FOOTBALL: Bi-district previews (Friday’s games)


Class 5A

Division I

O’Connor (7-3) at Southwest (5-5), 7:30 p.m.

Southwest lost 42-14 to District 28-5A champion Steele last Friday in its final regular-season game, and the road won’t get much easier. They’ll face 27-5A champion O’Connor, which returns several players who reached the state semifinals last year.

The returnees include quarterback Zach Galindo, who threw 31 touchdown passes last year and has 22 so far this season to go with 2,440 yards. His favorite target, Nate Phillips, has 817 reception yards. The ground attack is consistent, but not particularly explosive.

All in all, the Panthers are formidable. Their defense looked a tad vulnerable last Friday against Taft in a 42-31 win.

That’s where Southwest’s hope has to lie, along with the fact that it’s played this caliber of team before (Brennan and Steele). The Dragons know what they need to do.

Senior back Nathaniel Scott ran for 159 yards against the Knights. He can gain the tough yards, as well as produce breakaway runs.

Quarterback Bowen Crisp threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Jon Cruz in the game. He’ll need a few more completions to keep pace with an O’Connor team that can both sustain drives and score quickly.

Southwest committed three turnovers against Steele. The Dragons can’t afford a repeat, as they’ll need to match scores with O’Connor and, hopefully, do a bit better.

Their defense has been inconsistent, but has had its moments – such as in a 14-9 win over Corpus Christi King two weeks ago and a shutout of South San. Southwest probably will need to keep O’Connor in the high 20s or low 30s in terms of point production to have a chance.Area round opponent:Winner plays Madison (8-3).

Warren (8-2) vs. East Central (5-5), 7:30 p.m. at Gustafson Stadium

Both teams appear to be playing their best football of the season.

East Central is as healthy as its been throughout 2013, and will need to be to win a game that shapes up as a shootout. Warren scored 55 points in its season finale last Friday against Clark. There is hope for the Hornets in the fact that the Warriors allowed 33.

Quarterback Jeremy Jones (1,016 passing yards) has emerged as a running threat in the last two weeks, to complement fellow Division I recruit Johnathan Jackson and Javion Polk, who returned from an injury last week. Jones also will need to have junior big-play receiver Wanya Ward (24 yards per catch), who also has been banged up, at his disposal, to stretch the field. He’ll also need to find both backs with screen passes out of the backfield.

Turnovers have been the Hornets’ Achilles heel this year. Avoiding those momentum killers will be a key.

Prior to the Clark game, Warren’s defense pitched a shutout against a solid Taft team. East Central blanked South San two weeks ago. So, both defenses are capable of getting stops at big times, which may be what’s required.

Warren has the edge offensively, with an offense that has scored more than 100 points in the last two weeks and produced 519 total yards against Clark. Warriors quarterback Jordan Sneed leads a relatively balanced attack. He has thrown for 2,007 yards with 20 touchdowns against seven interceptions.

Other Warren players to watch are back Aedric Robinson, who has rushed for 855 yards, and receiver Sean Eddington, who averages 23 yards per catch. Area round opponent: Winner plays Judson (8-2) or Churchill (6-4).

Class 4A

Division I

Brackenridge (7-3) at Hays (8-2), 7:30 p.m.

District 28-4A runner-up Brackenridge’s hopes likely depend on whether Oklahoma State commit Ramon Richards is able to start at quarterback after sustaining a concussion two weeks ago.

No offense intended to sophomore Antonio Lopez, who has done an admirable job replacing Richards. He threw for 389 yards and has 521 for the season. However, he also threw three interceptions in last Friday’s 27-10 win over Highlands.

The key factor in Richards factor is that he’s a proven postseason winner. His combination of athleticism and leadership can be crucial to Brackenridge’s chances for advancement. Avoiding, or at least minimizing, turnovers will be important.

Hays is a playoff-tested opponent with home-field advantage. Like the Eagles, it reached the area round in 2012.  The Rebels defeated Highlands 60-7 in the bi-district round last year and beat Burbank 61-7 Sept. 1. Brack defeated the rival Bulldogs 26-21 but, in fairness, that was the last game that Richards played, and he made an early exit.

The Rebels, who are the third seed from District 27-4A, have won their last five games since losing by three points to Kerrville Tivy Oct. 4. They’ve averaged 35.8 points in the streak, but have given up 28 points or more three times in that stretch – albeit to quality opponents.

Hays quarterback Jeff Jordan has thrown for 1,529 yards and 15 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Jordan is one of four Rebels ballcarriers who’ve rushed for more than 300 yards.

Brackenridge, which has won four in a row, will need a big game from running back Trey Mathis, to give Richards (or Lopez) time to locate the Eagles’ bevy of receivers. Brack’s big-play capability could be a game changer. Area round opponent: Winner plays Rouse (8-3).

Harlandale (8-2) at Gregory-Portland (4-6), 7:30 p.m.

The hopes will be high on Harlandale’s side of the field as a veteran Indians team faces a Gregory-Portland squad that carries a five-game losing streak into the postseason.

The Indians have won three of their last four, but have been grinding out wins, rather than blowing opponents away, as they did early in the season. So that tempers the enthusiasm a bit.

It’s wise not to underestimate a G-P team that plays in a very tough district (30-4A) represents a program which regularly does well in the playoffs. And then there’s the fact that the Wildcats won the coin flip and have home-field advantage.

Still, the Wildcats have allowed 55 or more points in four of the last five games. As long as senior back Nick Martinez is able to help keep the chains moving, it’s reasonable to expect that quarterback Brandon Ramon will find a way to notch a Harlandale win.Area round opponent: Winner plays Corpus Christi Ray (7-3) or Rio Grande City (4-6).

Division 2

Kerrville Tivy (6-4) vs. Burbank (3-7), 7:30 p.m. at University of the Incarnate Word

Burbank has handled its injury setbacks admirably this year, but the hill ahead is getting steeper and steeper.

The Bulldogs lost 41-0 to Lanier last Saturday in their regular-season finale. The face a Tivy team that finished in a three-way tie for second place in tough District 27-4A.

The Antlers aren’t quite Manziel-caliber, but have a four-game winning streak intact. They’ve defeated their  last two opponents by an average score of 52-15 and won the last three by 29 or more points.

Burbank quarterback J.P. Barrera is making his third start. Lanier had him under pressure throughout the game and the Bulldogs never established their passing attack. To make matters worse, they were without big-play receiver and kick returner Marcos Luna (20 yards a catch). Having good field position and moving the chains will be essential to give Jeremy Sanchez (780 rushing yards) room to run.

The Antlers’ current quarterback Jade Dyal has thrown for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns with just three interceptions. Tyler Ahrens has logged 672 receiving yards. Adrian Medran has run for 756 yards. Area round opponent: Winner plays Cedar Park (10-1).

Lanier (4-6) at Alamo Heights (7-3), 7:30 p.m.

Since District 28-4A season began, Lanier has met its challenges head on and fared admirably well. Don’t be surprised if they’re competitive against a storied Alamo Heights program.

The Mules, who shared second place in District 27-5A, will be favored, of course. They’ve scored 40 or more points in five games, led by quarterback Dalton Banks (2,394 passing yards).

Alamo Heights isn’t one-dimensional, either. Back Byron Proctor has gained 917 yards.

Lanier was steeled by playing four playoff qualifiers during its district season.

The dual running threat of  Joe Orta and Julian Castillo has lent balance, and breakaway potential, to the offense. Senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia has been consistent and can move the chains through the air. Rodrigo Garcia and Steven Horton can make plays downfield.

The Voks should be able to score on Alamo Heights. They’ll probably need at least 28 points to make a strong challenge.Area round opponent: Winner plays Austin Vandegrift (9-2).

Class 3A

Division 2

Sam Houston (2-8) at Navarro (9-1), 7:30 p.m.

Navarro entered its last regular-season game needing a win over Canyon Lake to hold second place. The Panthers won 62-0.

Sam Houston rose to the occasion a week ago, also. The Hurricanes won their only District 28-3A game, blanking Poteet 39-0 to earn the fourth seed.

They were shut out a week earlier by exactly the same score. The opponent was district-champ La Vernia, which compares well to Navarro.

Sophomore lefty quarterback Raymonte Prime has been banged up. Sam Houston will need a big game from him to advance.

When senior back Erin Mack gains more than 100 yards, the Hurricanes’ offense is effective. They have plenty of speed and available receivers, so the potential to put Navarro in the hole with a quick touchdown or catch up exists.

Coming off the shutout, Sam Houston will need to play its best defensive game.

Navarro put up 585 total yards against Canyon Lake. Backs Luke Jaroszewski (1,142 rushing yards) and Jay Leal are the key to the Panthers’ offense. Desmond Smith had more than 100 receiving yards last Friday.

The Hurricanes played a murderous schedule, so there will be no surprises, in terms of the intensity needed to win.Area round opponent: Winner plays Columbus (6-3) or Cuero (6-3).



BOYS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Central Catholic, East Central rebound from opening losses

Burbank wins two at San Antonio Christian Tourney

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Central Catholic, East Central, Memrial, Southside.

Central Catholic and East Central each lost their opening games, but put those losses behind them in the opening round of the Northside ISD Tournament Thursday.

East Central’s senior backcourt of Ceddrick Ali and Brandon McClure combined for 49 points in leading the Hornets (1-1) to an 83-63 victory over Roosevelt (0-2). Albert Jimenez contributed 11 points for East Central, which scored 27 points in the second quarter to lead 43-26 at halftime.

Central Catholic lost to Alamo Heights in Bruce McConaghy’s first game as coach about 24 hours earlier.   The Buttons thumped Taft (0-2) 79-47, outscoring the Raiders 43-17 in the middle two quarters.

Six-foot-9 junior Tony Lewis led Central Catholic with 19 points. Stuart Lynch finished with 15 points and J. Thompson added 13. Paul Escobar scored 12.

SACS Fall Classic

Burbank (2-1) was the only area winner Thursday in the SACS Fall Classic at San Antonio Christian.

The Bulldogs defeated Warren (1-2) 77-58 and Southside (0-2) 59-35. Burbank built on a 29-11 first-quarter advantage in the win over Warren. It limited Southside to 10 points in the first half.

Brackenridge (0-2) lost a pair of close games, falling 67-59 to Lee (1-2) and San Antonio Christian 53-49. New Braunfels (1-2) defeated Memorial (1-2) 63-54.

No individual statistics were available.

GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Southside wins first two games in own tourney

Three area teams win SAISD Tourney openers

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, East Central, Edison, Highlands, Southside.

Southside (2-2) began its tournament by winning its first two games of the season Thursday. The Cardinals defeated Holmes 38-32 and El Paso Del Valle 55-50 on the first day of the tournament.

Against Del Valle, Desiree Rodriguez erupted for 30 points. The senior sank four 3-point baskets and also provided three steals. Mayra Sendejo added nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Senior Sabrina Guzman led the Cardinals with 18 points, five assists and four steals against Holmes (0-6). Rodriguez scored 10 points and made two 3-point shots. Aimee Wood notched three steals. Senior Amber Martinez blocked two shots.

Highlands split its two games, defeating Weslaco East 50-46 and losing to Marshall (5-3) 44-34.

The Owls were led by senior Mercedes Reyes with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Marshall. Sophomore Aaliyah Prince scored eight points and made three steals. Alexis Darden grabbed eight rebounds. Maria Martinez blocked two shots.

SAISD Tournament

Brackenridge (5-2), East Central (2-1) and Edison (3-3) all won their first games Thursday in the opening round of the SAISD Tournament.

Edison edged New Braunfels Canyon (1-3) 43-31. The Cougars outscored Edison 12-9 in the fourth quarter, but the Golden Bears hung on. Senior Marisa Salas led Edison with 15 points. Hannah Diano added nine.

Brackenridge downed Taft (2-4) 61-42. The Eagles’ Breeann Hernandez led all scorers with 21 points. Miranda Acuna and Skyler Reyna each scored 12. Tevis Thomas chipped in with eight points.


MID-WEEK GIRLS BASKETBALL REPORT: South San uses strong start to defeat Edison

Floresville edges Brackenridge in OT

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Kennedy, Lanier, Sam Houston, South San.

Senior Kim Tobias scored 18 points Tuesday, leading South San (1-2) to a 55-46 win at Edison (2-3).

The Bobcats built a 25-17 halftime lead. Yasmine Andrade and Kassandra Valadez each contributed 10 points for South San.

Junior post Paula Moreno led the Golden Bears with 15 points.

Floresville 80, Brackenridge 78

The Jaguars (4-2) pulled out the game between Class 4A marquee teams in overtime Tuesday at Brackenridge.

The Eagles (4-2) led 47-46 entering the fourth quarter. Floresville outscored Brack 19-18 in the fourth quarter to force overtime and 15-13 in the extra session.

Miranda Acuna led Brackenridge with 22 points, hitting three 3-point baskets. Skyler Reyna contributed 19 points. Breeann Hernandez finished with 16.

Floresville standout DeHavalan Watts produced 36 points, five assists and three steals.

Lanier 63, Sam Houston 36

The Voks established a nine-point lead in the first quarter and outscored the Hurricanes 35-17 after halftime on the way to a non-district win Tuesday in Sam Houston.

Ashley Lopez scored 16 points for Lanier. Ruby Garza (14 points) and Kim Garza (10) also scored in double figures. Sabrina Cortinas, who joined the team after volleyball season, contributed nine points. Amanda Reyes scored eight.

Dionna Camino led Sam Houston with 17 points. Dajah Thomas scored eight.

Harlandale 55, Burbank 47

The Indians (3-3) played without leading scorer Connie Garza and had to work hard for points, but found a way to defeat the Bulldogs Tuesday at Burbank. Harlandale outscored their hosts 21-4 in the third quarter to secure the win.

Sophomore Justyne Perez and junior LeeAnn Garza each scored a team-best nine points for Harlandale. Elizabeth Herrera contributed six points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Kelly Landin scored six points and grabbed six rebounds.

Senior Alejandra Martinez led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Sophomore post Antwanisha Riddle scored 11 points. Olivia Cardenas added eight points.

Highlands 41, Kennedy 30

The Owls (5-2) outscored Kennedy (0-2) 15-3 in the third quarter to overcome an early deficit and pave the way to a non-district victory Tuesday at Edgewood Gym. The Rockets took an 8-3 lead in the first quarter and were ahead 16-15 at the half.

Freshman Kiara Pesina led the Owls with 14 points. Alexis Darden notched eight points.

The Rockets were led by junior Cameron Orta with 10 points. Janel Contreras added nine.

MIDWEEK BOYS BASKETBALL REPORT: Alamo Heights spoils McConaghy’s Buttons coaching debut

Highlands surprises East Central in opener

TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Central Catholic, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, South San.

Host Alamo Heights defeated Central Catholic 73-60 Wednesday, handing the Buttons a loss in Bruce McConaghy’s first game as the school’s coach.

Central Catholic established a 32-29 halftime lead, but went cold in the third quarter. The Mules outscored the Buttons 22-9 in the third period and 44-28 in the second half.

Senior point guard Paul Escobar led the Buttons with 28-points. He was the only Central Catholic player to score more than six points.

The Mules were led by 23 points from Jim Lammers and 14 points from Bruce Lammers, who signed with Georgia Tech University.

Highlands 83, East Central 71

When the Owls face former district rival East Central, it’s always an exciting game and Tuesday’s matchup was no exception. The exceptional part was Highlands’ performance, vanquishing a talented Hornets’ squad at Highlands in the season opener for both teams.

East Central led after each of the first two quarters and had a 31-26 advantage at halftime behind what turned out to be a 39-point game from senior guard Brandon McClure. The Hornets added a point to their lead by the end of the third quarter, but Highlands was about to erupt. The Owls snared the win by outscoring East Central 32-16 in the fourth quarter.

The Owls were led by sophomore DeMarcus Hartfield with 21 points. Junior Joseph Jackson contributed 12 points. Xavier Long added nine points and junior Jermichael Shirley scored eight.

East Central sophomore Ethan White finished with nine points. Third-year starter Ceddrick Ali did not score for the Hornets.

McCollum 57, South San 49

The Cowboys outscored host South San 20-8 in the first quarter Tuesday and also had a double-digit scoring advantage in the final period. The middle quarters belonged to the Bobcats, but the Class 5A team wasn’t able to defeat its Class 4A opponent in the season opener.

Junior Cosmo Cantu, a third-year varsity player, led McCollum with 19 points. Nathan Martinez and Alex Loera posted 11 points apiece. Senior Eric Alcozer led South San with 18 points. David Valdez contributed 13.

Lanier 70, Kennedy 37

The Voks began their final season under coach Rudy Bernal with a decisive victory Tuesday at Lanier’s Alumni Center. Lanier held the Rockets to 14 first-half points in their season debut.

Seniors Ajax Reyes (23 points) and Louis Garza (20) were the Voks’ scoring leaders. Chris Salazar returned from an injury to generate 10 points. Israel Serna chipped in with eight in his varsity debut.

Kennedy received 10 points from Austin Pena. Erick Moncada added seven.

Memorial 66, Fox Tech 40

Xavier Abrigo led the Minutemen with 14 points and Joseph Aguillen scored nine as Memorial won the season opener for both teams Tuesday at Fox Tech. Memorial led 40-22 at halftime.

The Buffaloes received nine points from Ruben Hernandez and eight points from Ruben Chapa.

Harlandale 63, Burbank 43

The Indians stormed to a 22-11 lead in the first quarter of the season opener for both teams Tuesday at Harlandale. They stayed in control thanks to four double-figure scorers.

Jesus Maltos led Harlandale with 18 points in his first varsity game. Senior Armando Guerrero netted 12 points. George Rodriguez and Jose Salinas each scored 11. Post Ram Torres added eight points.

For Burbank, Michael Mascorro had a team-high nine points. Moses Betancourt and Juan Castillo each scored seven points.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Nov. 16)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 10-16

Monday’s results


Holy Cross (2-3) 67, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-2) 34

Tuesday’s games


Southwest (6-1) 56, Holmes (0-3) 24

Alamo Heights (1-2) 54,  Southside (0-2) 34.

Highlands (5-2) 41, Kennedy (0-2) 30

Antonian (5-2) 57,  McCollum (1-4) 40

Smithson Valley (4-3) 40, East Central (1-1) 36

Harlandale (3-3) 55, Burbank (2-3) 47

Jefferson (1-3) at Lee (1-3), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Roosevelt (4-1) 70, Fox Tech (1-4) 28

South San (1-2) 56, Edison (2-3) 46

Floresville (4-2) 80, Brackenridge (4-2) 78

Lanier (1-3 ???) 63, Sam Houston (0-2 ???) 36

Laredo Martin (???) 42, Providence (1-4) 25

Thursday’s games


SAISD Tournament

Churchill (7-0) 48, Jefferson (1-4) 23

Edison (3-3) 43, New Braunfels Canyon (1-3) 41

O’Connor (5-2) 76, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-2) 13

Smithson Valley (5-3) 53, Sam Houston (0-3 ???) 26

East Central (2-1) 43, Lanier (1-4 ???) 33

Brackenridge (5-2) 61, Taft (2-4) 42 

Southside Tournament

Marshall (5-3) 44, Highlands (6-3) 34

Southside (2-2) 55, El Paso Del Valle (???) 50

Highlands (6-3) 50, Weslaco East (???) 46

Southside (2-2) 38, Holmes (0-6) 32

Friday’s games


St. Anthony (3-3) 52, Harlandale (3-4) 43

Holy Cross (2-3) at McCollum (1-4), 6:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

South San (2-2) 63, Kennedy (0-3) 39

Fox Tech (2-4) 37, TMI (???) 31

SAISD Tournament

Clark (3-1) 67, Brackenridge (5-3) 59

O’Connor (6-2) 73, Edison (3-4) 32

Jefferson (2-4) 61,  Sam Houston (0-4 ???) 45

Roosevelt (7-1) 48, East Central (2-2) 24

Brandeis (5-3) 61, Lanier (1-5 ???) 28

Taft (3-4) 42, Burbank (2-5) 12

New Braunfels Canyon (2-3) 50, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-3) 25

Southside Tournament

Highlands (7-3) 45, Lee (2-6) 42 

Southside (3-2) 62, Beeville (???) 37

Saturday’s games


SAISD Tournament

East Central (3-3) 52, Edison (3-5) 39

Brackenridge (7-3) 66, Smithson Valley (5-5) 56

Taft (4-4 ???) 43, Jefferson (3-5) 36

Burbank (2-5) vs. Sam Houston (0-4 ???), (score unavailable)

Lanier (2-5 ???) 51,Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-4) 18

Brackenridge (7-3) 54, East Central (3-3) 36

Jefferson (3-5) 43, New Braunfels Canyon (2-5) 38

Southside Tournament

Navarro (4-3) 60, Highlands (8-3) 51

El Paso Del Valle (???) 39, Southside (2-3) 27

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Nov. 16)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 10-16

Monday’s results


FEAST (0-0) at Brackenridge (0-0), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Tuesday’s games


Memorial (1-0) 66, Fox Tech (0-1) 40

Hawkins (1-0) 58, Holy Cross (0-1) 38

McCollum (1-0) 57, South San (0-1) 49

Holmes (1-0) 76, Southwest (0-1) 74

Lanier (1-0) 70,  Kennedy (0-1) 37

Harlandale (1-0) 63, Burbank (0-1) 43

Steele (1-0) 65, Edison (0-1) 56

Highlands (1-0) 83, East Central (0-1) 71

Antonian (1-0) 58, Jefferson (0-1) 33

Wednesday’s game


Alamo Heights (1-0) 73, Central Catholic (0-1) 60

Thursday’s games


Northside ISD Tournament

Brandeis (1-1) 58, Highlands (1-1) 39

Stevens (1-1) 44, Edison (0-2) 37

Central Catholic (1-1) 79, Taft (0-2) 47

East Central (1-1) 83, Roosevelt (0-2) 63

SACS Fall Classic

Burbank (2-1) 77, Warren (1-2) 58

New Braunfels (1-2) 63, Memorial (1-2) 54

Lee (1-2) 67, Brackenridge (0-2) 59

Burbank (2-1) 59, Southside (0-2) 35

Laredo United (???) 50, Jefferson (0-3) 37

Warren (1-2) 81, Southside (0-2) 59 

Dripping Springs (???) 70, Memorial (1-2) 31

San Antonio Christian (2-0 ???) 53, Brackenridge (0-2) 49

Holmes (3-0) 74, Jefferson (0-3) 53

Friday’s games


Seguin (1-1) 56, McCollum (1-1) 54

Sam Houston (1-0) 76, Kennedy (0-2) 38

Fox Tech (0-1) at Eagle Pass Winn (0-1), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Madison (0-1) at Southwest (0-1), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Northside ISD Tournament

Highlands (3-1) 75, Laredo Martin (???) 57

MacArthur (3-1) 73, Central Catholic (1-3) 64

O’Connor (2-2) 65, East Central (2-2) 57

McAllen Rowe (???) 52, Edison (0-4) 51

Stevens (2-2) 61, Central Catholic (1-3) 51

Highlands (3-1) 56, Roosevelt (1-3) 54

East Central (2-2) 75, Reagan (2-2) 55

Taft (???) 58, Edison (0-4) 49

SACS Fall Classic

Jefferson (1-4) 60, Memorial (1-3) 58

Brackenridge (2-2) 63, Memorial (1-3) 52

Southside (1-3) 85, Jefferson (1-4) 79

Brackenridge (2-2) 64, Southside (1-3) 34

Warren (2-3) 63, Burbank (2-3) 45

New Braunfels (3-2) 60, Burbank (2-3) 55

Saturday’s games


Northside ISD Tournament

Reagan (3-2) 52,Central Catholic (1-4) 51

Stevens (3-2) 61, East Central (2-3) 53

McAllen Rowe (???) 54, Highlands (3-2) 39

Edison (0-4) vs. Laredo Martin (???), (score unavailable)

SACS Fall Classic Tournament

Burbank (2-3) vs. Laredo United (???), (score unavailable)

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Harlandale takes fourth behind 5A schools at own tourney

Southwest takes consolation title with win over Edison



From its early schedule, it’d be easy to assume that Harlandale is a Class 5A school.

After opening the season against 28-5A representative East Central, the young Indians (2-3) found themselves in the land of the giant schools last Saturday. Harlandale was the only Class 4A school to reach the semifinals of this year’s Harlandale ISD Tournament.

With just four returning letterwinners, the Indians predictably took their lumps against a couple of strong 5A teams in their last two games Saturday. Eventual champion Churchill (5-0) defeated Harlandale 70-31 in the semifinals. Roosevelt (4-1) overpowered the Indians 47-8 in the third-place game.

The Indians began the tournament with a pair of wins. They defeated Class 4A Jefferson 42-31 and 5A Lee 45-33 Friday. 

“We started off pretty strong,” Harlandale coach Jackie Contreras said. “We have a talented, skilled team. We just need to look for our shot more.”

Harlandale wasn’t the only school to take home hardware from the three-day tournament. Southwest (5-1) defeated Edison (2-2) 56-32 for the consolation championship.

Southwest, led by arguably the area’s best player in Tiffani Rodriguez, lost its opening game 52-46 to Roosevelt Thursday. The Dragons won their remaining games, starting with wins over Fox Tech (1-3) and McCollum (1-3) on Friday. In the consolation semifinals Saturday, they downed St. Anthony 63-38.

Rodriguez scored 22 points and Briana Longoria added 18 against St. Anthony. Edison held Rodriguez to 12 points, but the Dragons spread out the scoring as they outscored the Golden Bears 22-5 in the second quarter. Jenyl Henry chipped in 11 points.

“We lost a heartbreaker to Roosevelt in the first game,” Southwest coach Bill Avey said. “Other than that, it was a very good tournament. We’ve played a good early schedule, and now we have a lot of work to do on our halfcourt execution.”

The Dragons’ opponent, Edison, opened with a 50-point loss to Churchill, which is picked to make the playoffs from District 26-5A. The Golden Bears rebounded to defeat Memorial (0-3) 57-11 later Friday and edge Jefferson (1-3) 42-38 in the consolation semifinals Saturday.

Edison point guard Marissa Salas scored 13 points and Paula Moreno had 10 against Southwest. Salas put up 17 points in the win over Jefferson.

“We didn’t have a season opener,” Edison coach Angie Alonso said. “Our first game was in this tournament. We’re kind of young, so this is a very good starting point. We know what we need to do now.”

Harlandale senior post Connie Garza scored 20 points against Lee (1-3). Senior Kelly Landin and freshman Miranda Samarripas added eight points apiece.

Against Roosevelt, the Indians played strong defense and committed no unforced errors in the first quarter. They were within 6-3 after the first eight minutes. However, the Roughriders started a run of 27 unanswered points late in the quarter.

“We’ve played some really tough teams,” Contreras said. “This will get us ready for district and the playoffs. This is kind of like a reality check. If we work on our mistakes, it will get us ready for the playoffs.”

Holy Cross (1-3) ended the tournament with a 78-32 loss to Clemens (3-1) in a guaranteed game Saturday. The Knights began with a 45-41 win over McCollum last Thursday. In the quarterfinals, Taft smashed Holy Cross 50-12.

Joslyn Flores led the Knights with 23 points against McCollum. The Cowboys’ Emilee Almazan produced 14.

“I’ve never had a point guard like Flores, who can make (3-point baskets) in transition,” Holy Cross coach Jesse Arguello said. “Now we can spread the court. We can shoot the three if we’re open, or drive the lane and drop it off to the post.”


FOOTBALL: Lanier steamrolls Burbank 41-0 in 28-4A finale

Bulldogs had first playoff bid since 1978 in back pocket



On the heels of a 2012 season during which nothing seemed to go Lanier’s way, the Voks had a little extra appreciation for their return to the playoffs.

Although everything figuratively was set in stone before kickoff last Saturday at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, the third-place Voks (4-6, 4-2) played as if on a mission to extend its season in the District 28-4A contest. Lanier blanked Burbank (3-7, 2-4) 41-0.

“Last year, we were a really good team,” said Lanier senior fullback Steven Veliz, a third-year starter, “but we weren’t able to pull (games) out at the end. In (almost) all of our district games, I want to say, we lost by no more than 10 points.

“We got in the weight room early after the season ended and had a lot of senior leadership. That’s why we are good.”

Burbank has had a litany of injuries this year, but still became the school’s first playoff representative since 1978. The Bulldogs may have breathed a sigh of relief after Highlands lost to Brackenridge 24 hours earlier, confirming their playoff plans. Although they tied for fourth, Burbank defeated Highlands Sept. 26.

“Coach Gatian does a great job with those kids,” Burbank coach Mark Perez said of Lanier coach Don Gatian. “Our kids were excited to make the playoffs, but they weren’t ready at kickoff. I knew, being a young team, that might be a problem.”

The Voks buried Burbank with 20 points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs mustered just 74 total yards.

Lanier scored on its first possession. Junior back Joe Orta (145 yards, 18 carries) carried the ball five times for 60 yards on the drive. Orta scored the first of two touchdowns on a 14-yard run.

The Voks scored again the next time they had the ball, relying on Julian Castillo (63 yards, 12 carries). The sophomore back ran three times for 32 yards on a drive that finished with a 19-yard pass from quarterback Nicholas Garcia to a jubilant Rodrigo Garcia.

“Joe was a starting outside linebacker,” Gatian said, ” but as the year went along, Veliz was out and Joey stepped up. Julian is only a sophomore. It’s nice for next year.”

Castillo took an interception he grabbed in Burbank’s backfield 38 yards to complete the first-quarter scoring. Johnny Glover increased the lead to 27-0 at halftime with a 15-yard touchdown run. Orta, on a 17-yarder and Andrew McCumber, on a four-yarder, ran for fourth quarter touchdowns.

Nicholas Garcia was injured in the game, but Gatian expects him to return for Lanier’s bi-district game at Alamo Heights (7-3). Burbank will play Kerrville Tivy (6-4) at the University of the Incarnate Word. Both games  kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday.


BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Four area boys hoops teams garner preseason state recognition (in progress)


If the preseason state rankings are any indication, it should be a big year for area boys basketball.

As the teams prepared to start their seasons this week, four area boys teams were ranked by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. Sam Houston and Central Catholic are the highest-rated teams, assigned the No. 7 slots in the Class 3A and Large Private School polls. In Class 4A, Harlandale was No. 20 and Lanier No. 21 among the 25 ranked teams.

No area Class 5A teams are listed in the state rankings, but East Central could change that before season’s end with a mix of established veterans and a pair of talented newcomers.

District 28-3A

Favorite: Sam Houston.

Key players

Sam Houston: Jordon Harris, Devin Allen, Miles Thornton, Dewayne Brown, Robert Christian and Brandon Vargas.

Quote: “This team has better character than previous teams that have gone to regionals. That could put us over the hump,” – Hurricanes coach Ike Thornton.

District 28-4A

Favorite: Brennan. Area playoff contenders: Lanier, Highlands, Edison. Sleeper: Burbank.

Key players

Lanier: Rodrigo Garcia, Ajax Reyes, Louis Garza, Fred Rosales, Chris Salazar, Isaiah Vargas.

Highlands: DeMarcus Hartfield, Jamaria Moody, Joseph Jackson, Jordan DeLuna.

Edison: Lorenzo Vela, Marcelo Castro, Antonio Alvarado, Justin Torres.

Burbank: Moses Montalvo, Joseph Rangel, Francisco Hernandez, Tru Bradford.

Quote: “I kind of feel like we have a great shot to be in the top two. We’ll take our chances with Brennan. I think the (chances are) pretty good, in my eyes.” – Lanier coach Rudy Bernal.

District 29-4A

Favorite: Harlandale. Area playoff contenders: McCollum, Kennedy. Sleepers: Memorial, Southside.

Key players

Harlandale: Brandon Ramon,  Armando Guerrero, Jose Salinas, Ram Torres, Jacob Martinez.

McCollum: Trey Johnson, Nathan Martinez, Angel Loera, Joey Villarreal, Fernando Huerta.

Kennedy: Erick Moncada, Isaac Castro, Chris Casas, Isaiah Garcia.

Memorial: Joe Aguilar, Richard Casares, Bryan Obregon.

Southside: Drevon Brown, Diego Avila, Francisco Solis.

Quote: “We’re going to be a little different. We’re not going to have a Rocky Briseno, who can score 20 points a game, but I think our overall depth will be better and we’ll have six or seven guys who can lead us in scoring in any game.” – Harlandale coach Chris Adamek.

District 28-5A

Favorite: East Central. Area playoff contenders: South San, Southwest.

Key players

East Central: Ceddrick Ali, Brandon McClure, Jeremy Jones, Eric Ray, Ethan White, Brandon Keno.

South San: Olando Lopez, Eric Alcozer, Jesse Samarripas, Thomas Fonseca.

Southwest: Aaron Embrey, DeVanta Hayes, Nigel Thompson.

Quote: “We scored 60 points in a half in one of our scrimmages. We’re going to try to get up and down the floor. I think we’ll really be able to pressure a lot.” – East Central coach Jeff Sweet.


Key players

Central Catholic: Tony Lewis, Daniel Kellum, Chris Paz, Matt Wetesnik, Logan Huff, Jonah Mahone.

Holy Cross: Alfred Alvarado, Jonathan Bailey.


FOOTBALL: Area playoff schedule (updated Nov. 16)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 15-16

Friday’s games


Division 1

Bi-district round

Warren (9-2) 48, East Central (5-6) 44

O’Connor (8-3) 31, Southwest (5-6) 6


Division 1

Bi-district round

Hays (9-2) 45, Brackenridge (7-4) 20

Harlandale (9-2) 37, Gregory-Portland (4-7) 35

Division 2

Bi-district round

Kerrville Tivy (7-4) 58, Burbank (3-8) 6

Alamo Heights (8-3) 28, Lanier (4-7) 7


Division 2

Bi-district round

Navarro (101) 61, Sam Houston (2-9) 20

Saturday’s games



Argyle Liberty Christian  (8-3) 52, Central Catholic (4-7) 6



Holy Cross (8-3) 55, Houston Northland Christian (3-7) 28

Games of Nov. 22-23

Saturday’s games


Division I

Area round

Harlandale(9-2) vs. Rio Grande City (5-6) at Laredo Student Activity Center, 3 p.m.



Holy Cross (8-3) vs. Katy Pope John XXIII (8-2), TBA