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 WEEKEND REPORT: Edison passes test from Brackenridge, qualifies for playoffs

Lanier beats Highlands, ties Owls for third in 28-4A

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

Three of Edison’s last four District 29-4A games have been decided by four points or fewer.

The Golden Bears (20-10, 9-2) must be adapting to those close games. They survived a test from fifth-place Brackenridge (14-16, 4-7) Friday at Lanier to post their 20th victory 61-57 and qualify for the postseason. Second-place Edison won its third-consecutive game since losing 45-44 in overtime to Edison Jan. 22.

Edison clinched a playoff spot for at least the fifth-straight season. East Central, Harlandale, McCollum and Sam Houston also qualified for the playoffs Friday.

Brackenridge led Edison 17-10 in the first quarter, but the Golden Bears had forged ahead 34-27 at halftime. Edison maintained a seven-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Jared Zapata had one of his best offensive games for Edison, scoring 22 points on three 3-pointers and five-of-five foul shooting. Zapata also grabbed seven rebounds.

Golden Bears senior Justin Rodriguez added 21 points. Lorenzo Vela (3 assists) and Justin Torres (6 assists, 6 steals, 2 blocked shots). Andy Castro scored eight points.

Brackenridge received 24 points from Gabe Hildebrand. Sophomore Richard Wallace contributed 15 points.

Lanier 51, Highlands 47

The Voks (21-8, 7-4) had a relatively rough introduction to District 28-4A play this season, losing two of their first three games, but they’ve climbed their way into playoff contention. Lanier edged Highlands (14-14, 7-4) Friday at Alamo Convocation Center to earn a tie for third place with the Owls.

How close was it? Lanier led by exactly one point at the end of each of the first three quarters. The Voks scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to assure the win.

Senior Ajax Reyes led the Voks with 11 points. Junior guard Carlos Gutierrez contributed 10 points.

Highlands sophomore Demarcus Hartfield and junior JerMichael Shirley each scored 13 points. Jacob Cedillo produced eight points.

East Central 91, Southwest 61

The Hornets (21-7, 7-0) remained undefeated in District 28-5A with just three games remaining. Their victory over Southwest (8-21, 2-5) qualified first-place East Central for the postseason.

The Dragons are in fifth place, behind South San (13-15, 3-4), which lost 56-45 to Steele Friday.

Southwest was within 24-15 after a quarter. The Hornets pulled away to a 50-27 halftime lead, but fell off their 100-point pace in the third quarter.

Senior Jeremy Jones led East Central with 22 points, nine rebounds, three steals, three assists and three blocked shots. Point guard Ceddrick Ali finished with 16 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals.

Other key contributors for the Hornets were: Albert Jimenez (13 points, 4 rebounds), Dylan Guerrero (8 points), Brandon Keno (3 steals) and Wanya Ward (3 steals).

Southwest’s top scorer was senior Latrel Grant, who produced one of his season-best point totals (18). Devanta Hayes chipped in 11 points. Brian Perez scored nine and post Ricardo Garcia finished with eight.

Harlandale 89, Memorial 54

The host Indians (20-10, 9-2) outscored Memorial (9-19, 4-7) 20-10 in the first quarter and continued to build on their lead Friday at Harlandale. The victory qualified Harlandale, which shares second place with McCollum in District 29-4A, to earn a playoff bid.

Sophomore Ryan Blanquiz made his debut for Harlandale and scored a team-high 16 points. Senior Jose Salinas netted 15 points. George Rodriguez (13 points) and Ram Torres (10 points) also were double-figure scorers. Brandon Ramon supplied nine points and Jacob Martinez had eight.

Joe Aguilar and Joseph Aguillen scored nine points apiece for the Minutemen.

McCollum 46, Medina Valley 31

The second-place Cowboys (19-10, 9-2) downed fourth-place Medina Valley Friday at Castroville in a District 29-4A game.

McCollum had a slim 15-12 lead over the Panthers after one quarter. By halftime, the Cowboys extended their lead to 22-15. They outscored Medina Valley by eight in the second half.

Nathan Martinez contributed nearly half of McCollum’s point total. The senior finished with 24 points. Jonathan Vasquez scored nine points and Tre Johnson had eight.

Joseph Dauphin led Medina Valley with 21 points.

Kennedy 66, Southside 62

The Rockets (5-22, 3-8) moved into a sixth-place tie with Uvalde by eking out a win over eighth-place Southside (5-24, 1-10) Friday at Kennedy.

The Cardinals bolted to a 24-15 lead in the opening quarter and had a 31-29 advantage at the half. Kennedy outscored Southside 19-15 in the final minutes to break a tie.

Junior Carlos Vega led Kennedy with 18 points. Vincent Rios added 15 points. Jose Espinoza scored nine points and Andrew Rivera had eight.

Sophomore Ben Phillips contributed a team-high  17 points. Diego Avila, Drevon Brown and freshman Matt Collier scored nine points apiece. Francisco Solis had eight points.

Sam Houston 74, Somerset 51

The Hurricanes (14-9, 2-0) rolled to their second District 28-3A victory Monday at the Alamo Convocation Center, defeating Somerset (5-18, 0-1) at Sam Houston behind a game-high 37 points from Jordon Harris.

The Bulldogs led 21-17 in the first quarter and was within 43-42 at halftime. Sam Houston, No. 6 in the TABC Class 3A state poll, limited Somerset to 14 points in the second half.

Devin Allen scored 14 for the Hurricanes. Brandon Seals contributed 10 points.

Jefferson 62, Fox Tech 36

The Mustangs (7-20, 3-8) outscored Fox Tech (1-25, 0-11) 42-16 in the middle two quarters of a District 28-4A game at the Alamo Convocation Center.

The Buffaloes trailed 12-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Senior Alex Cepeda led Jefferson with 17 points. Brian Febus and Anthony Friere each chipped in eight points.

Ruben Hernandez led Fox Tech with 12 points. Nick Buys scored eight.

GIRLS BASKETBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Harlandale brushes off scare from Memorial, qualifies for playoffs

Highlands sews up third place in 28-4A with win over Lanier

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Lanier, Memorial, Sam Houston, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Memorial’s quest for its first District 29-4A victory nearly claimed a high-profile victim.

The Minutemen (4-26, 0-13) outscored Harlandale 29-24 in the second half Friday at Memorial. The fourth-place Indians (19-12, 8-5), who earned a 20-7 advantage in the first quarter, hung on for a 51-44 victory in the District 29-4A game.

The win clinched a playoff berth for Harlandale. The Indians are one of nine area teams that will play in the postseason. The others are: Brackenridge, East Central, Highlands, Lanier, Sam Houston, Southside and Southwest.

Harlandale, East Central, Southside and Southwest all qualified Friday.

Connie Garza led Harlandale with 20 points. Justyne Perez provided scoring support with 11 points.

Senior Justine Davila was Memorial’s top scorer with 13 points. Veronica Gurrola and Lucinda Mireles both scored nine points. Larissa Lopez had eight.

Highlands 52, Lanier 41

The Owls (22-11, 11-4) clinched third place in District 28-4A with a victory over Lanier (14-16, 10-6) Friday at Alamo Convocation Center. The Voks, who completed their regular-season schedule, finished fourth.

Highlands opened a 28-16 halftime lead.

Sophomores Aaliyah Prince and Jazmine Jackson led Highlands with 17 points and 15 points, respectively. Sophomore Ruby Garza scored 17 points for Lanier. Ashley Lopez added nine points. Junior Valerie Diaz contributed eight points.

Jefferson 44, YWLA 36

The seventh-place Mustangs (11-15, 6-9) bounced back from a big first-quarter deficit to defeat Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-25, 0-15) in a District 28-4A game Saturday morning at Alamo Convocation Center.

In the first quarter, YWLA led 9-0. By halftime, Jefferson was in control with a 22-15 lead.

Senior Adriana Aguinaga led Jefferson with 15 points. Jocelyn Moreno scored seven.

Karease Williams.topped the Cardinals with 11 points. Julianna Lopez provided nine points and Clarissa Castro chipped in eight.

Brackenridge 58, Burbank 29

The second-place Eagles (25-5, 14-1) dominated their rivals for a seventh-consecutive District 28-4A win  Friday at Lanier. Burbank (7-22, 4-11), which upset Edison two days earlier, fell behind 32-10 at halftime.

Sophomore Skyler Reyna led the Eagles with 18 points. Breeann Hernandez supplied 11 points. Tevis Thomas scored eight.

Alejandra Martinez and Antwanisha Riddle shared team-high scoring honors for the Bulldogs with eight points.

Sam Houston 52, Somerset 38

The second-place Hurricanes (8-17, 6-2) picked up their third-consecutive District 28-3A win Friday at Somerset victory, but not without a fight from the rhird-place Bulldogs.

Somerset outscored 21-14 in the second half. Sam Houston had built a 38-17 halftime lead.

Hurricanes senior Dominique Green racked up a team-high 16 points. Jazmyne Perkins had 13 points.  Dajah Thomas also was in double-figures with 10 points. 

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.”


GIRLS BASKETBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Burbank upsets rival Edison in 28-4A

Second-half rally carries Southside past 29-4A co-leader Medina Valley; Sam Houston qualifies for playoffs

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Harlandale, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, Sam Houston, South San, Southside, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Burbank built an early lead Tuesday at Alamo Convocation Center but, after Edison threatened to overtake them, the Bulldogs (7-21, 4-10) showed that they also had a finishing kick.

They outscored the fifth-place Golden Bears (12-17, 6-8) 16-12 in the fourth quarter to secure a 40-32 win. Seventh-place Burbank bolted to an 18-8 in the  District 28-4A game.

Sophomore post Antwanisha Riddle led the Bulldogs with 11 points. Senior Alejandra Martinez scored 10. Abigail Macias also was a key contributor with nine points.

Senior Marisa Salas scored a team-high 13 points for Edison.

Southside 43, Medina Valley 42

The third-place Cardinals (16-13, 8-4) outscored Medina Valley (21-9, 10-2) 31-14 in the second half to knock the Panthers out of first place Tuesday in District 29-4A. Medina Valley had shared first place with Floresville until the loss in Castroville.

The improbable comeback began after Medina Valley outscored Southside 14-2 in the first quarter. The Panthers were ahead 28-12 at halftime. The Cardinals slashed the lead to 10 in the third quarter and outscored their hosts 17-6 in the final period for the win.

Senior point guard Sabrina Guzman led Southside with 14 points. Desiree Rodriguez scored 13.

Sam Houston 70, Hawkins 14

The Hurricanes (8-17, 6-2) locked in a District 28-3A playoff berth with a home victory over Hawkins (2-22, 0-8) Tuesday.

Sam Houston limited the Wolfpack to one point in the third quarter.

Senior Dionna Camino led the Hurricanes with 15 points. Dominique Green added 14 points. Jazmyne Perkins scored eight.

McCollum 45, Uvalde 42

The fifth-place Cowboys (10-16, 6-6) won their second-consecutive District 29-4A victory Tuesday at Uvalde (8-17, 2-10).

The Coyotes led 12-5 in the first quarter. McCollum surged into the lead over the next two quarters, outscoring their hosts 31-20.

Senior Emilee Almazan led McCollum with 22 points.  Elva Rios added 10 points.

Kassandra Ortiz led Uvalde with a game-high 23 points.

Lanier 57, YWLA 33

The fourth-place Voks (14-15, 10-5), one of three area District 28-4A teams to clinch a playoff bid, defeated Young Women’s Leadership Academy  (11-16, 5-7) Wednesday at Alamo Convocation Center.

Second-place Brackenridge and third-place Highlands also have qualified for the postseason.

YWLA led 23-20 at halftime after outscoring Lanier 14-2 in the second quarter. The Voks grabbed a 36-31 lead in the third quarter.

Sophomore Ruby Garza led Lanier with 20 points. Amanda Reyes and Sabrina Cortinas each scored 10 points.

The Cardinals received a team-high 12 points from sophomore Karease Williams.

Harlandale 66, Kennedy 49

The fourth-place Indians (18-12, 7-5) turned a close game into a comfortable District 29-4A win over Kennedy (9-18, 4-8) Tuesday at Harlandale.

The Rockets led 23-21 at halftime and were within 34-33 after three quarters. Harlandale outscored Kennedy 32-16 in the fourth quarter.

Senior Connie Garza produced another outstanding overall game with 25 points, 12 rebounds five blocked shots and four steals. But Garza wasn’t the only Indians player to have a big offensive night. Fellow senior Kelly Landin scored 20 points.

Harlandale sophomore Justyne Perez finished with eight points

Junior Esmeralda Manzanares scored 19 points for the Rockets. Janel Contreras added 11 points and Amalee Ramos scored eight.

BOYS BASKETBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Buttons hold off St. Anthony for 18th-straight win

Unbeaten East Central claims second 28-5A win over Carroll this season

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

Central Catholic survived its most difficult challenge since its winning streak began Nov. 26.

Despite the test, the Buttons (21-6, 3-0) extended the streak to 18 games with a 69-66 TAPPS District 2-5A win over St. Anthony (17-10, 1-2) Wednesday at the University of the Incarnate Word.

The Yellowjackets led 18-17 after one quarter. Central Catholic, No. 7 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private School state poll, grabbed a 31-29 halftime lead and led at the end of each successive quarter.

Seniors P.J. Escobar and Daniel Kellum each scored 20 points for Central Catholic. Tony Lewis supplied 15 points. Sophomore Brandon Armstrong accounted for a team-best 17 points for St. Anthony.

The Buttons will play Austin St. Michael’s Saturday in a 7 p.m. game at Bill Greehey Arena on the  St. Mary’s University campus.

East Central 67, Corpus Christi King 62

The first-place Hornets (20-7, 6-0) withstood a fourth-quarter rally from Corpus Christi Carroll (3-3 in district) Wednesday in Corpus Christi to secure their ninth-straight win and stay undefeated in District 28-5A.

The Tigers outscored East Central 22-17 in the fourth quarter. The Hornets took a 50-40 lead into the quarter.

Junior wing Brandon Keno was the Hornets’ leading scorer for the second-consecutive game. Keno made three 3-point baskets and scored 17 points. He also contributed seven rebounds.

Brandon McClure finished with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. Ceddrick Ali produced 12 points and four assists. Jeremy Jones added 14 points, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

Brackenridge 67, Burbank 60 (OT)

The Eagles (14-15, 4-6) outscored rival Burbank (12-16, 3-7) 16-9 in overtime to protect their fifth-place standing in District 28-4A Tuesday at Alamo Convocation Center.

Brackenridge opened a 10-3 lead in the first quarter and had a 10-point lead at halftime. Burbank outscored the Eagles 36-26 in the second half to force overtime. The score was 51-51 at the end of regulation.

Gabe Hildebrand led Brackenridge with 16 points. Ramon Richards (15 points), Antonio Lopez (14 points) and Richard Wallace (12 points) also scored in double figures. Nathan Avila scored eight points.

For Burbank, Moses  Montalvo was the scoring leader with 14 points. Michael Mascorro added 13 points.  Juan Castillo chipped in 10 points and Matthew Juarez had nine.

South San 63, Southwest 56

The Bobcats (13-14, 3-3) moved into a third-place tie in District 28-5A with their second win over Southwest (8-20, 2-4) this season and Carroll’s loss to East Central.

Junior point guard Olando Lopez led a balanced South San scoring attack with 13 points. Eric Alcozer added 11 points. Arthur Rangel and Jesse Samarripas each scored 10.

Senior post Devanta Hayes led the Dragons with 13 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.  Aaron Embry (5 rebounds), Hector Murillo and Brian Perez (2 blocked shots) all scored 10 points. Senior Latrel Grant added nine points for Southwest. Senior Nigel Thompson dished three assists.

McCollum 71, Uvalde 38

The Cowboys (17-10, 7-2) blitzed Uvalde (10-16, 3-7) in the first half, outscoring their District 29-4A opponent 38-12 Tuesday at McCollum.

Senior Nathan Martinez and sophomore Tre Johnson each led 12 McCollum scorers with 13 points. Santiago Vasquez contributed 10 points and Joey Villarreal had nine. Freshman Roger Martinez scored eight.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Feb. 1)

Boys basketball playoff picture

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

Through Feb. 1

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Central Catholic (22-6, 4-0), East Central (21-7, 7-0), Edison (20-11, 9-2), Harlandale (20-10, 9-2), McCollum (19-10, 9-2), Sam Houston (19-9, 7-0).

LIKELY QUALIFIERS: Highlands (13-14 ???, 7-4), Holy Cross (8-23, 3-4), Lanier (21-8, 7-4), South San (13-15, 3-4). 

POSSIBLE QUALIFIERS: Brackenridge (14-16, 4-7), Kennedy (5-22 ???, 3-8), Memorial (9-19, 4-7), Southwest (8-21, 2-5).

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Feb. 1)

Girls basketball playoff picture

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

Through Feb. 1

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Brackenridge (25-5, 14-1), East Central (10-18, 3-6), Harlandale (19-12, 8-5), Highlands (22-11, 11-4), Lanier (14-16, 10-6), Sam Houston (9-17, 7-2), Southside (17-13, 9-4), Southwest (23-9, 6-3).


POSSIBLE QUALIFIERS: Holy Cross (10-23, 1-6).

BOYS & GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (thru Jan. 27)

Through Jan. 27


1. Central Catholic

2. East Central

3. Edison

4. Lanier

5. Sam Houston

6. Harlandale

7. McCollum

8. Highlands

9. South San

10. Southwest

11. Burbank

12. Brackenridge

13. Memorial

14. Jefferson

15. Kennedy



1. Brackenridge

2. Southwest

3. Highlands

4. Harlandale

5. Lanier

6. Southside

7. Edison

8. East Central

9. South San

10. Holy Cross

11. Kennedy

12. Sam Houston

13. McCollum

14. Jefferson

15. Burbank


BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 1)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Jan. 26-Feb. 1

Tuesday’s games

District 28-5A

South San (13-14, 3-3) 63, Southwest (8-20, 2-4) 56

District 28-4A

Highlands (13-13 ???, 7-3) 70, Jefferson (6-21, 2-8) 59

Brennan (24-4, 10-0) 57, Lanier (20-8, 6-4) 47

Brackenridge (14-15, 4-6) 67, Burbank (12-16, 3-7) 60 (OT)

District 29-4A

Harlandale (19-10, 8-2) 72, Kennedy (4-22 ???, 2-8) 57

Medina Valley (14-14, 5-5) 55, Southside (6-23, 1-9) 37

Floresville (13-12, 9-1) 64, Memorial (8-17 ???, 4-6) 45

McCollum (18-10, 8-2) 71, Uvalde (10-16 ???, 3-7) 38

District 28-3A

La Vernia (22-3, 5-1) 53, Pleasanton (8-15, 2-3 ???) 50

Sam Houston (18-9, 6-0) 95, Hawkins (5-21, 0-4 ???) 64

Somerset (4-15 ???, 2-3 ???) at Poteet (5-15 ???, 0-4 ???), 7:45 p.m. (score unavailable)


Holy Cross (8-22 ???, 3-3) 54, Cornerstone Christian (3-8 ???, 2-4) 53

San Antonio Christian (30-10 ???, 6-0) 85, Austin Regents (12-12 ???, 2-4) 35

TMI (22-9 ???, 4-1) at Austin Hyde Park Baptist (3-11 ???, 1-1 ???), 8 p.m. (score unavailable)

Victoria St. Joseph (15-14, 4-2) 57, Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (2-16 ???, 0-4 ???) 34

Wednesday’s games

District 28-5A

East Central (20-7, 6-0) 67, Corpus Christi Carroll (16-7 ???, 3-3) 62

Steele (14-13, 4-2) 102, Corpus Christi King (6-16 ???, 0-6) 45

District 28-4A

Edison (19-11, 8-2) 78, Fox Tech (1-25, 0-10) 28


Antonian (24-10, 2-1) 82, Austin St. Michael’s (8-17 ???, 0-3) 70

Central Catholic (21-6, 3-0) 69, St. Anthony (17-10 ???, 1-2) 66


Austin St. Dominic Savio (13-12 ???, 4-2) 59, San Marcos Baptist Academy (5-10 ???, 0-4 ???) 49

Friday’s games

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll (17-7 ???, 4-3) 72, Corpus Christi King (6-17 ???, 0-7) 51

East Central (21-7, 7-0) 91, Southwest (8-21 ???, 2-5) 61

Steele (15-13, 5-2) 56, South San (13-15, 3-4) 45

District 28-4A

Lanier (22-8, 7-4) 51, Highlands (13-14 ???, 7-4) 47

Brennan (25-4, 11-0) 64, Burbank (12-17, 3-8) 38

Edison (20-11, 9-2) 61, Brackenridge (14-16, 4-7) 57

Jefferson (7-21, 3-8) 62, Fox Tech (1-26, 0-11) 36

District 29-4A

Floresville (14-12, 10-1) 57, Uvalde (10-17 ???, 3-8) 42

McCollum (19-10, 9-2) 46, Medina Valley (14-15, 5-6) 31

Harlandale (20-10, 9-2) 89, Memorial (8-18 ???, 4-7) 54

Kennedy (5-22 ???, 3-8) 66, Southside (6-24, 1-10) 62

District 28-3A

La Vernia (23-3, 6-1) 55, Hawkins (5-22, 0-5 ???) 51

Pleasanton (9-15, 3-3 ???) 97, Poteet (5-16 ???, 0-5 ???) 48

Sam Houston (19-9, 7-0) 74, Somerset (4-16 ???, 2-4) 51


San Antonio Christian (31-10 ???, 7-0), 90, Cornerstone Christian (3-9 ???, 2-5) 38

San Marcos Baptist Academy (5-10 ???, 0-4) at Austin Hyde Park Baptist (3-11 ???, 1-1), 8 p.m. (score unavailable)

Saturday’s games


St. Anthony (18-10 ???, 2-2) 63, Antonian (24-11, 2-2) 53

Central Catholic (22-6, 4-0) 68, Austin St. Michael’s (8-18 ???, 0-4) 46

Brownsville St. Joseph (???, 0-1 ???) 46, Laredo St. Augustine (???) 35


TMI (23-9 ???, 5-1 ???) 67, Austin St. Dominic Savio (13-13 ???, 4-3) 49

Austin Regents (12-12 ???, 2-4) at Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (2-16 ???, 0-4), 5 p.m. (score unavailable)

San Marcos Baptist Academy (5-10 ???, 0-4) at Austin Hyde Park Baptist (3-11 ???, 1-1), 8 p.m. (score unavailable)

Victoria St. Joseph (16-14, 5-2) 40, Holy Cross (8-23 ???, 3-4) 31 

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Feb. 1)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Jan. 26-Feb. 1

Tuesday’s games

District 28-5A

Southwest (22-9, 5-3) 71, South San (10-19, 1-7) 47

District 28-4A

Burbank (7-21 ???, 4-10) 40, Edison (13-19, 6-8) 32

Brackenridge (25-5, 13-1) 70, Jefferson (10-16, 5-10) 38

Brennan (27-1, 14-0) 93, Fox Tech (5-23, 2-13) 10

District 29-4A

Floresville (21-10, 11-1) 74, Memorial (4-25, 0-12) 28

Harlandale (18-12, 7-5) 66, Kennedy (9-18, 4-8) 49

Southside (16-13, 8-4) 43, Medina Valley (21-9, 10-2) 42

McCollum (10-16, 6-6) 45, Uvalde (8-17, 2-10) 42

District 28-3A

Sam Houston (8-17 ??7?, 6-2) 70, Hawkins (2-23, 0-8) 14

La Vernia (23-5, 8-0) 72, Pleasanton (6-23, 3-5) 34

Somerset (13-12 ???, 4-3) at Poteet (4-22, 1-5), 6:15 p.m. (score unavailable)


Austin Regents (19-5, 4-1) 41, San Antonio Christian (6-7 ???, 1-1 ???) 33

Cornerstone Christian (15-5 ???, 3-2) 53, Holy Cross (11-24, 1-6) 48

TMI (4-9 ???, 0-4 ???) at Austin Hyde Park (0-4 ???, 0-2 ???), 6:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (25-5 ???, 4-1 ???) 56, Victoria St. Joseph (24-7, 5-1) 51

Wednesday’s games

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll (25-6, 6-2) 59, East Central (10-17, 3-5) 39

Steele (22-4, 8-0) 66, Corpus Christi King (12-14, 1-7) 33

District 28-4A

Lanier (14-15 ???, 10-5) 57, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-24, 0-14) 33


Antonian (22-10, 7-2) 57, Corpus Christi John Paul II (9-6 ???, 0-4 ???) 27

Austin St. Michael’s (2-6 ???, 1-3 ???) 65, Providence (2-20 ???, 1-6)  40


Austin St. Dominic Savio (21-11, 5-1) 49, San Marcos Academy (1-1 ???, 1-1 ???) 34

Friday’s games

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll (26-6, 7-2) 55, Corpus Christi King (12-15, 1-8) 36

Southwest (23-9, 6-3) 59, East Central (10-18, 3-6) 46

Steele (23-4, 9-0) 72, South San (10-20, 1-8) 17

District 28-4A

Highlands (22-11, 11-4) 52, Lanier (14-16 ???, 10-6) 41

Brackenridge (26-5, 14-1) 58, Burbank (7-22, 4-11) 29

District 29-4A

Harlandale (19-12, 8-5) 51, Memorial (4-26, 0-13) 44

Southside (17-13, 9-4) d. Kennedy (9-19, 4-9), 6:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Medina Valley (22-9, 11-2) 58, McCollum (10-17, 6-7) 45

Floresville (22-10, 12-1) 67, Uvalde (8-18, 2-11) 28

District 28-3A

La Vernia (24-5, 9-0) 64, Hawkins (2-24, 0-9) 28

Sam Houston (9-17 ???, 7-2) 52, Somerset (13-13 ???, 4-4 ???) 38

Pleasanton (7-23, 4-5) 40, Poteet (5-23 ???, 2-6  ????) 38


Antonian (23-10, 8-2), 65, Providence (2-21 ???, 1-7) 15

Brownsville St. Joseph (30-2, 7-1) 54, Austin St. Michael’s (11-13, 2-3) 30

St. Anthony (18-8, 4-4) 64, Corpus Christi John Paul II (9-6 ???, 0-4 ???) 39


Cornerstone Christian (16-5 ???, 4-2) 56, San Antonio Christian (6-8 ???, 1-2 ???) 48

San Marcos Baptist Academy (???, 1-1 ???) at Austin Hyde Park (0-4 ???, 0-2 ???), 6:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Saturday’s games

District 28-4A

Jefferson (11-15, 6-9) 44, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-25, 0-15) 36

Brennan (28-1, 15-0) 82, Edison (12-18, 6-9) 8


Austin St. Michael’s (11-13, 2-3) at Brownsville St. Joseph (30-2, 7-1), noon (score unavailable)


Austin St. Dominic Savio (19-11, 3-1) at TMI (4-9 ???, 0-4), 1:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Victoria St. Joseph (25-7, 6-1) 53, Holy Cross (11-23, 1-6) 32

Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (26-5 ???, 5-1 ???) 61, Austin Regents (20-6, 5-2) 42

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cardinals take place among 29-4A leaders with win over Uvalde

Southside rides 17-1 run to third place in district


It’s rare for a team to invade the District 29-4A throne room reserved for Floresville, Harlandale and Medina Valley, but that’s what Southside has accomplished so far this season.

The Cardinals (15-13, 7-4) took over third place in 29-4A with a 62-44 victory over Uvalde (8-16, 2-9) last Saturday evening at Southside. The win, coupled with Harlandale’s 56-53 loss to Floresville earlier in the day, broke a tie that the Cardinals had forged with a 68-43 over Memorial (5-22, 1-9) Jan. 21.

“We just needed to take care of business,” Southside senior Desiree Rodriguez said. “For the most part, we’ve been doing it this year.”

Seventh-place Uvalde defeated Southside Dec. 30 and was within 41-39 with 2:14 left in the third quarter. The Cardinals forced 11 turnovers and scored the last seven points in the quarter. That spurt grew into a game-deciding 17-1 run.

Southside had a double-digit advantage over the Coyotes in the turnover department.

“That’s what really helps us out,” said Southside senior Sabrina Guzman, who scored six of her 14 points in the second quarter. “Defense is king.”

Although missed close-range shots held the Cardinals back in the first half, they were generating turnovers and getting out in transition from the game’s early stages.

Their lead reached 12-7 in the first quarter when Guzman took a defensive rebound the length of the court for a layup.

Uvalde closed to 13-12 on a three-point basket from Ally Ortiz (15 points) just 11 seconds into the second quarter. The Coyotes tied the score three times in the quarter. Ortiz produced 10 points and guard Kim Chapa (13 points) added another six.

After the first two minutes, Southside lost the lead only briefly. Ortiz made another three-pointer, followed by a fast-break layup. A driving basket from Chapa gave Uvalde a 25-21 edge with 2:19 until halftime.

“We made a few adjustments in the second half,” Southside coach Dolores Sulaica said. “We were getting pressure on their main scorers and just being disciplined defensively.”

Sendejo put back a rebound and Guzman nailed two free throws that tied the score at 25-25. Substitute post Stephanie Quintero responded to a Coyotes score with another rebound basket and a free throw, which put Southside ahead 28-27.

“It’s like a weight lifted off our shoulders,” Guzman said of production from Southside’s front court. “When they step up, they do a really good job. It’s really good when they do their job.”

Rodriguez added, “Before, we were just getting scoring from one or two players. Now everybody on the team has been contributing.”

Guzman knocked down two more free throws and made the halftime score 30-27 in Southside’s favor.

“Once I saw we were struggling, I knew I had to step up,” Guzman said. “As point guard, that was something I needed to do to help my team.”

Rodriguez followed her own missed shot to score a rebound basket that started the Cardinals’ big run. She also contributed a jumper from the left corner off an assist from Guzman with 40.8 seconds left in the third quarter. A free throw from sophomore wing Mayra Sendejo (15 points) increased the lead to 48-39 as the quarter ended.

Kimberly Robles came off the bench to claim two offensive rebounds that extended a possession. Robles scored on the second and increased the Cardinals’ lead to 52-39 with 6:15 remaining.

“She’s getting a lot more comfortable,” Sulaica said. “When you put her in, she’s not shy.”

Quintero, Robles and Kat Mancha each made key contributions up front for the perimeter-oriented Cardinals.

“The subs don’t have to score a ton of points,” Sulaica said, “as long as they score quality points or get defensive stops. At the beginning of the year, I think my seniors felt like they had to do it all.”

Sendejo netted four consecutive points and Mancha scored on an offensive rebound for a 58-40 lead with 3:11 left.

“They came ready to go,” Sulaica said of her team. “We started off a little slow but, luckily, we put it all together.

“They’re a great group. They get along on and off the court. They’re very unselfish.”

Southside will play at Medina Valley Tuesday and play host to Kennedy Friday (both 6:30 p.m.). They’ll finish the season Feb. 4 at Harlandale, whom the Cardinals defeated in the first round of district play.

“We still have three tough games left,” Sulaica cautioned.

In addition to the four teams listed above, Kennedy and McCollum both have a chance to qualify for the playoffs. After Saturday, though, it appears more and more that the Cardinals are on the fast track to the postseason in one of the area’s most competitive districts.

Having won five of its last six games, Southside is even winning over the skeptics.

“I expected a lot, because of our offseason program. Everyone participated in the whole program,” Rodriguez said. “Last year, we were so close to the playoffs. I thought (the season) would go well for us.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Sam Houston avoids distractions, romps past Poteet

Senior Seals makes welcome contribution for Hurricanes


Sam Houston had a couple of reasons to have a letdown Saturday in Poteet.

First, the game was one of 11 in the area to be postponed from Friday to Saturday because of icy weather. The unusual Saturday morning start time was a built-in excuse, if the Hurricanes chose to use it.

Second, the first-place Hurricanes weren’t expected to encounter much resistance from the Pirates.

Sam Houston didn’t entertain any thoughts of a letdown, powering past Poteet 86-28.

Hurricanes coach Ike Thornton and his staff typically come up with objectives for games the team might have a difficult time getting motivated for. Although Sam Houston’s players didn’t achieve a perfect score, they received a high passing grade.

“When we play Poteet – especially there – it’s usually one of those games the kids can get distracted,” Thornton said. “But I’m pretty happy. They stayed engaged the whole time.

“It was a good game all-around.”

The objectives were based on maintaining high energy and making plays indicative of hustle.

“The number of offensive rebounds, the number of deflections and the number of charges taken,” Thornton said, “were areas we were monitoring. Hustle stats are what we were trying to keep an eye on. We just try to make sure we are playing with a purpose.”

Sam Houston held the Pirates to 10 points or fewer in each quarter. The Hurricanes led 22-5 in the first quarter and 47-11 at halftime.

Jordon Harris led Sam Houston with 16 points. Devin Allen scored 15 and senior Brandon Seals had 14 points in his second-straight start in place of promising sophomore Robert Christian.

“Brandon shot the ball well, and that’s something we’re going to need from him down the stretch,” Thornton said. “Brandon stepped up and played some more minutes. We were hoping to get him going.”

Allen also was in double digits in rebounding.

“Devin was active,” Thornton said. “We know he had at least eight offensive rebounds. That was something we wanted to get out of him, more rebounds.”