown in the quarterfinals. It was a challenge Vela looked forward to.

“We had our opportunities to advance,” he said. “We did a good job. We played good defense, we just couldn’t hit a basket, to tell the truth, and we missed a lot of free throws.” Edison finished the tournament with a 65-39 win over Orange Grove and a 38-32 victory over Georgetown East View in the fifth-place game. Lorenzo Vela scored 10 points and Andy Castro had nine against East View.

Burbank, which also has made steady improvement since losing its opener 63-43 to Harlandale, beat Corpus Christi Flour Bluff 51-43 and defeated Orange Grove (score unavailable) to reach the semifinals. Second-place Georgetown defeated the Bulldogs 46-30 and lost 56-42 to League City Clear Falls in the third-place game.

The Bulldogs were led by Juan Castillo with nine points in the third-place game.

The Golden Bears open District 28-4A play Friday against Lanier (13-3), No. 20 in the TABC 4A rankings. The 8 p.m. contest takes place at Lanier. Burbank plays a 7:30 p.m. game at Highlands (5-10) in its district opener.

Harlandale ISD Tournament

The Harlandale ISD Tournament doesn’t officially crown a champion, but the winner was clear cut after Saturday’s early afternoon contest. Central Catholic (9-6) prevailed 59-49 over Harlandale (8-5_ in a battle of teams that had won their first four tourney games.

The Buttons, which extended its winning streak to seven games, led just 44-42 entering the fourth quarter in a game that had featured several lead changes. Central Catholic scored the next seven points, then maintained the lead with six-of-six foul shooting from senior guard P.J. Escobar (21 points).

“It was just executing, really,” Escobar said. “We just tried to run our offense and play with energy, and that got us the win. We just played smart with the ball.”

Buttons junior Tony Lewis added 15 points. Harlandale was led by nine points apiece from George Rodriguez and Joshua Rodriguez.

McCollum (10-6) also won its final tournament game, defeating South San 59-41.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Southside defeats McCollum for first time in three years

Cardinals pull away from Cowboys with second-quarter run

To Southside’s players, there was something about Friday’s win at McCollum that was more valuable than notching a first victory in the District 29-4A season.

“It was nice to win the first game,” Southside sophomore Mayra Sendejo said, “but we haven’t beaten McCollum in three years.”

Southside (9-8, 1-0) finished the first half with a 13-1 run that broke open a close game. The Cardinals defeated McCollum (4-11, 0-1) 56-40.

“They’d had our number,” Southside coach Dolores Sulaica said. “It’s always kind of a close game. I don’t think it’s a matter of our size or experience. It’s a matter of coming out in the right frame of mind and carrying it all through the game. I’m thankful these girls have played the same, whether we’re down 10 or up 14.”

Southside scored six of the first eight points, but McCollum stayed close on the strength of two 3-point baskets from Emilee Almazan (8 points). The Cowboys actually took a 10-9 lead on Almazan’s second long-range shot. However, Southside scored the last six points in the quarter and never trailed again.

McCollum was within 21-16 with 4:09 remaining in the half when Aileen Alonzo (12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) scored on an assist from Miranda Moreno (8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals).

That’s when Southside began its run.

“I think we started really playing,” Sendejo said. “We stepped up the defense. We started switching between zone and man(-to-man). I think playing better defense really helped a lot.”

Southside forced eight McCollum turnovers in the quarter, while committing three.

“We’re just working on fundamental things,” Sulaica said. “We’re trying to stay within ourselves. I’m trying to keep it simple.”

Stephanie Nino scored inside, then assisted on a basket by Katherine Mancha to start the run. Sendejo (19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals) scored the next six points. The sophomore made a pair of free throws, converted a steal into a layup and added another driving layup.

“Mayra’s definitely a little spark,” Sulaica said. “She’s coming around.”

Ahead 31-16, Southside point guard Sabrina Guzman (15 points, 5 assists, 3 steals) recorded another transition basket off a steal. Following a free throw by Alonzo, Guzman split a pair of foul shots to give the Cardinals a 34-17 cushion at halftime.

McCollum came out with more aggressiveness in the second half.

Elva Rios made a short jumper and scored inside to cut the deficit to 13 points. Good ball movement led to a feed from Azrith Gomez to Moreno for a layup that made it 34-23 in Southside’s favor. Alonzo sank another free throw at the three-minute mark of the third quarter.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, that was close as they could come against Southside’s three-quarter court pressure. The Cardinals scored eight of the next 10 points, starting with a layup by Sendejo off an assist from Guzman.

Southside’s Desiree Rodriguez contributed 11 points, four rebounds and three steals. Aimee Wood also made three steals for the Cardinals.

The victory ended a four-game losing streak for the Cardinals, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been competitive. Following a 10-point loss to Antonian, Southside had lost a three-point, nail-biter to Lytle Dec. 10 and fell by a point to Taft Dec. 6.

“We have a lot of good seniors,” Sendejo said. “We were coming in (to the season) with a lot of good upperclassmen. They’ve stepped up, and the underclassmen have stepped up, too.”

McCollum lost its fourth-consecutive game after manufacturing a two-game winning streak in the Edgewood ISD Tournament.

Sulaica expects the Cardinals to be in the midst of a tight 29-4A race for the four available playoff spots.

“It’s going to be a toss up,” she said. “We’re pretty even with some teams. It’s going to be a matter of who matches up well and makes the most of its mismatches.

“Everybody has their strengths. It’s just who comes to play on the day of the game.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Dec. 21)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Dec. 15-21

Monday’s results

Non-district

Southwest (15-5) 68, Somerset (9-8) 22

Tuesday’s results

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (17-4, 5-0) 66, Lanier (7-12 ???, 4-2) 48

Burbank (4-12 ???, 1-4) 62, Fox Tech (4-11, 1-4) 47

Highlands (15-9, 4-2) 61, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-15, 0-5) 17

District 29-4A

Floresville (12-10, 2-0) 57, Southside (9-9, 1-1) 36

Kennedy (6-7???, 1-1) 49, Memorial (4-13 ???, 0-2) 18

Harlandale (13-7, 2-0) 44, McCollum (4-12, 0-2) 34

Medina Valley (11-6, 2-0) 66, Uvalde (6-8, 0-2) 44

Non-district

St. Anthony (13-4) 57, Holy Cross (9-14) 39

South San (9-10 ???) 62, Sam Houston (1-14 ???) 57

Wednesday’s results

District 28-4A

Edison (8-14, 2-3) 53, Jefferson (7-10, 2-4) 50

Friday’s results

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (18-4, 6-0) 56, Jefferson (7-11, 2-5) 50

Brennan (15-0, 6-0) 83, Fox Tech (4-12, 1-5) 7

Edison (10-14, 3-3) 58, Burbank (4-13 ???, 1-5) 39

District 29-4A

Floresville (13-10, 3-0) 48, McCollum (4-13, 0-3) 39

Kennedy (7-7???, 2-1) 55, Uvalde (6-9, 0-3) 40

Memorial (5-13 ???, 1-2) 53, Southside (9-10, 1-2) 41

Medina Valley (12-6, 3-0) 58, Harlandale (13-8, 2-1) 44

Non-district

Boerne (10-6) 73, Holy Cross (9-15) 45

Judson (13-5) 53, East Central (7-12) 25

New Braunfels (8-6) 50, South San (9-11 ???) 44

Saturday’s games

District 28-4A

Lanier (8-12 ???, 5-2) 60, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-16, 0-6) 29

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Dec. 21)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Dec. 15-21

Monday’s results

Non-district

Holy Cross (5-7 ???) at Laredo St. Augustine (???), 6 p.m. (score unavailable)

Johnson (11-9) 64, Burbank (8-8) 44

Lee (4-8) 75, McCollum (10-7) 62

MacArthur (14-6) 84, Fox Tech (1-15) 18

Tuesday’s games

Non-district

Judson (16-1) 56, East Central (9-6) 44

Sam Houston (8-645, Brackenridge (9-9) 40

Boerne Champion (7-3 ???) 64Kennedy (2-13 ???) 46

Highlands (6-10 ???) 93, Southwest (4-11) 90 (OT)

Somerset (1-11) 72, Holy Cross (5-8 ???) 71

Wednesday’s games

Non-district

Jefferson (4-13) 50, Southside (5-13) 35

Friday’s games

District 28-4A

Highlands (7-10 ???, 1-0) 71, Burbank (8-9, 0-1)  65

Edison (12-9, 1-0) 59, Lanier (14-4, 0-1) 56 (OT)

Brackenridge (10-9, 1-0) 68, Fox Tech (1-16, 0-1) 32

District 29-4A

Uvalde (6-6 ???, 1-0) 73, Kennedy (2-14 ???, 0-1) 41

Memorial (5-11 ???, 1-0) 81, Southside (5-14, 0-1) 64

Floresville (5-10, 1-0) 68, McCollum (10-8, 0-1) 32

Harlandale (9-4, 1-0) 66, Medina Valley (9-10, 0-1) 44

Non-district

Gervin Academy (6-0 ???) 68, Holy Cross (5-9 ???) 47

New Braunfels Canyon (11-4) 73, South San (7-7) 36

Central Catholic (11-6) 67, Sam Houston (8-762 

Saturday’s games

District 28-4A

Brennan (12-3, 1-0) 60Jefferson (4-14, 0-1) 37

Non-district

East Central (10-6) 67, Reagan (7-7) 57

GIRLS BASKETBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Harlandale opens 29-4A season with road win

Southwest keeps hot streak going with win at Smithson Valley

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Kennedy, Lanier, South San, Southwest.

Brackenridge sophomore Marquanique Freeman (22) battles for position inside against Highlands' Jazzmine Jackson (33).
Brackenridge sophomore Marquanique Freeman (22) battles for position inside against Highlands’ Jazzmine Jackson (33).
Brackenridge senior guard Miranda Acuna gets set to launch a jump shot.
Brackenridge senior guard Miranda Acuna gets set to launch a jump shot.

Harlandale (12-7, 1-0) held the host Coyotes (6-7, 0-1) to two second-quarter points Friday on the way to a 47-32 victory in Uvalde on the opening night of District 29-4A season.

Senior post Connie Garza led the Indians with 14 points. Sophomore guard Justyne Perez chipped in with 12.

In other 29-4A first-night games, Southside (9-8, 1-0) defeated McCollum (4-11, 0-1) 56-40, Floresville (11-10, 1-0) downed Kennedy (5-7, 0-1) and Medina Valley (10-6, 1-0) thumped Memorial (4-12, 0-1) 65-22.

Southwest 65, Smithson Valley 51

Southwest (14-5) bolted to a 22-13 lead in the first quarter and used the momentum to win its third-consecutive game Friday at  Smithson Valley.

Dragons statistics were unavailable. Elizabeth Cathcart led Smithson Valley with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

South San ISD Tournament

Holy Cross (10-13) and South San (8-10) each split their four games this weekend in the South San Tournament.

The two area teams met Saturday, with South San winning a tight contest 46-43. Senior Kimberly Tobias led the Bobcats with 15 points and Lauren Estrada scored 11. For Holy Cross, Joslyn Flores finished with 14 points and Julia Flores had 10. Brianna Salinas added eight points.

In other games Saturday, Holy Cross defeated Mission 57-38 and South San lost 77-61 to Corpus Christi King.

South San defeated Roma 49-43 and lost 53-43 to Lytle. Tobias led the Bobcats with 17 points against Roma. Kassandra Valadez added nine.

Lytle also victimized the Knights, handing them a 50-40 loss. Holy Cross won 44-36 over Roma. Joslyn Flores and Salinas each scored 15 for the Knights against Roma. Kat Rangel contributed nine points.

Lanier 46, Edison 44

The Voks (7-11, 4-1) established an 11-point halftime lead, then held off a furious comeback from the Golden Bears (7-14, 1-3) to win by two points the Friday at Edison.

Lanier took charge 15-9 in the first quarter. Edison roared back to outscore the Voks 29-20 in the second half in the District 28-4A game.

Voks sophomore Ruby Garza scored 18 points for the second-straight game. Sabrina Cortinas and Amanda Reyes each added 12 points.

Senior point guard Marisa Salas led Edison with 15 points, four assists and four steals. Rachel Campos (8 points) had a team-high six steals and Jasmin Chapa made five. Hannah Diano led the Golden Bears with 11 rebounds and Jody Alatorre grabbed eight.

Brackenridge 67, Highlands 45

The Eagles (16-4, 4-0) took charge early and controlled the District 28-4A game to maintain its perfect league record Friday at Highlands (14-9, 3-2).

Brackenridge outscored the Owls 15-4 in the first quarter. By halftime, the Eagles had a 39-19 advantage.

Senior Miranda Acuna led Brackenridge with 19 points. Skyler Reyna scored 15. Breeann Hernandez and Tevis Thomas each was credited with 10 points. Senior post Keimoria Wiseman finished with eight points.

Sophomores Jazmine Jackson and Aaliyah Prince led Highlands with 19 and 18 points, respectively.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Brackenridge-Highlands photo gallery, Dec. 13, 2013 (photos by KJ Toso)

Highlands freshman Kiara Pesina turns the corner as Brack's Skyler Reyna defends.
Highlands freshman Kiara Pesina turns the corner as Brack’s Skyler Reyna defends.

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

Brackenridge sophomore Marquanique Freeman (22) battles for position inside against Highlands' Jazzmine Jackson (33).
Brackenridge sophomore Marquanique Freeman (22) battles for position inside against Highlands’ Jazzmine Jackson (33).
Brackenridge sophomore Skyler Reyna (31) wins a rebound over Highlands' Kiara Pesina (1) and Emily Pearce (11).
Brackenridge sophomore Skyler Reyna (31) wins a rebound over Highlands’ Kiara Pesina (1) and Emily Pearce (11).
Highlands freshman guard Jerrica Herrera chases down a loose ball.
Highlands freshman guard Jerrica Herrera chases down a loose ball.
Highlands guard Kiara Pesina (1) tries to fend off Brackenridge's Skyler Reyna (31).
Highlands guard Kiara Pesina (1) tries to fend off Brackenridge’s Skyler Reyna (31).
Brackenridge senior guard Breeann Hernandez (13) releases a shot as Highlands' Erin Caldera (12) closes in.
Brackenridge senior guard Breeann Hernandez (13) releases a shot as Highlands’ Erin Caldera (12) closes in.