WEEKLY BOYS BASKETBALL REPORT: Voks grab fifth place in Border Olympics

Churchill’s fourth-quarter push edges East Central

TEAMS INCLUDED:Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Holy Cross, Lanier, South San, Southside, Southwest.

Lanier won four of five games over the weekend to finish in fifth place at the Border Olympics.

The Voks (4-2) smashed Laredo Martin 59-31 Saturday to take fifth place in the Laredo Tournament. Lanier salso won 45-42 over Laredo St. Augustine earlier in the day.

Friday, Lanier crushed Laredo Cigarroa 66-32, but lost to tournament runner-up Laredo United South 47-42 in overtime.

The Voks trailed United South 33-24 late in the third quarter, but caught up and managed to send the game into overtime. United South prevailed in the extra session.

Individual statistics for Lanier were unavailable.

Fox Tech (1-9) also competed in the Border Olympics. The Buffaloes lost 58-36 Saturday, Ruben Hernandez scored 14 points and Ruben Chapa added 10.

On Friday, Laredo United defeated Fox Tech 71-23.

Churchill 69, East Central 68

The undefeated Chargers (11-0), No. 2 in the Express-News area rankings, edged East Central (4-4) in a thriller Wednesday afternoon at the Hornets’ Bonewitz Center.

The Hornets led Churchill 55-50, heading into the fourth quarter. The Chargers limited East Central to 13 fourth-quarter points.

Senior guard Ceddrick Ali shouldered a bit more of the Hornets’ offensive burden than usual, leading East Central with 17 points. Senior post Albert Jimenez contributed 16 points. Football standout and third-year varsity basketball player Jeremy Jones scored 12.

The Chargers held Hornets season scoring leader Brandon McClure to seven points.

Brian Herring led Churchill with 28 points.

Edison 65, Harlandale 57

The Golden Bears (2-5) had been a hard-luck team until they traveled to Harlandale Tuesday.

Playing a tough schedule, Edison lost its first four games. Each of its five losses have been decided by fewer than 10 points. The Golden Bears’ non-district win over the Indians (5-2) was their second in the last three games.

Harlandale absorbed its second-consecutive loss, by a combined total of 12 points, after winning its first two contests. The Golden Bears bolted to a 22-14 lead in the first quarter and were ahead by 10 at the half. Harlandale had a 13-9 scoring edge in the third quarter.

Senior post Andy Castro led four Edison double-figure scorers with 18 points. The 6-foot-6 senior, Antonio Alvarado (17 points), Lorenzo Vela and Jared Zapata (8 points) each cleared six rebounds.

Justin Torres and Vela each scored 10 points for the Bears. Torres also contributed five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Vela finished with five assists and three steals. Castro made two steals.

Jose Salinas led Harlandale with 17 points. Ram Torres scored 15. Armando Guerrero contributed 11 points. Joshua Rodriguez provided 10.

Central Catholic 68, Holy Cross 42

The Buttons (4-6) established a 10-point lead in the opening quarter and rolled from there, defeating their chief rival Tuesday at Central Catholic.

Holy Cross (0-4) matched the Buttons with 11 points in the fourth quarter of the non-district game.

Senior point guard P.J. Escobar led Central Catholic with 14 points. Senior Stuart Lynch and junior Tony Lewis scored 12 apiece. Chad Plummer added 11 points for the Buttons.

Sophomore Jonathan Bailey led the Knights with 12 points. James Guevara chipped in with eight points in the basketball version of the Holy Bowl.

South San 60, Southside 59

The Bobcats (2-2), with the help of an outstanding outing from junior point guard Olando Lopez, held off a furious comeback from rapidly improving Southside (3-7) to record a non-district win Tuesday.

South San established a 29-19 halftime lead and extended it to 13 points by the end of the third quarter. The Cardinals outscored the Bobcats 28-16 in the final period.

Lopez scored a game-high 26 points. Junior guard Eric Flores posted 13 points. Eric Alcozer added 11 for South San.

Southside was led by 20 points from senior guard Francisco Solis. Senior post Drevon Brown scored 19.

Southwest 67, Marshall 61

The host Dragons (1-3) recorded their first win of the season Tuesday, outscoring Marshall 23-19 in the fourth quarter.

Southwest had a two-point lead after a quarter, but trailed 32-26 at halftime. The Dragons regained the lead at the end of the third quarter, limiting the Rams (3-5) to 10 points in eight minutes.

Individual statistics for Southwest were unavailable.

FOOTBALL: Rouse second-half comeback takes down Harlandale

Indians built halftime lead in second region-round game

Brandon Ramon’s Harlandale career lasted long enough for it to come full circle, if only for a fraction of one play.

As a sophomore, Ramon started at wide receiver. He became a receiver again in the first quarter of the Indians’ Class 4A Region round game at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos.

When the ball was snapped, he took a pitch back from senior back Nick Martinez and launched a 25-yard flea-flicker pass to Ian Martinez (76 yards, 6 receptions) for the game’s first touchdown six seconds from the end of the quarter.

Harlandale (10-3) also scored in the second quarter, on a 31-yard strike from Ramon (29 of 42. 302 yards) to James Mendoza (64 yards, 6 receptions) for a 13-8 halftime lead. Ramon completed 14 of 18 passes in the first half.

The lead held for the first 45 seconds of the second half. Then the Raiders (10-3) broke away for a 43-21 victory.

Rouse quarterback Billy McCrary (249 yards, 17 carries) dashed 54 yards for the first touchdown of the second half. About 2 ½ minutes later, Andre Alger (99 yards, 11 attempts) ran for another Raiders score.

McCrary passed just five times for the school from Leander, completing two. Wesley Geisler caught both,  including the 29-yard, back-breaking reception. He also scored on a 28-yard reverse. McCrary added a 74-ayrd scoring run.

An 18-yard pass from Ramon to senior tight end Kevin LaFosse ended a Rouse streak of 35 uninterrupted points with 4:27 to play.

Rouse ran for 456 yards while limiting Harlandale to 39. Nick Martinez ran for 42 yards. Eddie Pedroza made eight catches for 82 yards for the Indians.

Harlandale won 10 games for the sixth time in school history and advanced to the region round for the second time.

FOOTBALL: Area playoff results 2013 (complete)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 15-16

Friday’s games

CLASS 5A

Division I

Bi-district round

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

O’Connor (8-3) 31, Southwest (5-6) 6

CLASS 4A

Division I

Bi-district round

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

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

Division II

Bi-district round

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

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

CLASS 3A

Division II

Bi-district round

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

Saturday’s games

TAPPS DIVISION I

Quarterfinals

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

TAPPS DIVISION II

Quarterfinals

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

Games of Nov. 22-23

Saturday’s results

CLASS 4A

Division I

Area round

Harlandale (10-2) 33, Rio Grande City (5-7) 28

TAPPS DIVISION II

Semifinals

Katy Pope John XXIII (9-2) 22, Holy Cross (8-4) 14

Games of Nov. 29-30

Friday’s results

CLASS 4A

Division I

Regional round

Rouse (10-3) 43, Harlandale (10-3) 21

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Nov. 30)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 25-30

Tuesday’s results

Non-district

Southwest (1-3 ???) 67, Marshall (3-5) 61

South San (2-2) 60Southside (3-6) 59

Holmes (6-6) 70, Jefferson (1-6) 32

Edison (2-5) 65, Harlandale (2-2) 57

McCollum (6-2) 58, Burbank (2-4 ???) 55

Antonian (7-1) 68, Highlands (3-6) 53

Lanier (1-1) vs. Memorial (3-6), 7:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Central Catholic (4-6) 68, Holy Cross (0-4) 42

Wednesday’s results

Non-district

Churchill (11-0) 69, East Central (4-4) 68

New Braunfels (3-1) 73, Southside (3-7) 48

Friday’s games

Non-district

Border Olympics

At Laredo

Laredo United (???) 71, Fox Tech (1-8) 23

Lanier (3-1 ???) 66, Laredo Cigarroa (???) 32

Laredo United South (???) 47, Lanier (3-1 ???) 42 (OT)

Saturday’s games

Non-district

Antonian (8-1) 76, Kennedy (0-8) 49

Holy Cross (0-3) at Brooks Academy(0-2 ???), 2:30 p.m. (score unavailable)

Border Olympics

At Laredo

Lanier (4-2 ???) 45, Laredo St. Augustine (???) 42

Lanier (4-2 ???) 59, Laredo Martin (???) 31

Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (???) 58, Fox Tech (1-9) 36

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (updated Nov. 30)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Nov. 25-30

Monday’s results

Non-district

Memorial (4-5) 35, Pearsall (5-10) 29

Tuesday’s results

District 28-4A

Brennan (9-0, 1-0) 73, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (1-6, 0-1) 4

Brackenridge (13-4, 1-0) 55, Fox Tech (3-8, 0-1) 14

Highlands (8-5 ???, 1-0) 62, Burbank (2-6 ???, 0-1) 38

Lanier (3-6 ???, 1-0) 56Jefferson (4-7, 0-1) 49

Non-district

Cole (13-1) 33, Southside (8-5) 22

Southwest (8-3) 64, Marshall (8-8) 35

South San (2-4 ???) at Memorial (4-5), noon (score unavailable)

Kennedy (1-4 ???) at San Marcos (1-2 ???), noon (score unavailable)

Edison (6-9) 51, Sam Houston (0-7 ???) 42

Hawkins (2-2 ???) at Holy Cross (3-5), 6:30 p.m. (did not play)

Floresville (8-6 ???) 43, East Central (3-5 ???) 41

Laredo Martin (10-2) 47, Providence (2-6) 25

Saturday’s results

Non-district

Providence (2-6) at Stockdale (0-4 ???), 1 p.m. (score unavailable)

Holy Cross (4-5) 59, Schertz John Paul II (1-2 ???) 44

FOOTBALL: Holy Cross seniors silenced naysayers, kept tradition intact

Knights’ second-half comeback falls short in state quarterfinals

When they were freshmen, observers weren’t all that impressed with Holy Cross’ football class of 2014. Think of 2012 Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney and her dour expression after receiving a medal that wasn’t gold.

This season rendered those doubts among the Knights’ faithful. In fact, the seniors helped extend Holy Cross’ recent string of successes.

“This group of kids,” Holy Cross coach Mike Harrison said, “I find it humorous that, as freshmen, they were one of our most maligned groups. People would say they’re not going to be very good and they don’t have that kind of talent. It’s a testament to their ability, what they were able to accomplish.

“They really represent what it means to be a student-athlete.”

Holy Cross (8-4) shared the TAPPS 3-II championship this season after winning the district outright the previous two seasons. Saturday, the Knights played in its third-consecutive Division II quarterfinal game.

A late comeback effort wasn’t able to push Holy Cross to the semifinals. Katy Pope John XXIII (9-2) prevailed 22-14 at Buffalo Stadium in Giddings with a touchdown in the final minute.

“I think we let one get away,” Harrison said. “We didn’t have our best game of the year. We really didn’t, and it’s unfortunate, not to take anything away from a very good (Pope John XXIII) team.”

Holy Cross fought back to tie it 14-14 after falling behind by two touchdowns. However, the Lions produced a long kickoff return following the tying touchdown and manufactured a game-winning drive.

Pope John XXIII back Greg Moore, who recorded a game-high 160 rushing yards on 25 attempts, opened the scoring with a 12-yard run with 5:27 left in the first quarter. Lions quarterback Graham Secades (100 yards, 12 carries) ran for the two-point conversion, then provided his team’s second touchdown on a nine-yard run about four minutes into the second period.

“We had our chances and we didn’t execute,” Harrison said. “I don’t want to take anything away from the Lions. They had a really good game plan. They had two very good backs, one that went 225-230 and the other went about 210. And they had a pretty good offensive line. They also had some athletes and some speed. “We just didn’t play that well – and it kills me.”

The Knights scored on a 19-yard pass from Cisco Flores (12 of 22, 126 yards) to junior Steve Villela. Flores also ran 12 times for 87 yards.

With 3:39 remaining in the game, Greg Scott (88 yards, 17 carries) pounded up the middle for a four-yard touchdown that tied it 14-14. At the 31-second mark, Moore scored the backbreaker on a 10-yard sprint.

Having three 100-yard rushers helped the suburban Houston school overcome four turnovers forced by Holy Cross. John Paul outgained Holy Cross 393-317 in total yards.

“We outscored them 14-8 in the second half and we came up with four turnovers,” Harrison said. “Ninety percent of the time, if we force four turnovers and have more than 300 yards, we’re going to win.

“It just wasn’t meant to be yesterday.”

Edd Williams ran for 128 of the Lions’ 392 rushing yards. John Paul only attempted three passes, but had an interception to go with three fumbles.

Holy Cross committed one turnover. Senior receiver Greg Kelly caught five passes for 77 yards in his final game for the Knights.

“Losing Greg Kelly will be hard,” Harrison said. “In my 27 years of coaching, he was one of the best players and leaders I’ve ever had.

“He had more than 60 catches for 900 yards, he ran for about 200 yards, he threw a touchdown pass he had three picks, had a punt return for a touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown. He’s such an amazing talent.”

Holy Cross defined itself in the previous four games.

After defeating Central Catholic in the Holy Bowl, the Knights lost to Antonian and Navarro, allowing 40 or more points in each game. They won their first games in District 3-II before hitting a bump in the road.

Following a seven-point loss to Austin Regents, Holy Cross defeated Cornerstone Christian and Victoria St. Joseph by a combined 96-0 total to earn a first-place showdown against Austin Hyde Park Baptist in Austin. The Knights prevailed 28-14 to share the title and began the playoffs with a 55-28 win over Houston Northland Christian at Harlandale Memorial Stadium Nov. 16.

“I think what was really good about our kids,” Harrison said, “they went through district undefeated the last two years. When we were in the 5A district, we were the only team ever to beat Austin St. Michael’s, something I’m still very proud of. To me, that was a huge statement about where the program is headed.

”These kids, a lot of people tried to refute them and denounce them, but it’s a huge credit for them to go on after that and win a district championship.”

After the final game of the season, Holy Cross traditionally separates the seniors from the prospective returning players.

“I promise you, this is a great group of kids,” Harrison said, referring to the entire team. “We take the kids coming back and move them to the side. We give them a hurrah and talk about what we’re going to do next year.

“Then we say goodbye to the seniors. It was hard to say goodbye to this group of seniors.”

Scott (1,577 rushing yards), who emerged ahead of a group of contenders to win the running back job, and Southside-transfer Flores (1,727 passing yards and 1,137 rushing yards) lead the group of returnees. The Knights will have some repair work to do on defense with just four returning starters.

“I’m excited about where we’re going with this,” Harrison said. “We’ve won three district championships, three area championships and been to three area championships now. Obviously, our goal for next year will be to get to the next round and the next level. That’s going to be our battle cry in the off season.”