GIRLS BASKETBALL: Reagan ambushes Southwest in area round

Dragons can’t overcome cold shooting against state-ranked Rattlers


Coming off one of the biggest wins in Southwest girls basketball history, there may have been some concern about a letdown last Friday in its Class 5A area-round game.

Instead, what the Dragons (24-11) needed to be concerned about was an avalanche. Reagan (28-4) hit them with an offensive landslide early and often in a 78-48 victory at South San’s Durbon Center.

Meanwhile, the Dragons made just one of 19 field goals they attempted in the opening quarter.

“The thing about Reagan is that they can play so many different ways,” Southwest coach Bill Avey said. “They’re very efficient when they’re running the court, and they proved they could be very effective in the halfcourt as well.”

The Rattlers, No. 16 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state poll, scored the game’s first 10 points. With 2:10 left in the first quarter, their lead had grown to an oppressive 19-1, from the Dragons’ perspective.

“We compared them to a lower seed that had beaten a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament,” Reagan coach Terry Barton said, referring to Southwest’s first-round win over O’Connor. “We felt like we needed to take control early and be very focused, and we did exactly that.”

Avey had spoken of the game as a matchup of two of the city’s top three players, Southwest senior Tiffani Rodriguez and Rattlers senior Wendy Knight.

Knight accumulated 12 points and seven rebounds in the first 16 minutes. She totaled 18 points and nine boards.

Six-foot-three post Sara Lewis (10 points, 11 rebounds) scored four of Reagan’s first 10 points. Anastasia Curtiss made two free throws and scored on a driving layup as the lead grew to 18.

“We knew Wendy Knight was the best player in the city and Sara Lewis was a dominant force in the paint,” Avey said. “We wanted to stop their drives, but that was easier said than done. All credit to Reagan.”

A three-pointer from Emily Sandoval (19 points) 30 seconds into the second quarter made it 27-5.

Southwest answered with a three-pointer from sophomore Alexandra Busby, who was scoreless in the first quarter. It counted as her only points in the game and was the last time the Dragons were within 20.

“When you shoot threes like we do,” Avey said. “It’s really hard when they’re not dropping. Life is good when they’re going in. But we got behind 19-1 really quickly.”

Reagan wing Mailee Jones, who hurt Southwest with her dribble penetration, contributed seven of her 13 points in the quarter as the Rattlers’ lead ballooned to 38-15 at halftime. Reagan’s largest lead was 72-36 midway through the fourth quarter.

“We played to pretty well tonight,” Barton said. “We shot the ball much better than we did in the first round.”

Brackenridge and Southwest were the only area girls teams to advance from the bi-district round last week. Eight teams advanced to the postseason.

Southwest, which took third in District 28-5A, had defeated O’Connor 66-56 Feb. 11 in the bi-district round. Guard Tiffani Rodriguez scored 25 points in that contest.

“In some ways, that was the best win in the history of the program,” Avey said. “Tiff was just brilliant in that game. She did everything we needed her to do, but a bunch of our kids played well.”

Rodriguez ended her Dragons career with team bests of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Jenyl Henry added 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Senior Emilee Martinez grabbed six rebounds.

Reagan limited Rodriguez to one point in the first quarter and two in the opening half.

“We wanted to take away her penetration, as much as we could,” Barton said. “We played good help-side defense.”

Rodriguez and Martinez along with guard Angie Avila and forward Victoria Alvarez comprised Southwest’s senior class. The Dragons will return 10 players who’ve seen significant playing time.

“I already know what our slogan is for next year, ‘Take it to the next level,’ ” Avey said. “Reagan showed us what that next level is.”



BOYS BASKETBALL: Highlands beats Brack without top scorer

Second-quarter Owls run gives Eagles uphill climb


Playing without its top scorer, DeMarcus Hartfield, Highlands needed to find willing volunteers to put points on the scoreboard in what was anticipated to be a close regular-season finale against Brackenridge.

Fortunately for the Owls (16-15, 9-5), 6-foot junior JerMichael Shirley was ready to shoulder more of the load. Shirley produced a game-high 17 points, leading fourth-place Highlands to a 71-60 win over fifth-place Brackenridge (16-15, 9-5) last Monday at Lanier’s Alumni Center.

“I was trying to take it to the hole,” said Shirley, who chipped in with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. “I felt like I had an advantage. Posting up is something I’m still trying to work on.”

Hartfield, who leads the Owls with a 16.7 points a game scoring average, remained out with a loose tooth from a collision against Lanier Jan. 31.

Brackenridge led 12-10 when senior sharpshooter Gabe Hildebrand (10 points) nailed a three-pointer with 36.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Highlands opened the second quarter with 12 unanswered points and had a 30-17 edge with 2:38 left in the first half.

“I try to emphasize that what we do in practice dictates what we do on the floor,” Highlands coach Rufus Lott said. “Somebody different has been stepping up for us every game.”

Owls senior Xavier Long scored 12 of his 14 points in the second quarter.

The Eagles outscored Highlands 39-32 in the second half. They picked up the tempo at the start of the final quarter and reduced the lead to single digits on a driving layup from Ramon Richards (4 rebounds, 3 assists) and a three-point basket from sophomore Antonio Lopez (9 points, 4 rebounds).

“It was a tough game, a physical game,” Brackenridge coach Joey Isaac said. “We made adjustments and got everybody playing hard, but we had a rough second quarter. It was an uphill battle after that.”

Brackenridge was within 64-56 with 3:04 left as sophomore Richard Wallace (15 points, 11 rebounds) scored inside. Highlands guard Samuel Jackson scored four straight points to keep the Owls out of danger.

“This was a good team win,” Shirley said. “We worked together and we didn’t give up.”


GIRLS BASKETBALL: Acuna’s foul shots help Eagles finish comeback victory over Hays

Brackenridge wipes out eight-point deficit in final quarter, but falls to Rouse in area round

Photo taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

Brackenridge's Skyler Reyna (31), guarding Highlands' Kiara Pesina (1) in a recent game, in a December game, battled through injuries in the postseason.
Brackenridge’s Skyler Reyna (31), guarding Highlands’ Kiara Pesina (1) in a recent game, in a December game, battled through injuries in the postseason.
Brackenridge senior  Miranda Acuna led the Eagles with 17 points against Leander Rouse.
Brackenridge senior Miranda Acuna led the Eagles with 17 points against Leander Rouse.


Hays couldn’t anticipate the full ramifications of what it had done when it fouled Brackenridge senior guard Miranda Acuna repeatedly in the fourth quarter Tuesday at New Braunfels Canyon.

The Rebels probably were aware during the Class 4A bi-district game that the Eagles’ primary ballhandler was a proficient free-throw shooter. Hays, however, was unaware of the degree that Acuna had devoted to her art. We’re talking three years of 50 post-practice free throws a day when she might have been preparing for her evening’s pursuits.

Acuna made eight of the nine free throws she attempted. Six of them came at a crucial stage of the fourth quarter and helped Brackenridge (26-7) deliver a 55-49 win.

“I was nervous, but my teammates told me just to make them like I always do in practice,” said Acuna, who finished with 18 points. “I always shoot 50 free throws in practice, every day for the last three years.”

Unfortunately for the Eagles, they were eliminated a game later. No area girls teams advanced beyond the area round.

Hays (24-12) held a 44-36 lead when Amanda Benjamin nailed a three-point shot .6 seconds before the third-quarter buzzer.

The Rebels had led or been tied most of the time since breaking a 12-12 tie about 40 seconds into the second quarter on a rebound basket from 6-foot Jordyne Dugger (14 points, 8 rebounds). Hays scored the last seven points in the third quarter, starting with a rebound basket from 6-foot-4 Jill Borreson (14 points, 9 rebounds), a Columbia University signee.

“We didn’t have a very good offensive night,” Hays coach Danny Preuss said. “We had too many turnovers, and that enabled them to turn things around. They were making big shots and big plays.

“The last three or four minutes, we were missing layups and missing free throws. If we’d made them, we would have had a chance.”

The Eagles outscored the Rebels 19-5 and forced eight turnovers in the fourth quarter.

“We had to be aggressive and help on defense,” first-year Brackenridge coach Tamiko Matthews said. “Especially at the end, we came together as a team.”

Brackenridge scored the first six points in the final quarter. Junior Tevis Thomas (9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) scored off a steal, Acuna scored on a runner and Sabrina Coronado added a basket to cut the Rebels’ lead to 44-42 with 6:17 left in the game.

“I felt really confident, because we had played Brennan twice,” Thomas said, referring to the state’s top-ranked team. “We knew that Hays would be really good. As long as we played together and had each other’s backs, we knew we could get the win.”

The Eagles didn’t regain the lead until junior Skyler Reyna (20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) converted a steal into a layup with 54.9 seconds to play. Reyna, who was bothered by leg cramps, fought through the pain to finish the game.

“I didn’t want to come out,” Reyna said. “I would have felt like I was giving up on my team. We played together. Everybody played like it was our last game.”

Acuna made three free throws to establish a 54-48 lead with about 15.5 seconds left. Hays turned the ball over on its last two possessions and Thomas sank a free throw that sealed the win.

“Especially with Skyler hurt, we needed people to step up,” Acuna said. “My teammates were telling me I should take the ball to the basket.

“It feels good. This is my senior year. I didn’t want it to end. I needed to make my free throws, and when I did, it felt great.”

Brackenridge advanced to play Leander Rouse Friday in Leander. Rouse (26-8) won the area-round game on its home court 76-42.

“They were definitely a run-and-gun type of team,” Matthews said. “We just didn’t respond with total intensity. They had a lot of seniors and lots of experience.”

Acuna scored a team-high 17 points for the Eagles. Thomas contributed nine points and senior Brittney Morales scored eight in her final game.

Mariah Merriweather led Raiders with 19 points. Rouse led 45-28 at halftime. The Raiders only added two points to their lead in the third quarter while Brack scored nine, but they surged again in the final period for a comfortable win.

“We had a really good third quarter,” Matthews said. “That was about the only quarter when we hung with them. When they got the ball across into halfcourt, they were putting up three(-pointers). We didn’t have the intensity we had in the (last) Brennan game or the Hays game, but they were a different team.”

Reyna was not at full strength and mustered just four points.

“Skyler played but she wasn’t herself,” Matthews said. “She was having issues with her knees.”

Although she had hoped to guide her team deeper into the playoffs, Matthews was satisfied with her first season at Brackenridge.

“(The seniors) were leaders, with only a few exceptions,” she said. “We had some issues, but overall it was a very successful season. I’m looking forward to next year, because our juniors coming up are leaders as well. That’s always a positive.

“I really feel blessed to have had the leaders I had on the team. We didn’t have a lot of players who were fundamentally sound, but I enjoyed working with them and was really happy to see how far they came.”


BOYS BASKETBALL: Buttons get revenge against St. Anthony in championship game

Central Catholic wins two close games in 2-5A tourney

Central Catholic (24-7) exacted its revenge on St. Anthony Saturday at Alamo Convocation Center for ending their 20-game winning streak three days earlier. The Buttons prevailed 84-83 over the Yellowjackets (21-11) in the finals of the TAPPS District 2-5A Tournament.

St. Anthony had defeated Central Catholic 71-68 Wednesday.

Central Catholic, No. 6 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private School state rankings, built a 46-32 halftime lead. However, the young Yellowjackets rung up 51 points in the second half to make it a close game.

Junior guard Jaime Nava led the Buttons with 15 points. P.J. Escobar and Tony Lewis contributed 14 points apiece. Danny Kellum popped in 11 points. Senior wing Chris Paz scored nine.

Freshman Isiah Saenz led St. Anthony with 24 points.

The Buttons defeated Antonian (25-13) 65-61 in the semifinals Saturday morning to reach the championship game.

The teams were tied 13-13 after a quarter. Central Catholic opened a 45-39 lead over the next two quarters. Antonian outscored the Buttons 14-8 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Kellum led the Buttons with 17 points. Escobar contributed 15 points and Lewis produced 14. Senior Matt Wetesnik added nine.

Alec Boggess (21 points) and Logan Huff (20) were the top scorers for the Apaches.

Central Catholic, the top seed from 2-5A, will play next in the TAPPS state tournament area round next weekend against the sixth-place finisher from District 1. The winner will advance to the state semifinals.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Carroll ends Southwest’s playoff hopes in tiebreaker

Corpus Christi Carroll (18-10) pulled out a victory in the closing minutes of the District 28-5A fourth-place tie-breaker game against Southwest (10-23) Friday at Victoria East. The Tigers won 82-76.

Both teams finished the 28-5A season with 4-6 records. In fact, each lost its last district game. They split two head-to-head games, necessitating the additional, neutral-site game.

Southwest led 45-41 at halftime and 64-61 after three quarters.

No individual statistics are currently available for the Dragons. The loss ended their season.

BOYS BASKETBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: McCollum edges Harlandale to nail down second place in 29-4A

TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, South San, Southwest.

Host McCollum (22-10, 12-2) won its sixth-consecutive game, bumping rival Harlandale (22-11, 11-3) out of second place in District 29-4A Tuesday by a slim margin. One of the two teams has swept the series each of the last five years. The Cowboys’ last previous sweep was in 2012.

McCollum outscored Harlandale 21-17 in the third quarter to claim the victory. The Cowboys also led 21-15 in the opening quarter, but Harlandale forged a 36-33 lead at halftime. Entering the final quarter, the Indians still had the upper hand, 48-46.

Seniors Nate Martinez and Joey Villarreal paced an amazingly balanced Cowboys lineup with 16 points apiece. Freshman Santiago Vasquez scored 15 points and sophomomore Tre Johnson had 14. Only six McCollum players scored.

Senior guard Joshua Rodriguez (4 steals, 4 assists) led Harlandale with 17 points. Fellow seniors Ram Torres (15 points, 6 rebounds) and Brandon Ramon (12 points, 14 rebounds, 6 steals) also scored in double figures. Jesus Maltos chipped in eight points and four rebounds. Mando Guerrero contributed three assists.

McCollum won the first meeting with Harlandale this year 75-68 Jan. 17 at Harlandale. Harlandale leads the all-time series with a 58-29-1 record.

Harlandale and McCollum will play as part of a bi-district doubleheader Tuesday in Gonzales. The Indians will play Victoria East (19-13) at 6 p.m. McCollum will play Victoria West (20-12) at 8 p.m.

East Central 76, Corpus Christi King 56

The Hornets (23-8, 9-1) locked up an outright District 28-5A title with the victory over last place Corpus Christi King (6-20, 0-10) in Corpus Christi.

East Central’s determination won over any possible road weariness. The Hornets made a statement by outscoring the Mustangs 24-6 in the opening quarter.

Senior Albert Jimenez led East Central with 15 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Ceddrick Ali contributed 14 points, four assists and four rebounds.

Jeremy Jones added 13 points for the Hornets. Brandon McClure scored 11. Junior Brandon Keno chipped in five steals.

South San 61, Corpus Christi Carroll 39

The Bobcats (15-16, 5-5) wrapped up third place in District 28-5A Tuesday with the win against Corpus Christi Carroll (17-10, 4-6). The teams were part of a three-way tie for third before tipoff.

Outstanding defense carried South San to a surprisingly convincing win at the Durbon Center.

The Bobcats took control in the first quarter, building an 18-5 cushion. They squelched the Tigers’ comeback hopes by outscoring them 25-10 in the third quarter.

Senior Eric Alcozer produced a career-high 32 points for South San. David Valdez added in 14 points. Olando Lopez scored nine.

Memorial 71, Kennedy 50

The Minutemen (11-18, 5-7) avoided a letdown from its victory over Medina Valley last weekend, and delivered a crushing blow to rival Kennedy (5-25, 3-11) Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.

Memorial’s second victory over the Rockets in district season entrenched it in fourth place in District 29-4A, to earn a playoff bid.

The Rockets were within 16-10 as the first quarter ended, but Memorial extended its lead to 37-21 at the half.

Senior Joe Aguilar was the top scorer for Memorial with 17 points. Joseph Aguillen finished with 15 points. Xavier Abrigo supplied 10 points.

Kennedy tied Uvalde (9-20, 3-11) for sixth place in 29-4A.

Steele 79, Southwest 76

Southwest (10-22, 4-6) came close to notching a sweep in the season series against District 28-5A runner-up Steele, but the Knights prevailed Tuesday on their home court. The loss dropped Southwest into a fourth-place tie and forced a tie-breaker game Friday with Corpus Christi Carroll (17-10, 4-6), which will take place 7 p.m. Friday at Victoria East.

Steele raced to a 27-16 first-quarter lead. Southwest continued to nibble away at the lead, however. The Dragons closed to 38-32 at halftime. They trailed 61-53 after three quarters.

Brian Perez led Southwest with 16 points, five rebounds and three steals. Devanta Hayes made five of six free throws and finished with 13 points. Aaron Embry provided 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

Hector Murillo added nine points and six rebounds for the Dragons. Ricardo Garcia grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots.


GIRLS BASKETBALL MID-WEEK/PLAYOFF REPORT: Southwest downs O’Connor for bi-district win

Harlandale pushes Victoria West to brink in 53-50 loss; Holy Cross ends season with blowout win

Photo taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

Southwest freshman Briana Longoria looks for driving room in a December game. Longoria helped the Dragons beat O'Connor Tuesday in a bi-district game.
Southwest freshman Briana Longoria looks for driving room in a December game. Longoria helped the Dragons beat O’Connor Tuesday in a bi-district game.

TEAMS INCLUDED:East Central, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Lanier, Sam Houston, Southside, Southwest.

Southwest recorded its second bi-district win in four years Tuesday at the University of Texas-San Antonio Convocation Center, defeating O’Connor in a Class 5A playoff game.

The Dragons (24-10) separated itself from the District 27-5A runner-up early in the fourth quarter for a 66-56 victory.

Senior guard Tiffani Rodriguez led Southwest with 25 points. Alexandra Busby contributed 18 points. Freshman Missy Lockridge added eight points.

Amber Vidal scored 28 points for O’Connor (24-8), which was ranked No. 8 in the Express-News area poll and posted a 14-2 district record.

Southwest, which finished third in District 28-5A, will play Reagan (27-4). The Rattlers defeated Smithson Valley 50-29 in their bi-district game.

Victoria West 53, Harlandale 50

The victorious Warriors (27-4) didn’t secure their 13th-consecutive win until the final minutes of the Class 4A bi-district game Tuesday in Gonzales. Senior post Connie Garza had 25 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots helped keep the final outcome in doubt in her final Harlandale game.

The Indians (19-14) took a 39-35 lead into the final quarter. The Warriors led 24-22 at halftime.

Harlandale sophomore Justyne Perez scored 12 points, including two 3-point baskets. Junior Elizabeth Herrera corralled seven rebounds.

Tiana Davila led Victoria West with 17 points.

Holy Cross 64, Austin Hyde Park Baptist 43

The Knights (13-23, 3-6) finished their season with a resounding victory Monday at Holy Cross. They bounced back from a tough loss to San Antonio Christian in their previous district game.

“We regrouped,” Holy Cross coach Jesse Arguello said. “I was really happy with the way we played (Tuesday). It was the first time in a long time we’d put four good quarters together.

“It was great to be able to end the season playing well.”

The TAPPS District 3-4A teams were tied 13-13 at the end of the first quarter. Holy Cross inched ahead 27-26 at halftime. The Knights opened the floodgates in the second half, outscoring Austin Hyde Park Baptist 37-17.

Seniors Joslyn Flores and Julia Flores led Holy Cross with 20 and 12 points, respectively.

“It’s always tough saying goodbye to our seniors,” Arguello said. “It was nice that the two seniors that start led us in scoring.”

Hayley Andrade supplied nine points for the Knights.

The game had been rescheduled from last Friday because of the icy conditions that day. Holy Cross finished seventh in the district. The top six teams qualified for the playoffs.

Kerrville Tivy 58, Highlands 40

District 27-4A runner-up Tivy (25-6) built a 16-11 lead in the first quarter and continued to extend it against the Owls (23-12) in a Class 4A bi-district game Tuesday at Alamo Convocation Center.

Highlands sophomore Aaliyah Prince recorded 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Fellow sophomore Jazmine Jackson grabbed a whopping 19 rebounds – including 12 from the offensive glass – to go with 10 points and four steals. Freshman Kiara Pesina and junior Emily Pearce each were credited with two steals.

Olivia Robertson scored 20 points for the Antlers.

Clemens 66, Lanier 46

Clemens (27-4), which won District 27-4A with an undefeated record, opened a 21-7 lead on Lanier (14-17) Tuesday in Schertz.

The Buffaloes had a 40-16 halftime lead in the bi-district contest. The Voks recovered to have a 30-26 scoring advantage in the second half.

Lanier sophomore Ruby Garza scored a game-high 21 points. Ashley Lopez added 11 points.

Fredericksburg 49, Sam Houston 29

Sam Houston (10-18) made this Class 3A bi-district game a battle through the first half. The Hurricanes were tied with the Battlin’ Billies (17-13) at halftime, but they fell behind in the second half Monday at Boerne Champion and weren’t able to catch up.

Fredericksburg had a 7-6 lead after the first quarter. Sam Houston pulled even at 14-14 by halftime. The The Battlin’ Billies took charge in the third quarter, outscoring Sam Houston 19-9.

Individual scoring for Sam Houston was unavailable.

Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway 56, Southside 31

The Cherokees made things tough for Southside (18-14) early in a Class 4A bi-district game Monday at Kenedy (Texas). Tuloso-Midway (22-10) established a 17-2 lead in the first quarter.

The Cardinals matched the Cherokees in the second half. Both teams scored 18 points.

Seniors Sabrina Guzman led Southside with 14 points, six rebounds and four steals. Sophomore Mayra Sendejo scored eight points, cleared 10 rebounds and made three steals. Desiree Rodriguez also had three steals.

Stevens 61, East Central 35

The Falcons (23-6) bolted to a 20-3 lead over East Central (10-20) in the first quarter Tuesday at Paul Taylor Gym.

Freshman Brittany Rodgers scored nine points and Janik Alexander-Smith added eight for the Hornets. Julia Rendon led the Falcons with 19 points, six rebounds and five steals.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff schedule (updated Feb. 16)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 17-22


BI-district round

East Central (23-8) vs. Brandeis (19-7) at South San, 7 p.m., Monday

South San (15-16) vs. O’Connor (18-12) at Bill Greehey Arena, St. Mary’s U., 8 p.m., Tuesday


BI-district round

Edison (23-10) vs. Alamo Heights (28-4) at U. of Incarnate Word, 8 p.m., Tuesday

Lanier (25-8)vs. Hays (20-9) at New Braunfels, 7 p.m., Tuesday

Highlands (16-15) at Clemens (28-4), 7 p.m., Tuesday

Harlandale (22-11) vs. Victoria East (19-13), at Gonzales, 8 p.m., Tuesday

McCollum (22-10) vs. Victoria West (17-9) at Gonzales, 6 p.m., Tuesday

Memorial (12-19) vs. Corpus Christi Calallen (19-10) at Edgewood Gym, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday


BI-district round

Sam Houston (22-9) vs. Wimberley (10-20) at Canyon Lake, 6 p.m., Tuesday


Area round

Central Catholic (24-7) vs. TBA, Friday or Saturday, TBA

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Hurricanes storm into playoffs with win over Pleasanton

Green rises to Senior Night challenge with career game


Once the District 28-3A season began, Sam Houston’s fortunes began to turn around — as if the Hurricanes had found the light switch.

The truth behind their metamorphosis that normalcy had returned to their daily routine. Their veteran coach, Milyse Lamkin, had come back from a surgery-related leave of absence and had time to work with her inexperienced team.

The Hurricanes (10-17, 8-2) won for the fourth-consecutive game and eighth time in nine outings Tuesday, defeating Pleasanton (7-24, 4-6) 71-32. Sam Houston finished second in 28-3A and the Eagles took fourth.

“We’re doing OK,” Lamkin said. “We have a young group of girls this year. We only had two returnees, one senior (Dionne Camino) and one junior (Dajah Thomas). We’re young experience-wise.”

Sam Houston will play Fredericksburg (17-13) at 7 p.m. Monday in the bi-district round at Boerne Champion. The Hurricanes kept alive their streak of 10-straight playoff appearances under Lamkin. Twice, they reached the area round, but haven’t yet made it to the regional quarterfinals.

That seemed doubtful to outsiders when they took a 2-15 record into the district season. Sam Houston closed 2013 with a 30-point loss to Smithson Valley in its last non-district game.

“We had kind of a bad start,” Sam Houston senior Dominique Green said. “So we wanted to show people what we were capable of doing.”

Lamkin had unanticipated hip surgery, specifically a socket-joint replacement, on Oct. 28. She missed the preseason, while her assistants coached the team, and didn’t return until Dec. 16.

“It happened so abruptly. It was the Friday before the season started,” said the Sam Houston alumna. “It was hard for me, because I wasn’t able to be there for the girls. But I left it in the Lord’s hands.”

The Hurricanes turned a game that was close early into a rout against Pleasanton by selectively mixing full-court pressure with half- and three-quarter court traps.

“We still have to work on a lot of stuff,” Lamkin said. “We’re still trying to get them to catch up. We’ve been working a lot on defense. We’re still trying to see what we’re better at.”

The combination of defenses clicked to force a whopping 37 turnovers, most on steals. Green definitely was in the forefront there, scoring the majority of her points in transition, but she also had the range from distance as well.

Green and her classmates all seemed to rise to the occasion. She said that has been their role throughout the season.

“We’ve just tried to pick each other up,”Green said. “Everybody working together has brought out what we’re capable of doing.”

Lamkin, of course, appreciates that her Class of 2014 kept the team’s hopes alive when wins were scarce.

“They’ve stepped it up. They’ve worked hard,” she said. “They were a little frustrated and a little upset when i wasn’t here, and I understand that because it’s their senior year and I left so abruptly. But they didn’t quit. They just showed more leadership.”

There’s still more growth to come, if time permits, as the playoffs unfold.

“We’re still working on the bench, but we’re getting there,” Lamkin said. “They’ve made a lot of improvement. When we’re really playing and working hard, we execute.”

Green led Sam Houston with 26 points, nine steals and five rebounds. Camino added 15 points and six steals. Thomas also had four steals, Chardonnay Green finished with five rebounds and Jasmyne Perkins made four assists.

“I was playing my last home game,” Dominique Green said. “I wanted to put on a show. I wanted to go out with a bang.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Memorial takes step toward playoffs with win over Medina Valley

Minutemen’s press generates 25 turnovers, fuels second-half resurgence

Photo taken by KJ Toso. To view or purchase more photos, please visit:

Memorial senior Joe Aguilar (15) hauls down a rebound against Kennedy. The rivals will have a rematch 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.
Memorial senior Joe Aguilar (15) hauls down a rebound against Kennedy. The rivals will have a rematch 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.


The first time Memorial employed its full court press, it didn’t seem to rattle host Medina Valley a bit. So, the second time, the Minutemen applied the wall-to-wall pressure more forcefully in the crucial District 29-4A showdown.

Memorial (11-19, 6-7) forced 25 turnovers, many from its press, and gained the ball on three 10-second counts in the backcourt. The Minutemen forced 16 second-half turnovers and finished the game on an 11-6 run for a 53-46 victory last Saturday in Castroville.

“In the first half, we used it to tire them out,” Memorial coach Jon Sanchez said. “In the second half, their passes got slower and they weren’t going to the basket as much. We got a few steals, and the kids got excited”

The Memorial players noticed something about Medina Valley’s top player, 6-foot-5 Joseph Dauphin, at halftime that inspired them to come back from a 27-17 halftime deficit.

“That was the time for us to go for the kill,” said Memorial senior Joe Aguilar, who made three key free throws in the last 30 seconds to seal the win. “(Dauphin) was gasping for air.”

The win, in a game postponed nearly 24 hours because of icy conditions, put the Minutemen on the verge of the playoffs. The top four finishers in each district qualify for the playoffs

Memorial needed to win Tuesday’s scheduled game against rival Kennedy (5-24, 3-10) to secure its first playoff berth in five years. Central Catholic, Edison, East Central, Harlandale, Highlands, Lanier, McCollum and  Sam Houston are the area teams that have qualified for the playoffs so far.

“We just want to make it,” said junior Bryan Obregon, who led Memorial with 25 points. “Everyone was doubting us.”

The Panthers (14-17, 5-8) led until 6:24 remained in the game. They weathered the storm when the Minutemen went to the press after trailing 20-9 with 5:15 until halftime. Memorial only managed to shave six points off the lead before Medina Valley hit it with anther scoring spurt.

The press’ impact was immediate in the second half. Obregon hit a three-point basket that cut the Panthers’ lead to seven. Obregon scored off a steal and Aguilar made a three-pointer in succession to bring Memorial within 29-25 with 4:59 left in the third quarter.

Jose Pargas tied it 36-36 at the third-quarter buzzer. A three-pointer from Albert Machado and a layup from Obregon off a steal put Memorial in the lead to stay.


BOYS BASKETBALL: East Central-South San photo gallery, Feb. 7, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos (including the East Central-South San JV game) or to purchase photos, please visit:

East Central senior point guard Ceddrick Ali turns the corner against South San. Ali scored 16 points on Senior Night.
East Central senior point guard Ceddrick Ali turns the corner against South San. Ali scored 16 points on Senior Night.
South San's Sammy Rodriguez breaks East Central's press.
South San’s Sammy Rodriguez breaks East Central’s press.
East Central's versatile Albert Jimenez had a productive Senior Night with 17 points.
East Central’s versatile Albert Jimenez had a productive Senior Night with 17 points.
East Central celebrates clinching at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A. The Hornets can win the title outright Tuesday in Corpus Christi.
East Central celebrates clinching at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A. The Hornets can win the title outright Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

BOYS BASKETBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Edison hands state-ranked Brennan first 28-4A loss

East Central clinches share of title while Southwest enters playoff hunt in 28-5A; Highlands returns to playoffs

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

East Central senior point guard Ceddrick Ali turns the corner against South San. Ali scored 16 points on Senior Night.
East Central senior point guard Ceddrick Ali turns the corner against South San. Ali scored 16 points on Senior Night.
South San senior Eric Alcozer rallied the Bobcats in the second half Friday at East Central.
South San senior Eric Alcozer rallied the Bobcats in the second half Friday at East Central.
East Central celebrates clinching at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A championship. The Hornets can win the title outright Tuesday in Corpus Christi.
East Central celebrates clinching at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A. The Hornets can win the title outright Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

Second-place Edison (22-10, 11-2) tagged first-place Brennan (26-5, 12-1) with its first loss of the District 28-4A season Saturday at the Alamo Convocation Center. The Bears are No. 5 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state Class 4A rankings.

Junior Lorenzo Vela, son of Edison coach Art Vela, led the Golden Bears with 21 points, four rebounds and three steals. Vela made six 3-pointers. Andy Castro added six rebounds and Jared Zapata dealt three assists. Jordan Murphy led Brennan with 28 points.

The Golden Bears’ 29-4A rival Highlands (15-15, 8-5) joined Central Catholic, East Central, Harlandale, Lanier, McCollum, Sam Houston and Edison as the area’s district qualifiers thus far.

East Central 81, South San 62

The Hornets (22-8, 9-0) pulled out to a 21-9 lead in the first quarter and used the momentum to clinch at least a tie for first place in District 28-5A with a win over South San (14-16, 4-5) Friday at East Central.

Fittingly, East Central’s seniors took center stage on Senior Night.

Brandon McClure recorded a team-high 19 points, making all 10 attempts from the free-throw line. McClure also was credited with five rebounds. His starting backcourt partner, Ceddrick Ali, finished with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Up front, Albert Jimenez scored 17 points, hitting a pair of three-point shots, and grabbed five rebounds. Jeremy Jones added seven points with four assists and two blocked shots.

Another senior big man, Eric Ray, returned from an injury and scored three points.

South San individual scoring was unavailable.

East Central will try to maintain its unblemished district record in the regular-season finale Friday at Corpus Christi King.

Highlands 86, Fox Tech 44

The fourth-place Owls (15-15, 8-5) bounced back from a difficult loss to Brennan to qualify for the postseason for the second-straight year in District 28-4A.

Highlands took charge against Fox Tech (1-27, 0-13) Friday in the second half at Alamo Convocation Center. The Owls outscored the Buffaloes 28-6 in that quarter. Fox Tech led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Junior JerMichael Shirley led 13 Owls scorers with 18 points. Post Joseph Jackson scored 13 points. Xavier Long and Alejandro Trevino each had 10 points. Point guard Jamaria Moody had eight points.

Long-distance shooter Santos Vargas led Fox Tech with 19 points. Ruben Chapa supplied 11 points.

Southwest 95, Corpus Christi King 75

The Dragons (10-21, 4-5) notched their second high-scoring win of the week Saturday at home against King (7-18, 0-8). They forged a three-way tie for fourth place in District 28-5A with Corpus Christi Carroll (17-9, 4-5) and South San with one game remaining.

Individual and team scoring statistics from the Southwest-King game were unavailable.

Southwest had routed Carroll 119-76 Feb. 4, setting school records for single-game points and with 17  three-pointers in the process. Dragons seniors Tony Rodriguez and Ricardo Garcia scored 23 and 22 points, respectively.

The Dragons will finish the 28-5A season Tuesday at Steele (7:30 p.m.). Carroll will play at South San (7 p.m.).

McCollum 62, Southside 35

The Cowboys (21-10, 11-2) prepared for their Tuesday District 29-4A second-place showdown with rival Harlandale by trouncing Southside (6-26, 1-12) Friday in the Cardinals’ gym. It was McCollum’s fifth-consecutive win.

McCollum manufactured a 29-13 halftime lead over Southside.

Joey Villarreal was the Cowboys’ top scorer with 16 points. Tre Johnson (12 points), Nathan Martinez (11 points) and Steve Villarreal (10) also scored in double figures.

Cardinals post Drevon Brown led Southside with 14 points. Senior Francisco Solis added eight points.

McCollum plays host to Harlandale at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Lanier 80, Brackenridge 53

Senior point guard Louis Garza led the way as the third-place Voks (24-8, 9-4) doubled the point total for Brackenridge (15-17, 5-8) in the second half, breaking open a relatively close District 28-4A game Friday at Alamo Convocation Center.

Lanier scored more than 20 points in each of the first two quarters to build a 44-35 halftime lead. The Voks recorded their second-highest point total of the season.

Garza produced a game-high 22 points. Fellow seniors Rodrigo Garcia and Ajax Reyes chipped in 19 and 15 points, respectively. Freshman Isaiah Vargas scored 10 and Nick Garcia added eight points.

Eagles senior Gabe Hildebrand knocked down a game-high 23 points. Richard Wallace contributed 11 points.

Harlandale 88, Uvalde 39

The host Indians (22-10, 11-2) dismantled Uvalde (9-19, 4-7) Friday in a District 29-4A game.

Harlandale bolted to a 26-9 halftime lead. The Indians outscored the Coyotes 47-19 in the second half.

Senior Mando Guerrero led Harlandale with 17 points. Guerrero also made five steals. The Indians had five double-figure scorers, including Joshua Rodriguez (6 rebounds, 4 steals) and Chris Padilla with 15 points apiece.

Brandon Ramon tallied 14 points to go with team-bests of seven rebounds and six steals. Ram Torres finished with 11 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots. Jose Salinas had four steals.

BOYS & GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (thru Feb. 9)

Through Feb. 9




1. Central Catholic

2. East Central

3. Edison

4. Lanier

5. Sam Houston

6. Harlandale

7. McCollum

8. Highlands

9. Southwest

10. South San

11. Memorial

12. Burbank

13. Brackenridge

14. Jefferson

15. Kennedy






1. Brackenridge

2. Southwest

3. Highlands

4. Southside

5. Harlandale

6. Lanier

7. East Central

8. Sam Houston

9. Edison

10. Kennedy

11. Holy Cross

12. South San

13. Jefferson

14. McCollum

15. Burbank

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 15)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 9-15

Monday’s games

District 28-4A

Highlands (16-15, 9-5) 71, Brackenridge (15-18, 5-9) 60

Edison (23-10, 12-2) 57, Jefferson (7-23, 3-11) 28

Lanier (25-8, 10-4) 62, Burbank (13-19, 4-10) 29

Brennan (27-5, 13-1) 91, Fox Tech (1-29, 0-14) 28


Austin Hyde Park Baptist (???) 56, Holy Cross (8-25, 3-6) 39

Tuesday’s games

District 28-5A

South San (15-16, 5-5) 61, Corpus Christi Carroll (17-10 ???, 4-6) 39

East Central (23-8, 9-1) 76, Corpus Christi King (6-20 ???, 0-10) 56

Steele (18-13, 8-2) 79, Southwest (10-22 ???, 4-6) 75

District 29-4A

McCollum (22-10, 12-2) 67, Harlandale (22-11, 11-3) 65

Memorial (11-18 ???, 7-7)  71, Kennedy (5-25 ???, 3-11) 50

Medina Valley (15-17, 6-8) 51,  Uvalde (10-20 ???, 3-11) 47

Floresville (17-12, 13-1) 65, Southside (6-27, 1-13)  34

District 28-3A

Pleasanton (10-18, 4-6) 74, Hawkins (8-25, 3-7) 66

Somerset (11-24 ???, 6-4) 50, La Vernia (24-5, 7-3) 49

Sam Houston (22-9, 10-0) 107, Poteet (5-21 ???, 0-10) 17

TAPPS 3-4A Tournament

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (???) 59, Holy Cross (8-26) 44

Wednesday’s games


St. Anthony (20-10 ???, 4-2) 71, Central Catholic (22-7, 5-1) 68

Thursday’s game


District tournament

Victoria St. Joseph (18-16) 69, Holy Cross (8-27) 36

Friday’s game

District 28-5A

Fourth-place tiebreaker

Corpus Christi Carroll (18-10 ???) 82, Southwest (10-23 ???) 76


Saturday’s results

TAPPS 2-5A Tournament


Central Catholic (23-7) 65, Antonian (25-13) 61 (OT)

St. Anthony (21-10) 64, Corpus Christi John Paul II (23-12) 56


Central Catholic (24-7) 84, St. Anthony (21-11) 83

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff picture (final)

Boys basketball playoff picture

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


QUALIFIERS: Central Catholic (24-7, 5-1), East Central (23-8, 9-1), Edison (23-11, 12-2), Harlandale (22-11, 11-3), Highlands (16-15, 9-5), Lanier (24-8, 10-4), McCollum (22-10, 12-2), Memorial (12-19, 7-7), Sam Houston (22-9, 10-0), South San (15-16, 5-5).

SOFTBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 15)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 9-15

Tuesday’s games


Highlands (0-0) vs. Sam Houston (0-0) at Villarreal No. 1, 5:30 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

Laredo United (0-0) vs. Jefferson (0-0) at Villarreal No. 2, 5:30 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

Lanier (0-0) vs. Providence (0-0) at Mission Concepcion Park, 7 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

Edison (0-0) at Boerne Champion (0-0), 7 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

East Central (0-0) at Clemens (0-0), 7 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

Reagan (0-0) at Southside (0-0), 7:15 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

San Marcos (0-0) vs. Brackenridge (0-0) at Villarreal No. 3, 7:15 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

Boerne (0-0) vs. Burbank (0-0) at Villarreal No. 1, 7:15 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

Kennedy (0-0) at Antonian (0-0), 7:15 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

Cotulla (0-0) vs. Memorial (0-0) at Tiger Field, 7:15 p.m. (game postponed or canceled, no reschedule info available)

Wednesday’s games


Wagner (1-0) 13, Harlandale (0-1) 7

McCollum (1-0) 8, MacArthur (0-1) 3

San Marcos (1-0) 10,  Brackenridge (0-1) 0

Thursday’s games


New Braunfels Canyon Tournament

Southwest (1-0) 9, Churchill (1-4) 7

Northside ISD Tournament

East Central (1-0) 5, Clemens (0-1) 3

South San Tournament

South San (1-0) 16, Memorial (1-1) 0

Natalia (3-0) 18, Kennedy (0-1) 0

Lytle (1-2) 10, Jefferson (0-1) 9

McCollum (2-0) 5, Lytle (1-2) 3

Memorial (1-1) 3, Providence (0-1) 2

Friday’s games


New Braunfels Canyon Tournament

AREA TEAMS Southwest. Finals Saturday. (scores unavailable)

Northside ISD Tournament

East Central (2-0) 12, Stevens (2-2) 6
SAISD Tournament

Reagan (2-2) 2, Holy Cross (2-1) 0
Brackenridge (2-1) 8, San Antonio Christian (0-2) 0
Boerne Champion (2-2) 18, Burbank (0-3) 2
Edinburg (???) 14, Southside (2-2) 0
Harlandale (2-1) 15, Roosevelt (1-3) 2
Highlands (1-2) 9, Laredo Cigarroa (???) 4
Roosevelt  (1-3) 15, Sam Houston (0-2) 0
Holy Cross (2-1) 6, San Antonio Christian (0-2) 0
Southside (2-2)  9, Burbank (0-3) 1
Harlandale (2-1) 10, Jay (2-2) 4
Holy Cross (2-1) 4, Boerne Champion (2-2) 2
Reagan (2-2) 9, Southside  (2-2) 2

Smithson Valley Tournament

AREA TEAMS Edison. Finals Saturday. (scores unavailable)

South San Tournament

Lytle (2-3) 12, Lanier (0-2) 6
Jefferson (2-1) 10, Lee (1-3) 4
Natalia (4-0) 5, McCollum (2-1) 3
Kennedy (1-2) 13, Memorial (1-2) 3
Antonian (3-1) 17, Providence (0-2) 1
Jefferson (2-1) 7, Kennedy (1-2) 6

Saturday’s games


New Braunfels Canyon Tournament

AREA TEAMS Southwest. Finals Saturday. (scores unavailable)

Northside ISD Tournament

Eagle Pass (5-0) 5, East Central (2-2) 3

Brennan (3-2) 7, East Central (2-2) 3

SAISD Tournament


Burbank (1-3) 16, Sam Houston (0-3) 4


Boerne Champion (3-2) 1, Highlands (1-3) 0


Brackenridge (4-1) 3, Del Rio (2-1) 0


Edinburg (3-1) 8, Harlandale (2-2-1) 2


Holy Cross (4-1) 8, Boerne (4-2) 3


Holy Cross (4-1) 8, Jay (2-3) 1

Third place


Del Rio (2-1) 4, Harlandale (2-2-1) 4 (Del Rio declared winner on tie-breaker)



Brackenridge (4-1) 3, Edinburg (3-1) 2


Smithson Valley Tournament

Smithson Valley (5-1) 12, Edison (0-2 ???) 1

South San Tournament


South San (2-0-1) 5, McCollum (2-2) 0


Antonian (4-1) 18, Jefferson (2-2) 0

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area playoff results (thru Feb. 14)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Feb. 9-15

Monday’s games


BI-district round

Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway (22-10) 56,  Southside (18-14) 31


BI-district round

Fredericksburg (18-13) 49,  Sam Houston (10-18) 29

Tuesday’s games


BI-district round

Stevens (23-6) 61, East Central (10-20) 35

Southwest (24-10) 66, O’Connor (24-8) 56


BI-district round

Clemens (27-4) 66, Lanier (14-17) 46

Kerrville Tivy (25-6) 58, Highlands (23-12) 40

Brackenridge (26-6) 55, Hays (24-12) 49

Victoria West (27-4) 53, Harlandale (21-12) 50

Friday’s games


Area round

Reagan (28-4) 78, Southwest (24-11) 48


Area round

Leander Rouse (18-7) 76, Brackenridge (26-7) 42

Regular season

Monday’s results


Holy Cross (14-24, 4-6) 64, Austin Hyde Park Baptist (???) 43




Friday’s results




St. Anthony (20-10, 6-6) 51, Providence (2-22 ???, 1-7 ???) 27