BOYS BASKETBALL MID-WEEKEND REPORT: Hildebrand lifts Brack to win over pesky Mustangs

Southwest sets two school records in upset victory; Central Catholic clinches title with 20th-straight win

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, South San, Southside, Southwest.

Brackenridge senior wing Gabe Hildebrand scored 17 points, leading the Eagles (1516, 5-7) to a 37-36 District 29-4A win over scrappy Jefferson Wednesday at Lanier.

The Mustangs (7-21, 3-9) led 8-5 at the end of the first quarter. Brackenridge establihsed an 18-15 halftime lead. Each team scored eight points in the third quarter to set up the dramatic finish.

Hildebrand was the only Brackenridge player to score more than five points.

Junior Brandon Garcia led Jefferson with 15 points. Sophomore Noah Soto contributed 10 points.

Southwest 119, Corpus Christi Carroll 76

The Dragons (9-21, 3-5) set school records for the number of points scored and three-pointers made in a single game Tuesday at Southwest.

Southwest sank an astounding 17 of 29 from three-point range (58.6 percent) in the District 28-5A victory over 2012-13 champion Corpus Christi Carroll (17-8, 4-4). Senior Tony Rodriguez made seven of eight shots from long range while leading Southwest with 23 points. Seniors Ricardo Garcia (22 points, 4 rebounds), Brian Perez (16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) and Latrel Grant (8 points) each made two 3-pointers apiece.

The Dragons led 26-15 after one quarter. They scored 30 or more in the next three quarters. Southwest led 56-39 at halftime and 87-63 at the end of the third quarter. Southwest’s press was effective in forcing Carroll to increase its tempo as the game wore on, according to Dragons coach David Brawner.

The significance of the win went beyond the mere numbers, staggering though they were.

Southwest is in fifth place, one game out of playoff contention, entering Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. home game against Corpus Christi King (6-18, 0-8). A win, coupled with losses from South San (14-15. 4-4) against East Central and Carroll against Steele Friday, would forge a three-way tie for fourth in 28-5A with one game remaining.

The Dragons, who had lost six of their first seven games this season, received 12 points and seven rebounds from Devanta Hayes. Hector Murillo scored 11 points. Freshman Tristan Quintana scored 10 points and dealt 10 assists. Starting point guard Nigel Thompson distributed a team-high 11 assists and Rodriguez added four.

Central Catholic 66, Antonian 55

The Buttons (22-6, 4-0) should have bragging rights against rival Antonian for quite a while.

Central Catholic not only beat the Apaches (24-11, 2-2) for the second time this season, it extended its winning streak – which began Nov. 26 – to 20 games and clinched the TAPPS 2-5A title in the process.

Antonian led 19-16 after a quarter. Central Catholic took the lead late in the first half and began the second half with a 12-3 run.

Senior P.J. Escobar led the Buttons with 26 points. Posts Tony Lewis and Danny Kellum scored 16 and nine points, respectively.

The Buttons conclude district play 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against St. Anthony at Alamo Convocation Center. Central Catholic defeated the Yellowjackets 69-66 Jan. 29.

South San 73, Corpus Christi King 58

The Bobcats trailed 16-12 at the end of the first quarter Tuesday in Corpus Christi, but outscored King 42-23 over the next three quarters to win the District 28-5A game by a comfortable margin.

Junior point guard Olando Lopez erupted for a game-high 25 points to lead South San. Senior defensive standout David Valdez chipped in 13 points. Jesse Samarripas, also known for his defense, scored 12. Eric Alcozer finished with nine points and Sammy Rodriguez scored eight.


GIRLS BASKETBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Southside edges Harlandale for third in 29-4A

Holy Cross ends losing streak with win over SA Christian

TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Lanier, Kennedy, McCollum, Southside, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Seniors Desiree Rodriguez and Sabrina Guzman led Southside (18-13, 10-4) to a key 51-50 victroy over Harlandale Tuesday at the Cardinal’s gym.

The Indians  (19-13, 8-6) led 28-18 at halftime and 36-31 after three quarters. Southside, however, outscored Harlandale 33-22 in the second half to secure third place in District 29-4A. Harlandale finished fourth.

Rodriguez made four 3-point baskets and finished with 25 points. Guzman finished with 15 points, six assists and two steals. Fellow senior Aimee Wood grabbed five rebounds and had a team-high three steals.

Senior post Connie Garza matched Rodriguez’s 25 points and nine rebounds. Elizabeth Herrera had a game-high 13 rebounds. Miranda Samarripas scored eight points.

Holy Cross 49, San Antonio Christian 43

Senior wing Joslyn Flores scored 15 points, leading the Knights (11-24, 1-7) to a TAPPS District 3-4A victory Tuesday at San Antonio Christian (10-11, 3-4). Holy Cross ended a four-game losing streak.

Hayley Andrade contributed 11 points for Holy Cross. Caroline Carruth scored 23 points and claimed 10 rebounds for the Lions.

Highlands 44, Jefferson 38

The third-place Owls (23-11, 12-4) moved onto the postseason with a victory in their District 28-4A finale  victory Tuesday at Lanier. Despite the loss Jefferson (11-16, 6-10) finished sixth in the district.

The Mustangs were within 20-19 at halftime. Highlands expanded its lead in the third quarter when it outscored Jefferson 13-9.

Sophomore standout Aaliyah Prince was the only Highlands scorer who scored more than six points. Prince fired in 21 points.

Senior Adriana Aguinaga led Jefferson with 15 points. Sasha Barrientos contributed nine points and senior Kasey Torres had eight.

Kennedy 71, McCollum 49

The sixth-place Rockets (10-19, 5-9) registered a decisive 29-4A win over fifth-place McCollum (10-18, 6-8) Tuesday at Kennedy. It was the final game for both teams.

Kennedy led 18-10 in the first quarter. The Rockets pulled ahead 31-30 at halftime and separated themselves from the Cowboys by outscoring them 19-7 in the third quarter.

Junior Amalee Ramos and Vivica Vargas each scored 22 points for Kennedy. Esmeralda Manzanares added 16 points

McCollum was led by senior Elva Rios with 20 points in her final game. Fellow Emilee Almazan scored 14 and Aileen Alonzo chipped in 11.

Edison 59, Fox Tech 27

The fifth-place Golden Bears (25-5, 14-1) cruised to victory over the final three quarters of their season-ending game Tuesday at Alamo Convocation Center.

The Buffaloes (7-22, 4-11) trailed the District 28-4A game 9-8 after one quarter. Edison outscored Fox Tech 26-11 in the second quarter.

Junior Amy Marcos led a balanced Edison lineup with 11 points and six rebounds. Rachel Campos made two 3-pointers and scored 10 to go with three steals. Senior Marisa Salas had team highs with five steals and five assists. Senior Paula Moreno also made three steals. Hannah Diano added five rebounds.

Senior Ashwini Bhakta scored 20 points in her final game for Fox Tech.

Burbank 50, YWLA 25

The seventh-place Bulldogs (8-22, 5-11) doubled the score on Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-26, 0-16) in a District 28-4A victory Tuesday at Lanier. It was the final Class 4A game for YWLA.

minated their rivals for a seventh-consecutiveBurbank (7-22, 4-11), which upset Edison two days earlier, fell behind 32-10 at halftime.

Sophomore Antwanisha Riddle led Burbank with 15 points and Alejandra Martinez supplied 13 points. Abigail Macias scored six.

Azel Garza, Julianna Lopez and Serina Trevino each scored six points for the Cardinals.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area playoff pairings (updated Feb. 6)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 10-15


BI-district round

East Central (10-19) vs. Stevens (22-6) at Paul Taylor Gym, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday

Southwest (23-10) vs. O’Connor (24-7) at U of Texas-San Antonio Convocation Center, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday


BI-district round

Lanier (14-16) at Clemens (26-4), 7:30 p.m., Tuesday

Southside (18-13) vs. Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway (12-4 ???) at Kenedy (TX), 7:30 p.m., Monday

Highlands (23-11) vs. Kerrville Tivy (24-6), 6 p.m. at Alamo Convocation Center, Tuesday

Brackenridge (25-6) vs. Hays (24-11) at New Braunfels Canyon, 7 p.m., Tuesday

Harlandale (21-11) vs. Victoria West (26-4) at Gonzales, 8 p.m. Tuesday


BI-district round

Sam Houston (10-17) vs. Fredericksburg (17-13) at Boerne Champion, 7 p.m., Monday

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 8)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 2-8

Tuesday’s results

District 28-5A

South San (14-15, 4-473, Corpus Christi King (6-18 ???, 0-8) 58

Steele (16-13, 6-2) 60, East Central (21-8, 7-1) 58

Southwest (9-21 ???, 3-5) 119, Corpus Christi Carroll (17-8 ???, 4-4) 76

District 29-4A

Harlandale (21-10, 10-2) 83, Southside (6-25, 1-11) 59

McCollum (20-10, 10-2) 74, Kennedy (5-23 ???, 3-9) 50

Floresville (15-12, 11-1) 64, Medina Valley (14-16, 5-7) 43

Memorial (9-18 ???, 5-7) 75, Uvalde (10-18 ???, 3-9) 60

District 28-3A

Sam Houston (20-9, 8-0) 82, Pleasanton (9-17, 3-5) 52

Somerset (4-16 ???, 2-4 ???) at Hawkins (7-23, 2-5), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

La Vernia (24-3, 7-1) 72, Poteet (5-18 ???, 0-7 ???) 27


Austin St. Dominic Savio (14-13 ???, 5-3) 47, Austin Regents (12-13 ???, 2-5 ???) 24

TMI (24-9 ???, 6-1 ???) 55, Victoria St. Joseph (16-15, 5-3) 42

Cornerstone Christian (3-9 ???, 2-5) at Austin Hyde Park Baptist (3-11 ???, 1-1 ???), 8 p.m. (score unavailable)

San Antonio Christian (32-10 ???, 8-0) 80, Holy Cross (8-24 ???, 3-5) 24

Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (3-16 ???, 1-4), 48, San Marcos Baptist Academy (10-15, 0-8) 44

Wednesday’s games

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (15-16, 5-7) 37, Jefferson (7-22, 3-9) 36

Lanier (23-8, 8-4) 79, Fox Tech (1-27, 0-12) 24

Brennan (26-4, 12-0) 58, Highlands (14-15, 7-5) 28

Edison (21-11, 10-2) 47, Burbank (12-18, 3-9) 36


St. Anthony (19-10 ???, 3-2) 55, Austin St. Michael’s (8-19 ???, 0-5) 42

Thursday’s games


Central Catholic (23-6, 5-0) 66, Antonian (24-12, 2-3) 55


TMI (24-9 ???, 6-1 ???) 54, San Marcos Baptist Academy (10-16, 0-9) 22

Friday’s games

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi King (6-18 ???, 0-8) at Southwest (9-21 ???, 3-5), 7 p.m. (postponed to 1:30 p.m., Saturday)

East Central (22-8, 8-1) 81, South San (14-16, 4-5) 62

Steele (17-13, 7-2) 77, Corpus Christi Carroll (17-9 ???, 4-5) 76

District 28-4A

Burbank (13-18, 4-9) 71, Jefferson (7-23, 3-10) 51

Highlands (15-15, 8-5) 86, Fox Tech (1-28, 0-13) 44

Lanier (24-8, 9-4) 80, Brackenridge (15-17, 5-8) 53

District 29-4A

Floresville (16-12, 12-1) 68, Kennedy (5-24 ???, 3-10) 54

McCollum (21-10, 11-2) 62, Southside (6-26, 1-12) 35

Memorial (9-18 ???, 5-7) at Medina Valley (14-16, 5-7), 6:30 p.m. (postponed to 3 p.m., Saturday)

Harlandale (22-10, 11-2) 88, Uvalde (10-19 ???, 3-10) 39

District 28-3A

Hawkins (8-23, 3-5 ???) 49, Poteet (5-19 ???, 0-8 ???) 46

Sam Houston (22-9, 9-0) 81, La Vernia (24-4, 7-2) 66

Somerset (5-16 ???, 3-4 ???) 64, Pleasanton (9-18, 3-6) 62


Victoria St. Joseph (17-15, 6-3) 67, Austin Regents (12-14 ???, 2-6 ???) 58 

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (3-11 ???, 1-1 ???) at Holy Cross (8-24 ???, 3-5), 8 p.m. (score unavailable)

Saturday’s games

District 28-5A

Southwest (10-21 ???, 4-5) 95, Corpus Christi King (6-19 ???, 0-9) 75

District 28-4A

Edison (21-11, 10-2) 44, Brennan (25-5, 11-1) 43

District 29-4A

Memorial (10-18 ???, 6-7) 53, Medina Valley (14-17, 5-8) 46


Corpus Christi John Paul II (???) 49, Laredo St. Augustine (22-13, 1-3) 41

Antonian (25-11, 3-2) 69, Austin St. Michael’s (8-20 ???, 0-6) 58


Cornerstone Christian (3-9 ???, 2-5 ???) at Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (3-16 ???, 1-4), 5:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

TMI (25-9 ???, 7-1 ???) 79, Austin Hyde Park Baptist (3-12 ???, 1-2 ???) 41

San Antonio Christian (33-10 ???, 9-0) 68, Austin St. Dominic Savio (14-14 ???, 5-4 ???) 32


GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 8)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 2-8

Tuesday’s results

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi King (13-15, 2-8) 43, South San (10-21, 1-9) 37

Corpus Christi Carroll (27-6, 8-2) 64, Southwest (23-10, 6-4) 56

Steele (24-4, 10-0) 78, East Central (10-19, 3-7) 50

District 28-4A

Brennan (29-1, 16-0) 57, Brackenridge (26-6, 14-2) 45

Edison (13-18, 7-9) 59, Fox Tech (5-24, 2-14) 27

Highlands (23-11, 12-4) 44, Jefferson (11-16, 6-10) 38

Burbank (8-22, 5-11) 50, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-26, 0-16) 25

District 29-4A

Floresville (23-10, 13-1) 54, Medina Valley (22-9, 11-2) 47

Kennedy (10-19, 5-9) 71, McCollum (10-18, 6-8) 49

Uvalde (9-18, 3-11)58, Memorial (4-27, 0-14) 39

Southside (18-13, 10-4) 51, Harlandale (19-13, 8-6) 50 

District 28-3A

La Vernia (25-5, 10-0) 67, Poteet (5-24 ???, 2-7  ????) 31

Somerset (14-13 ???, 5-4 ???) 78, Hawkins (2-25, 0-10) 28

Sam Houston (10-17 ???, 8-2) 71, Pleasanton (7-24, 4-6) 32


Austin St. Michael’s (12-13, 3-3) 64, Corpus Christi John Paul II (9-7 ???, 0-5 ???) 45


Austin St. Dominic Savio (22-11, 6-1) 56, Austin Regents (20-7, 6-2) 52

Cornerstone Christian (16-5 ???, 4-2) at Austin Hyde Park (0-4 ???, 0-2 ???), 6:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Holy Cross (13-24, 3-6) 49, San Antonio Christian (9-12 ???, 2-5 ???) 46

Victoria St. Joseph (26-7, 7-1) 61, TMI (4-10 ???, 0-5 ???) 37

Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (27-5 ???, 6-1 ???) 60, San Marcos Baptist Academy (16-13 ???, 2-5 ???) 41

Wednesday’s games


Incarnate Word (21-8, 7-2) 56, Providence (2-21 ???, 1-7) 22

Thursday’s games


San Marcos Baptist Academy (16-13 ???, 2-5 ???) at TMI (4-9 ???, 0-4), 6:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Friday’s games


Brownsville St. Joseph (31-2, 8-1) 35, St. Anthony (18-9, 4-5) 31

Corpus Christi John Paul II (9-6 ???, 0-4 ???) at Providence (2-22 ???, 1-8), 7 p.m. (postponed to Saturday, time TBA)

Incarnate Word (21-8, 7-2) at Austin St. Michael’s (11-13, 2-3), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)


Austin Hyde Park Baptist (0-4 ???, 0-2 ???) at Holy Cross (13-24, 3-6), 5:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Victoria St. Joseph (26-7, 7-1) 49, Austin Regents (20-8, 6-3) 42

San Antonio Christian (9-12 ???, 2-5 ???) at  Austin St. Dominic Savio (19-11, 3-1), 6:30 p.m. (postponed to Saturday, time TBA)

Saturday’s games


Brownsville St. Joseph (31-2, 8-1) 54, St. Anthony (18-9, 4-5) 47

Corpus Christi John Paul II (9-6 ???, 0-4 ???) at Providence (2-22 ???, 1-8), TBA (score unavailable)


Cornerstone Christian (16-5 ???, 4-2) at Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (27-5 ???, 6-1 ???), 4 p.m. (score unavailable)

San Antonio Christian (6-8 ???, 1-2 ???) at  Austin St. Dominic Savio (19-11, 3-1), TBA (score unavailable)

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Feb. 5)

Girls basketball playoff picture

These are the area teams that have a chance to qualify for the playoffs (in alphabetical order):


QUALIFIERS: Brackenridge (25-6, 14-2), East Central (10-19, 3-7), Harlandale (19-13, 8-6), Highlands (23-11, 12-4), Lanier (14-16, 10-6), Sam Houston (10-17, 8-2), Southside (18-13, 10-4), Southwest (23-10, 6-4).

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Feb. 8)

Boys basketball playoff picture

These are the area teams that have a chance to qualify for the playoffs (in alphabetical order):

Through Feb. 8

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Central Catholic (22-6, 4-0), East Central (22-8, 8-1), Edison (22-11, 11-2), Harlandale (22-10, 11-2), Highlands (15-15, 8-5), Lanier (23-8, 9-4), McCollum (21-10, 11-2), Sam Houston (21-9, 9-0).

LIKELY QUALIFIERS: Holy Cross (8-24 ???, 3-5 ???), Memorial (11-19, 6-7). 

POSSIBLE QUALIFIERS: South San (14-16, 4-5), Southwest (10-21, 4-5).

BOYS & GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (thru Feb. 2)

Through Feb. 2



1. Central Catholic

2. East Central

3. Edison

4. Lanier

5. Sam Houston

6. Harlandale

7. McCollum

8. Highlands

9. South San

10. Brackenridge

11. Southwest

12. Burbank

13. Memorial

14. Jefferson

15. Kennedy




1. Brackenridge

2. Southwest

3. Highlands

4. Harlandale

5. Southside

6. Lanier

7. East Central

8. Holy Cross

9. Edison

10. Sam Houston

11. Kennedy

12. South San

13. McCollum

14. Burbank

15. Jefferson

ALL SPORTS: UIL realignment district assignments for 2014-16

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface


Corpus Christi Carroll

Corpus Christi King

Corpus Christi Ray

East Central

South San



Alamo Heights

Boerne Champion


Kerrville Tivy




San Marcos






Fox Tech






Sam Houston


Eagle Pass Winn

Laredo Cigarroa

Laredo Martin

Laredo Nixon

Medina Valley





               1. I had been hearing that 28-6A might include Judson, Warren and maybe even Smithson Valley. Steele got separated from the pack to join that district. With CC Ray replacing Steele, it remains a seven-team district but with an additional trip to Corpus for East Central, South San and Southwest. On the other hand, their possibility of winning district championships increased. So that’s a good tradeoff.

              2.  Kennedy and Memorial got hit really hard by realignment. Wow. After becoming increasingly competitive in 29-4A, they get herded into a super district with Alamo Heights, Boerne Champion and Kerrville Tivy. San Marcos and Seguin will be a challenge as well.

              3. Similar to the Northside district, we now have a 10-team inner-city District 28-5A. Harlandale and McCollum shift from 29-4A and Sam Houston steps up from 28-3A to form a SAISD/Harlandale ISD district. Most teams will welcome this. Sam will be glad for the reduced travel.

                        Playoff spots just became harder to get for the 28-4A holdovers but, on the plus side, Brennan has moved to 6A where it belongs, competitively speaking. Reasonable competitive balance is restored. An exciting basketball district just got deeper.

                 4. Poor Southside finds itself on an island (as the only San Antonio team) with a travel budget that just shot up in 29-5A. Medina Valley and former 28-3A Somerset are relatively close. But the road to Laredo and I-10 West to Uvalde & Eagle Pass will become all too familiar to Cardinals teams. Three Laredo teams in the realigned district. Expected it for 29-4A team(s), but figured Edgewood ISD schools in mix.

       5. Keep in mind that schools have the right to appeal their district assignment.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Playoff-bound Southwest bonds together for win that reflects on Rodriguez

East Central reaches postseason despite loss



Perhaps the best measure of what Tiffani Rodriguez means to Southwest was on display Friday at the Dragons’ gym, when her teammates came together to stave off a potential upset bid from East Central.

With Southwest’s senior captain, sidelined with the flu for all but about eight minutes of her last home game, the Dragons (23-9, 6-3) had no shortage of volunteers willing to shoulder the scoring and defensive burdens. They closed the Senior Night game on a 15-4 run to defeat the Hornets 59-46 in a District 28-5A game.

“No doubt about it,” Southwest coach Bill Avey said. “Seeing that a player with Tiff’s abilities is willing to share the ball has helped them defer to their teammates. I think, at a certain point, they realized that Tiff wasn’t going to walk on the court, and that they needed to do it themselves.”

In an unusual turn of events, both teams qualified for the playoffs Friday. Brackenridge, Harlandale, Highlands, Lanier, Sam Houston and Southside are the other current playoff qualifiers.

Southwest cemented third place in the district with the win. Despite the loss, East Central (10-18, 3-6) benefited from the two other district games Friday. Corpus Christi Carroll eliminated Corpus Christi King (12-15, 1-8) from consideration 55-36 . District-leading Steele squelched South San’s playoff hopes, defeating the Bobcats (10-20, 1-8) 72-17.

“We’ve been talking about that,” first-year East Central coach Ginger Hartman said of playing with playoff intensity. “I’m proud of them. They played hard. They did everything we talked about this week.”

While Rodriguez was largely unavailable to Southwest, East Central had to cope with having its top two scorers, freshman Brittany Rodgers and sophomore Janik Alexander-Smith, in foul trouble. Nonetheless, the Hornets were within 44-42 with 6:09 remaining when Rodgers (11 points) took a defensive rebound the length of the court for a basket and Claudia Flores made two of three free throws.

Southwest junior guard Jenyl Henry, who scored eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter, responded with a three-point play and three-point basket on consecutive Dragons possessions for an instant eight-point lead. Southwest made three of four free throws and outscored the Hornets 9-4 over the last five minutes to seal the win.

“That was the No. 1 thing,” Henry said of winning for Rodriguez. “Tiff has had such a great career. It was so tough that she was sick for Senior Night. We all pulled together.”

Rodriguez finished with two points, which increased her career total to 2,130. She is the fourth 2,000-point scorer Avey has coached in 17 years at Incarnate Word and Southwest.

“To have a four-year varsity starter, that’s pretty amazing,” the 10th-year Dragons coach said. “Her role has changed throughout her career, and she’s done everything we’ve asked of her. I felt bad for her tonight, but she wanted to give it a shot.

“She’s probably been our best all-around player. She has the ability to play defense, score and dish assists. For four straight years, she’s gotten our purple heart award for taking the most charges.”

Alexandra Busby led Southwest with 21 points. She picked up the scoring slack in the second quarter with seven points, including a three-point basket with 1:19 until the half that put the Dragons in the lead. Busby had 12 first-half points, helping Southwest to a 28-26 lead.

“She’s going to be an offensive juggernaut,” Avey said. “She can really play. She didn’t start playing basketball until the seventh grade.”

East Central led 12-10 after a quarter. A jumper by Busby capped a five-point spurt for Southwest, but the Hornets’ press launched a run.

Two free throws from Taylor Lewis (12 points, 10 rebounds), a three-ponter from Savannah Avila and two more foul shots from substitute Ariel Allen provided East Central a 23-18 advantage. It was 26-23 with 2:57 until the half when Rodgers scored on a rebound.

“Taylor’s really coming on,” Hartman said. “She’s a good rebounder and a great athlete. She’s willing to do whatever you want her to.”

The Hornets stayed close early in the third quarter, tying it 21-21 on a short jumper from senior Na’Kiah Reid, one of the few returning regulars from 2012-13, and a free throw by Rodgers.

“They’re playing together,” Hartman said. “We didn’t have many players returning and they’re learning a new system, but the main thing I wanted to accomplish this year was to get everybody playing together and working hard.

“(The Dragons) hit some key shots at the end of the game, and we couldn’t get ours to drop. I have to give credit to Southwest.”

Southwest began to get contributions from more and more players as the second half wore on.

“Rebounding was pretty much the No. 1 priority for me,” said the 5-4 Henry, who collected eight boards. “I knew they were bigger than me, but I knew they outrebounded us in the first half. I tried to play with a lot of energy and box out their big girls.”

Freshman Missy Longoria grabbed a defensive rebound and assisted on a layup by Cheyenne Ortiz, after Busby broke a 34-34 lead with a three-pointer. Both posts supplied seven points.

Ortiz took a pass from freshman guard Briana Longoria increased Southwest’s lead to 44-36 with little more than two minutes left in the third quarter following a three-point play and subsequent steal from Busby.

“(East Central) almost beat us the first time,” Avey said. “We were down 13 in the second quarter. They gave us all we wanted. If we have a true rival in this district, it’s East Central.

“I give a lot of credit to East Central’s players and coaching staff. They’re doing a heck of a job.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Central Catholic’s runs carry it to 19th-consecutive win

Buttons utilize defense, depth to beat St. Michael’s


Link unavailable

Central Catholic’s players are well-aware of the winning streak, that now is at 19 games. The idea is to keep it as motivation, rather than let it become an albatross.

So far, so good – although it’s not as easy to aim for as it is to accomplish.

The Buttons (22-6, 4-0) had trouble finding their shooting touch in the first half of their TAPPS District 2-5A game Saturday at the Bill Greehey Arena on the St. Mary’s University campus. Despite shooting 33.3 percent (11 of 33) from the field in the first half, Central Catholic managed to put together a killer 17-point run that propelled it to a 68-46 victory over Austin St. Michael’s (8-18, 0-4).

“We’re aware of the streak, and there’s a little pressure,” Central Catholic senior wing Stuart Lynch said. “It’s hard to come out every game with a lot of intensity. We hear about the streak from a lot of people, who bring it up to us. There’s a lot of talk about it around school.”

Central Catholic, No. 7 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private School state rankings, effectively put the game out of the young Crusaders’ reach with 17 unanswered points in the second quarter. The streak, which began with a fast-break basket from substitute guard Joseph Nava (6 points, 3 assists, 2 steals) off an assist from his brother Jaime Nava.

The basket gave Central Catholic a 17-13 lead. When senior guard P.J. Escobar (5 points, 4 assists) cashed in one of his five steals with 49.3 seconds left in the first half, the Buttons held a 32-13 advantage. St. Michael’s knocked two points off the lead with free throws from Jordan Davis by halftime.

Central Catholic limited St. Michael’s to five points on one-of-10 field-goal shooting in the second quarter.

“We picked (our defense) up a bunch,” Central Catholic coach Bruce McConaghy said. “We started out with no emotion. In the second quarter, we upped our intensity a little bit. We got a turnover here and a turnover there, and got going.”

The Buttons also produced a run of nine-consecutive points In the third quarter.

St. Michael’s had cut Central Catholic’s lead back to 12 points in the first 1 ½ minutes of the half. The spurt began with a basket by 6-foot-9 post Tony Lewis (17 points, 9 rebounds).

Senior substitute wing-post Danny Kellum (11 points, 9 rebounds) scored twice in succession, on a tip-in and off an assist from Escobar. With 4:38 left in the quarter, Escobar whipped a pass to Chad Plummer for a three-point basket that made it 44-23.

“I think, coming off the bench, I have more energy saved to provide to the team,” Kellum said. “I want to help them out at times when things are going (rough). I just try to do my role.”

Another tip-in from the weak side by Kellum increased Central Catholic’s lead to 46-26 with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Lynch helped Central Catholic take a 7-2 lead at the outset with five quick points, including a three-pointer for the game’s first basket. St. Michael’s never led, but cut the lead to two four times. The last was on three-point play from freshman Keith Reynolds with 5:46 to play in the second quarter.

St. Michael’s was led by sophomore forward Josh Harris with 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Crusaders started a junior, two sophomores and two freshmen. By contrast, Central Catholic’s starting lineup featured four seniors and Lewis.

“We’ve all been together four or five years now,” Lynch said. “We all know what each other can do and that we can depend on each other. Our focus is on defense, because all of us are able to score. We’re all one team and we’re all friends.”

Central Catholic’s next opportunity to add to its winning streak is 7 p.m. Thursday against archrival Antonian at Paul Taylor Field House. The Buttons defeated the Apaches 50-34 Jan. 24.

“Last game (a 69-66 win over St. Anthony Wednesday) was the first time we talked about it,” McConaghy said of the winning streak. “We told them not to worry about it. We want to use it as motivation to get another one.”