BOYS BASKETBALL: Southwest vs. Brandeis at SAISD Tournament photo gallery, Dec. 11, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

Southwest senior Aaron Embry positions himself for a rebound between Brandeis' William Raeford (40) and Josh Thompson (20) in a first-round match Thursday. The Dragons made a strong showing against the eventual champion, falling 58-51.
Southwest senior Aaron Embry positions himself for a rebound between Brandeis’ William Raeford (40) and Josh Thompson (20) in a first-round match Thursday. The Dragons made a strong showing against the eventual champion, falling 58-51.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southwest freshman D'Andre Griffin drives on a Brandeis defender.
Southwest freshman D’Andre Griffin drives on a Brandeis defender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southwest's Brandon Munoz (32) and Aaron Embry (33) grab a rebound over the Broncos' Ray Gallardo Jr.
Southwest’s Brandon Munoz (32) and Aaron Embry (33) grab a rebound over the Broncos’ Ray Gallardo Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dragons sophomore Tristan Quintana drives to score two of his 10 points against Brandeis.
Dragons sophomore Tristan Quintana drives to score two of his 10 points against Brandeis.

 

 

 

 

 

BOYS BASKETBALL: East Central vs. Clark at SAISD Tournament photo gallery, Dec. 13, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

East Central's Greg White (11) and Ethan White (10) crash the boards against Clark in a SAISD Tournament semifinal.
East Central’s Greg White (11) and Ethan White (10) crash the boards against Clark in a SAISD Tournament semifinal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Central senior Brandon Keno takes a fadeway jumper inside against Clark's Sterling Leopold in an SAISD semifinal game.
East Central senior Brandon Keno takes a fadeway jumper inside against Clark’s Sterling Leopold in an SAISD semifinal game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hornets senior guard Wanya Ward (13) sends a pass ahead on the fastbreak. Ward scored 10 points against Clark.
Hornets senior guard Wanya Ward (13) sends a pass ahead on the fastbreak. Ward scored 10 points against Clark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Keno and Clak's Micah Damrow (11) race for a loose ball.
Brandon Keno and Clak’s Micah Damrow (11) race for a loose ball. Keno scored nine points against the Cougars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOYS BASKETBALL: South San vs. MacArthur at SAISD Tournament photo gallery, Dec. 11, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

Joseph Zepeda (41) of South San defends an inbound pass from MacArthur's Shawn Hamilton.
Joseph Zepeda (41) of South San defends an inbound pass from MacArthur’s Shawn Hamilton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South San's Arthur Rangel (35) assesses the Brahmas' defense while teammate Joseph Zepeda moves in to set a pick. Rangel scored 21 points.
South San’s Arthur Rangel (35) assesses the Brahmas’ defense while teammate Joseph Zepeda moves in to set a pick. Rangel scored 21 points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobcats junior Andre Flores clears a rebound against MacArthur's front line.
Bobcats junior Andre Flores clears a rebound against MacArthur’s front line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South San guard Justin Apolinar goes airborne to cut down MacArthur standout Kyle Murphy's passing lanes in a Thursday first-round game.
South San guard Justin Apolinar goes airborne to cut down MacArthur standout Kyle Murphy’s passing lanes in a Thursday first-round game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOYS BASKETBALL: Highlands vs. St. Anthony at SAISD Tournament photo gallery, Dec. 11, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

The Owls' Lamar Sterling (10) and Armando Ferguson (23) spring a backcourt trap against St. Anthony's Asa Meyer.
The Owls’ Lamar Sterling (10) and Armando Ferguson (23) spring a backcourt trap against St. Anthony’s Asa Meyer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlands post Joseph Jackson corrals a rebound with one hand vs. St. Anthony.
Highlands post Joseph Jackson corrals a rebound with one hand vs. St. Anthony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owls point guard Jamaria Moody drives the baseline against a Yellowjackets defender.
Owls point guard Jamaria Moody drives the baseline against a Yellowjackets defender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlands' Christopher Hartfield (42) tips a rebound away from St. Anthony's Asa Meyer (23).
Highlands’ Christopher Hartfield (42) tips a rebound away from St. Anthony’s Asa Meyer (23).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlands coach Rufus Lott discusses strategy with his team in the Owls' 62-60 win over St. Anthony.
Highlands coach Rufus Lott discusses strategy with his team in the Owls’ 62-60 win over St. Anthony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOYS BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT: McCollum extracts momentum from Harlandale ISD tourney

SACS, Harlandale big tourney winners

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Central Catholic, Harlandale, Kennedy, McCollum, Memorial, Sam Houston.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

link unavailable

McCollum started the season strong under first-year coach Marcus Alvarado, but by the Harlandale ISD Tournament, it needed to recapture a little bit of that spark.

The Cowboys (8-8) did exactly that in the two-day tournament it co-hosted with Harlandale. McCollum split its four tournament games, winning the last two Saturday after dropping a couple of close ones.

As it approached the final day, McCollum had lost five of the previous six games.

“I feel we had a good start this year,” Alvarado said. “Then we did hit a little bit of a rough patch, but that’s to be expected. The guys have responded going into district. The practices have been really intense and they’re very focused on what we want to do.”

Harlandale (12-6) fared best among area entries, winning three of its four games. Central Catholic (7-10) split its games. Kennedy (6-9) and Memorial (7-11) each claimed one win in the tournament.

Harlandale’s only loss came against San Antonio Christian, which breezed through its four tournament games without a loss. McCollum played the closest game against the Lions, falling 64-58 Friday.

Jay edged the Cowboys 52-50 in McCollum’s tournament opener.

“They hit a shot with two seconds left,” Alvarado said. “It was a tough shot. We had an opportunity to (win) both of those games. We gave ourselves a chance.”

McCollum triumphed 60-59 over Central Catholic in another nail-biter Saturday and closed the two-day event with a 70-59 win over Kennedy.

Against Central Catholic, McCollum raced to a 41-30 halftime lead. However, the Buttons outscored McCollum 14-4 in the third quarter and stayed close thereafter despite playing without injured 6-foot-10 senior center Tony Lewis.

Sophomore Santiago Vasquez led McCollum wth 17 points. Angel Loera added 11 points and post Roger Martinez, whom Alvarado said emerged during the tournament, had 10. Noah Garcia scored nine points.

“Central Catholic came back and took a five- or six-point lead in the fourth quarter,” Alvarado said. “The guys responded really well. It was really good that we got to experience that kind of competition and that kind of game.”

Raul Aguilar led Central Catholic with 16 points. Thomas Andry and Robert Elizondo scored 13 and 10, respectively. Julian Rodriguez contributed nine points.

Martinez scored a team-high 17 points for the Cowboys against Kennedy. Vasquez and Steven Villarreal each recorded 11 points. Jose Guajardo chipped in nine.

Kennedy had four players in double figures, led by Marc Esquivel’s 18 points. Andrew Rivera (15 points), Julian Landeros (12) and Isaac Castro (10) were the Rockets’ other top scorers.

McCollum began the week with another close loss. Lanier (7-10, 1-0) defeated the Cowboys 70-62 Tuesday in the district opener for both teams.

Alvarado said his goal for the tournament was to get additional players into the games. McCollum has played between eight and 13 players each game.

“Everybody responded very well,” he said, “which allowed us to get some momentum going back into our district schedule.”

Harlandale claimed tournament wins over Carrizo Springs ( 62-41) and Memorial (54-45) Friday. The Indians also defeated Kennedy Dec. 13.

San Antonio Christian defeated Harlandale 52-41 Dec. 13 in the de facto championship game of the round-robin tournament. Senior Ram Torres scored 23 points for the Indians. Ryan Blanquiz added seven points.

Central Catholic defeated Memorial 70-65 and nipped Jay 74-70 Saturday.

Aguilar supplied 18 points against Jay. Senior Tanner Nagel and Rodriguez each scored 16. Individual statistics for Memorial were unavailable.

Sam Houston

The Hurricanes (2-8) picked up their first two wins of the season at the River City Classic last weekend. While playing a difficult schedule, Sam Houston was winless in six games going into the tournament, after reaching the Class 3A state tournament last season.

Sam Houston split its four tournament games at New Braunfels Canyon. The Hurricanes defeated New Braunfels 63-56 in its tourney opener Friday. After falling 50-40 to Waco Midway later in the day and 52-45 to Marshall Saturday, the Hurricanes finished the tournament with a 54-50 win over O’Connor.

The Hurricanes outscored New Braunfels 10-3 in overtime. Junior Robert Christian scored a team-high 20 points for Sam Houston. Raymonte Prime (13 points) and Jawon Anderson (11) also reached double digits. Against O’Connor, Christian produced 21 points and Anderson scored 12.

The Hurricanes’ sixth loss was a 60-40 decision Tuesday against Burbank (13-4, 1-0) at the Lanier Athletic Center. The game was the District 28-5A opener for both teams.

Burbank

In addition to their first district win over Sam Houston, the Bulldogs (2-8) split two games last weekend in the Pride of Texas Tournament at Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway.

Juan Castillo scored 17 points and Jordan Santos added 15 in the win against Beeville. Alejandro Manjarrez and Nathaniel Rodriguez chipped in with nine and eight, respectively.

Castillo again led the Burbank offense with 15 points against Brazosport. Michael Mascorro (12 points) and Moses Betancourt (10) also were in double figures. Matthew Juarez scored nine.

BOYS BASKETBALL: East Central presses to third in SAISD Tourney

Old-school Hornets thrive on defense

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: East Central, Highlands, South San, Southwest.

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

East Central senior Brandon Keno takes a fadeway jumper inside against Clark's Sterling Leopold in an SAISD semifinal game.
East Central senior Brandon Keno takes a fadeway jumper inside against Clark’s Sterling Leopold in an SAISD semifinal game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southwest senior Aaron Embry positions himself for a rebound between Brandeis' William Raeford (40) and Josh Thompson (20) in a first-round match Thursday. The Dragons made a strong showing against the eventual champion, falling 58-51.
Southwest senior Aaron Embry positions himself for a rebound between Brandeis’ William Raeford (40) and Josh Thompson (20) in a first-round match Thursday. The Dragons made a strong showing against the eventual champion, falling 58-51.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South San guard Justin Apolinar goes airborne to cut down MacArthur standout Kyle Murphy's passing lanes in a Thursday first-round game.
South San guard Justin Apolinar goes airborne to cut down MacArthur standout Kyle Murphy’s passing lanes in a Thursday first-round game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/East-Central-claims-third-at-SAISD-tournament-5963437.php

East Central likes the view from where it’s standing.

The Hornets (8-5), who finished third in the SAISD Tournament Saturday, have been non-traditional in recent seasons. In short, they’ve had some height.

This year’s model will look familiar to old-school East Central fans. The vertically challenged Hornets are a throwback to the running, full-court pressing, half-court harassing style that the school’s storied tradition was built upon.

“This team plays together,” East Central coach Jeff Sweet said. “They have a lot of energy offensively, but they feed off playing defense. I think they’re going to get better.”

East Central turned on the jets after MacArthur closed within five points in the third-place game at the Alamo Convocation Center. The Hornets finished the game on a 24-10 run for a 68-49 victory.

Senior Garrett White supplied 17 points and East Central forced nine turnovers in the final quarter. White and senior leader Brandon Keno each scored 20.

Keno, at 6-foot-2, is one of the tallest Hornets as well as the lone returning 2013-14 starter. He’s one of eight seniors on the roster.

“We lost four guys (to graduation),” Sweet said. “But we’ve got a lot of guys for whom it’s their senior year and they’ve waited their turn. They were ready to step up and play.”

East Central reached the semifinals with a 76-54 win over Littleton (Colo.) Heritage and a 72-65 victory over Holmes Friday. The Hornets lost 69-58 to runner-up Clark in the semis Saturday.

In the third-place game, MacArthur’s Jonathan Martin began the second half with a go-ahead layup. The Brahmas were within 44-41 at the 5:46 mark of the fourth quarter. White responded with three consecutive baskets and a pair of free throws, stretching East Central’s lead to 52-43.

The Hornets’ District 28-6A rival, South San (10-3), reached the consolation finals in the three-day tournament, which began Thursday. The Bobcats dropped a 55-49 overtime heartbreaker to Wagner in the bracket championship game.

South San established a 12-9 lead in the first quarter, as senior post Andre Flores scored eight points.

A layup from senior point guard Olando Lopez gave the Bobcats a 19-15 lead with 4:01 until halftime. South San, which struggled with turnovers, went scoreless for the next nine minutes and 21 seconds.

South San battled back to lead most of the fourth quarter. A three-pointer by Art Rangel made it 43-42 with 31.8 seconds left in regulation, but Wagner managed a tying free throw and took the lead with a six-point spurt in overtime.

“(Wagner) has a very talented basketball team,” South San coach Ray Carroll said. “They deserved to win that game.

“We went nearly 10 minutes without a basket. I don’t know too many teams that can win that way.”

The other area entrants were Highlands (5-10) and Southwest (5-6). Highlands edged St. Anthony 62-60 in its tournament opener, but wasn’t able to muster another win. The Dragons began with a 58-51 loss to eventual champion Brandeis, but weren’t able to claim a win.

Southwest led Smithson Valley 25-23 early in the third quarter. The Dragons inched ahead again on a three-point shot from four-year veteran Aaron Embry, a scoop shot off a steal from Jovani Oranday and a free throw from freshman D’Andre Griffin.

Embry hit a fadeaway jumper in the closing seconds of the quarter for a 38-37 advantage. Smithson Valley answered with an 18-2 run and won 58-42.

“We have to be more consistent,” first-year Southwest coach Lance Linscomb said. “We played Brandeis within seven, but we have all the markings of a young team. We have to keep improving and growing.”

           MORE TO COME

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Southwest jelling into more cohesive unit

Dragons’ depth too much for Judson

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Southwest.

Photo taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: http://kjtoso.photoshelter.com

Southwest senior post Cheyenne Ortiz scores inside in an earlier game against Marshall.
Southwest senior post Cheyenne Ortiz scores inside in an earlier game against Marshall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Southwest-girls-basketball-jells-in-win-over-5963429.php

 

Southwest has plenty of talent. Now it’s finding ways to blend its abilities together, and that should concern its District 28-6A rivals.

Junior wing Alexandra Busby said the Dragons (12-4) unlocked some of their potential Friday in a 48-35 non-district win over Judson (8-9) at Southwest.

“We’re learning to suck it up and play (through) our mental mistakes,” said Busby, who led Southwest with 15 points. “We didn’t pout. Tonight, we were really positive. We played well the whole game.

“We were a much different team.”

The victory extended the Dragons’ winning streak to three games. They’ve won four of their last five.

“We had that little stretch in the fourth quarter where we stopped scoring,” Southwest coach Bill Avey said. “Fortunately, for the most part, we took it to them.”

Judson’s press bothered the Dragons on their first few possessions, but Southwest then made crisp passes and used them to set up good shots. It also attacked the glass relentlessly.

Southwest finished the game with a 24-19 rebounding edge. The Dragons also won the turnover battle, forcing Judson into 18 with an active halfcourt trapping zone and only commiting 11 – sixth in the fourth quarter after the Rockets reinstated its press.

“We just thought we had to play zone because of their quickness,” Avey said of the switch from Southwest’s traditional man-to-man. “We wanted to take away the lane and force them to take (three-point shots). They hit a couple, but you have to live with that.”

After falling behind 7-1 in the first two minutes, the Dragons took the lead by scoring the next seven points.

Busby (6 rebounds, 3 assists) began the streak with three-point basket. Briana Longoria (8 points, 6 assists) drove and earned a pair of free throws, making each. Senior post Cheyenne Ortiz made an immediate impact off the bench, grabbing two rebounds.

Southwest’s post players combined for 18 points and 13 rebounds.

“We’ve been emphasizing post play,” Avey said. “That’s a big part of our team. We have a sort of a post-by-committee. Playing the post is such a tough job. So, we rotate them to keep them fresher. That makes the team better.”

The Dragons closed the first half with a 10-3 run. Senior Emilee Martinez scored off a rebound. Busby and Longoria sank consecutive three-point shots. Busby finished the half with a driving layup, which provided a 29-19 lead.

“We got running on our press break,” Busby explained. “Our posts can move, and they were open every time.”

Southwest outscored Judson 37-15 in the middle two quarters, but the Rockets cut the Dragons’ lead to 44-33 midway through the fourth quarter on a short jumper from Alicia Westbrook. Martinez scored on an assist from Aaliyah Holmes (8 points, 6 assists) with 1:52 left. She grabbed a defensive rebound on the ensuing possession to extinguish the threat.

“It was really good,” Busby said. “We played great defense and were actually talking to each other. Offensively, we weren’t standing around. We had the post open and the shooters open. Everything was open.”

Of the eight players Southwest employed Friday, seven returned from its 2014 area-round team. However, the Dragons are without sisters Jenyl (season-ending knee injury) and Karyssa Henry (hand injury), both of whom started a year ago.

Karyssa, a sophomore point guard, is expected to return before the Dragons begin district play. They gained Holmes, whose sister Shana is the school’s all-time leading scorer, in the offseason when her military family moved back to the area.

“Aaliyah has been unbelievable all year,” Avey said. “She can score, pass and play great defense. She has great court vision.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (thru Dec. 10)

Through December 10

 

TOP 15:

 

Rank-Team-Last Week

1. South San – 1

2. East Central – 2

3. Burbank – 9

4. Central Catholic – 3

5. Lanier – 5

6. Harlandale – 8

7. Southwest – 7

8. Highlands – 12

9. Sam Houston – 6

10. McCollum – 4

11. Edison – 10

12. Jefferson – 11

13. Brackenridge – 14

14. Kennedy – 13

15. Memorial – 15

 

NR = not ranked

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area rankings (thru Dec. 10)

Through December 10

TOP 15:

 

Rank-Team-Last Week

1. Southwest – 2

2. Highlands – 1

3. South San – 4

4. East Central – 3

5. Southside – 7

6. Sam Houston – 8

7. Brackenridge – 6

8. Lanier – 5

9. Holy Cross – 12

10. Harlandale – 11

11. Kennedy – 9

12. Edison – 10

13. Burbank – 13

14. Young Women’s Leadership Academy – 14

15. Jefferson – 15

 

NR = not ranked

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Holy Cross perseveres for first tourney title

Knights come through in 4th quarter at Pearsall

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Holy Cross.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Holy-Cross-leans-on-defense-for-first-tournament-5945524.php

In Holy Cross’ first eight seasons of girls basketball, the Knights never had won a tournament championship.

“We’ve had some pretty good teams, but we’d never won a tournament,” Holy Cross coach Jesse Arguello said. “We had, maybe, gotten to the finals a couple of times.”

Holy Cross (8-6) sealed the deal Dec. 6 at the Pearsall Tournament. The Knights defeated Medina 36-29 in the championship game.

It was their second come back victory in three tournament games. Holy Cross also beat Cornerstone Christian 52-46 in its TAPPS 4-4A district opener Dec. 2.

“There were no big 6A schools, but we had to play well to beat some of those teams,” Arguello said. “It was a good week. We got four wins out of it. I’m very happy with that.

“It was a matter of persevering through some rough moments.”

Holy Cross trailed by 10 points in a pool-play game against Pearsall, so decided to press the Mavericks. The deficit soon was wiped out and the Knights won 53-42 in overtime Dec. 4 to advance to the title game.

“We hadn’t been playing well, so we changed up our defense,” Arguello said. “From that moment through overtime, it was a 21-point swing. They didn’t handle that change well and our girls got very aggressive on defense. They made some bad passes, and we got some energy from that.”

Brianna Salinas scored 18 points, Hayley Andrade added 17 and Victoria Gonzalez 14 against Pearsall.

The Knights also crushed Dilley 45-15 in another pool-play game. In the championship game, Holy Cross overcame a height advantage to win the close game.

“It was two fairly evenly matched teams,” Arguello said. “Our defense was strong, but we struggled offensively until the fourth quarter. Then we outscored them 14.6.

”It was another game where we kept plugging until things turned or way.”

Arguello said that is the type of approach his team will need to take this year.

“These girls have struggled, but they don’t quit,” he said. “We play pretty good defense, that’s our strength. If we play good defense, we can be in every game. If we manage some offense, then we have a chance to win.

“We’re able to win close games this year. We didn’t do that last year.”

Holy Cross won another during the week against Cornerstone Christian in the Knights’ gym. Andrade (16 points), Salinas (11), Gonzalez (10) and Bryanna Solis (9 points) were the top scorers as Holy Cross scored all 10 of its fourth-quarter points at the free-throw stripe.

“Unfortunately, we put ourselves in that position,” Arguello said. “I told the girls every game has its own personality, so expect it to be different when we play Cornerstone again. We need to play consistent defense all four quarters.”

The Knights get back into district play this week with a game at San Antonio Christian Tuesday and a trip to Corpus Christi Incarnate Word Saturday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: East Central weathering storms to gain experience

Young, talented Hornets tested by schedule

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: East Central.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/East-Central-can-t-weather-storm-against-5945525.php

After being hit by a blizzard, the crucial thing to remember is that digging your way out is going to take some time. Trying to do too much too soon can have deadly consequences.

San Marcos (then 10-4) hit East Central with a 23-1 run that spanned the first two quarters Dec. 2 in the Stan Bonewitz Center. The host Hornets (6-5) never quite got their heads above the snowline, but closed to within 52-38 when the non-district game ended.

The Rattlers led 27-15 at halftime.

“We talked about the first three minutes of the second half,” second-year East Central coach Ginger Hartman said. “We wanted to win those three minutes. Then we wanted to take it possession by possession. I told them I wanted them to play hard, no matter what the score was.”

East Central staked out a 12-4 lead with 2:21 remaining in the first quarter.

Hornets sophomore forward Brittany Rodgers (21 points) scored the game’s first three points. Six-foot-2 freshman Nalyssa Smith scored inside and assisted classmate Makayla Hamilton on a 15-foot jumper that provided a 7-2 advantage.

Smith (10 points, 11 rebounds) made a pair of free throws and Rodgers nailed a three-point basket to establish the eight-point lead. The Hornets couldn’t squelch the impending Rattlers run until the sophomore sank two free throws in the closing seconds of the half.

“We were doing some great things,” Hartman said. “We just aren’t able to really finish (shots). Once we adjusted, we started playing better and picked it up a bit.”

San Marcos tied the score 12-12 with 36.5 seconds remaining in the first quarter on a fast-break basket from Bailey Hill (16 points). East Central’s shooting cooled and the Ratllers simultaneously revved up their transition game.

A steal and layup from San Marcos point guard Shannon Mathis (14 points, 3 steals) increased the Rattlers’ lead to 14 points just 10.5 seconds before halftime.

“They definitely did a good job of handling the ball,” Hartman said. “We know what we need to work on from here, but the girls did a good job.”

San Marcos led 52-23 with 6:38 left in the fourth quarter, following a basket from Hill. The Hornets scored the next 15 points, making six free throws in the spurt. Rodgers accounted for seven points.

Her three-pointer closed the gap to 52-31 with 1:44 left. Smith drew a three-point play with little more than a minute on the clock, but missed the free throw. However, freshman Kayla Dotson was in position and scored on the rebound.

Smith also put back a rebound, with 12.8 seconds to close the scoring. She’s one of four freshman getting significant playing time. East Central is playing without injured two-year starter Janik Alexander-Smith.

“I’m very pleased with them,” Hartman said. “They’re working hard and they don’t give up. They keep coming after you the whole game.

“I like the (internal) competition. I have people on the bench who I can bring in at any time and give the starters a breather.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Highlands, South San streak to tourney success

Harlandale reaches consolation championship

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Harlandale, Highlands, McCollum, South San, Southwest.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/southside/article/Highlands-South-San-streak-to-tourney-success-5945519.php

South San hadn’t confronted any adversity before its tournament began. Highlands, on the other hand, hadn’t seen much else in the early stages of this young season.

The 75th annual South San ISD Tournament presented each with the opportunity to venture into the crucible and leave seemingly as stronger teams than they had been.

That, obviously, was the case for Highlands (4-8), which won its first three games in Texas’ oldest continuous tournament and finished fourth among 24 teams. South San (7-1), undefeated through four games, endured its first loss but finished with another winning streak.

Highlands began the tournament Dec. 4 with an 87-57 rout of Eagle Pass. The Owls continued the surge to defeat 2013-14 regional semifinalist Harlingen South 77-67 and defending District 29-4A champion Floresville 72-70.

“This has been a good tournament for us,” Highlands coach Rufus Lott said. “It’s been a great experience. There are a lot of good teams here and a lot of different styles of play.”

South San won its last three games, including a buzzer-beating 44-41 overtime win over Texas Military Institute in the fifth-place game. The Bobcats’ only loss came against Floresville 63-55 Dec. 5 in their tournament opener.

Against TMI, neither team had scored for more than eight minutes when Bobcats wing Curtis Allen caught a pass from senior point guard Olando Lopez (16 points) in the left corner. Allen, fading away slightly, sank the three-point shot with 2.5 seconds left in overtime.

“What better way to win a game than in the last second?,” South San coach Ray Carroll said. “I’m so happy for our guys. They’ve gotten off to a really good start this year.”

Harlandale also fared well in the three-day tournament, finishing as the runner-up in the consolation bracket.

The Indians lost 63-43 to Antonian Dec. 6 in the consolation championship, but were within two at halftime. Ryan Blanquiz led the Indians with 14 points and senior leader Ram Torres scored nine. Their only other loss was 67-57 to MacArthur Dec. 4 in their first tourney game.

“We’ve had a great start to the season,” Harlandale coach Chris Adamek said. “With only Jesus (Maltos) and Ram back, all the younger players have done a very good job of stepping up their play. We’ve been facing some good competition.”

The area’s other tournament entries, Southwest (5-3) and McCollum (6-5), each won their final consolation-bracket games.

Highlands had tackled a murderous schedule prior to the tournament. Complicating matters further, the Owls top two 2013-14 scorers have been out of the picture. DeMarcus Hartfield transferred to TMI and JerMichael Shirley broke his leg this fall.

The Owls couldn’t hit shots early in their 72-52 loss to New Braunfels in the third-place game. They finished strong, though, outscoring the Unicorns 20-10 in the final quarter. Lamar Sterling scored 12 of his 21 points in the quarter. Christopher Hartfield scored 11.

“We had a few kids missing to take the SAT and ACT (tests),” Lott said. “That hurts a little bit when you’re trying to play an uptempo, pressure game.

“I’m pleased with how far we’ve come so far. We’ve played some of the better teams in the city. We have a lot of inexperience and that’s hurt us finishing games.”

After the loss to Floresville, South San regrouped to smash Corpus Christi Flour Bluff 61-44 Dec. 5 and Warren 64-37 behind 28 from Allen. Lopez and Allen combined for 43 points against Flour Bluff.

Arthur Rangel scored 13 points against TMI.

“We struggled with Floresville,” Carroll said. “After that, I had a conversation with the players. I told them, ‘People will judge you by how you respond to this. I asked them to bounce back, and they won three games and (fifth place).”

MORE TO COME

BOYS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Dec. 13)

NOTE: teams we cover in boldface

Games of Dec. 7-13

Monday’s games

No games scheduled

Tuesday’s games

District 27-5A

Alamo Heights (8-4, 1-0) 54, Boerne Champion (2-5 ???, 0-1) 46

Floresville (9-5, 1-0) 60, Kennedy (5-8, 0-1) 57

Lockhart (6-4 ???, 1-0) 59, Memorial (6-8, 0-1) 53

Seguin (4-8 ???, 1-0) 92, San Marcos (4-8, 0-1) 66

District 28-5A

Burbank (12-2, 1-0) 60, Sam Houston (0-6, 0-1) 40

Harlandale (9-5, 1-0) 62, Jefferson (7-7, 0-1) 47

Lanier (6-8, 1-0) 70, McCollum (6-6, 0-1) 62

Edison (6-9, 1-0) 55, Brackenridge (6-7, 0-1) 54 (OT)

TAPPS 4-4A

San Antonio Christian (13-4, 2-0) 66, Holy Cross (6-10, 1-1) 25

Laredo St. Augustine (2-7 ???, 0-1) at Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (1-3 ???, 0-1) (score unavailable)

TMI (8-9, 2-0) 80, Victoria St. Joseph (0-3 ???, 0-2) 39

Non-district

Clark (5-6) 62, Central Catholic (5-8 ???) 58 (OT)

East Central (5-4) 89, New Braunfels (4-7 ???) 78

South San (8-1) 67, Roosevelt (5-7) 60 

Brooks Academy (0-0 ???) at Jourdanton (0-5 ???) (score unavailable)

Fox Tech (7-7) 59, Kenedy (6-3 ???) 56

Wednesday’s games

No games scheduled

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Gregory-Portland Tournament

Houston Clear Lake 66, Lanier (6-9) 51

New Braunfels Canyon Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Sam Houston (0-6). FINALS – Saturday. (scores uanavailable)

Pride of Texas Tournament

At Corpus Christi

Georgetown 57, Burbank (12-3) 55

SAISD Tournament

Lee 83, Wagner 81
Clark 89, El Paso Eastlake 46
East Central (6-4) 76, Littleton (Colo.) Heritage 56
Holmes 80, Antonian 38
Brandeis 58, Southwest (5-4) 51
Highlands (5-8) 62, St. Anthony’s 60
MacArthur 53, South San (8-2) 45
Taft 59, Smithson Valley 35

Friday’s games

Non-district

Wildcat Classic

At Gregory-Portland

Austin Vandegrift 68, Lanier (6-11 ???) 51

Lanier (7-11 ???) 74, Corpus Christi King 63

Harlandale ISD Tournament

At Harlandale

Harlandale (11-5) 62, Carrizo Springs 41
San Antonio Christian 64, McCollum (6-8) 58
Central Catholic (6-9 ???) 70, Memorial (6-10) 65
Kennedy (6-8 ???) 63, Carrizo Springs 59
Jay 52, McCollum  (6-8) 50
San Antonio Christian 73, Central Catholic (6-9 ???) 47.
Harlandale  (11-5) 54, Memorial (6-10) 45
Jay 56, Kennedy  (6-9 ???) 45

River City Classic

At New Braunfels Canyon

Sam Houston (1-7) 63, New Braunfels 56 (OT)
Waco Midway 50, Sam Houston (1-7) 40

Pride of Texas Tournament

At Corpus Christi

Burbank (13-4) 64, Beeville 43
Corpus Christi Flour Bluff 54, Burbank (13-4) 46

SAISD Tournament

Championship bracket

At Alamo Convocation Center

Game 13 – Clark 80, Lee 67

Game 14 – East Central (7-4) 72, Holmes 67

Game 15 – Brandeis 79, Highlands (5-9) 55

Game 16 – MacArthur 56,Taft 53.

Consolation bracket

At Lanier Athletic Center

Game 9 – Wagner 78, El Paso Eastlake 68

Game 10 –  Antonian 59, Littleton (Colo.) Heritage 57

Game 11 – St. Anthony 66, Southwest (5-5) 44.  

Game 12 – South San (9-2) 58, Smithson Valley 55

Saturday’s games

TAPPS 4-4A

Corpus Christi John Paul II (7-6, 2-0) 59, Laredo St. Augustine (2-8 ???, 0-2) 38 

Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (2-3 ???, 1-1) 55, Holy Cross (6-11, 1-2) 52

Non-district

Mustang Hoops Classic

At Natalia

Consolation third place

Fox Tech (7-9 ???) vs. Uvalde (score unavailable)

Wildcat Classic

At Gregory-Portland

Consolation third place

Lanier (7-10 ???) 60, Hutto 51

Harlandale ISD Tournament

At Harlandale

Kennedy (7-9) 78, Harlandale (11-6 ???) 70

San Antonio Christian 60, Memorial (7-11) 45

McCollum (8-8) 60, Central Catholic (7-10 ???) 59

Memorial (7-11) 69, Carrizo Springs 56

San Antonio Christian 54, Harlandale (12-5 ???) 41

Central Catholic (7-10 ???) 74, Jay 70.

McCollum (8-8) 70, Kennedy (6-10) 59

NOTE: San Antonio Christian finished round-robin tournament with 4-0 record.

River City Classic

At New Braunfels Canyon

Marshall 52, Sam Houston (2-8) 45
Sam Houston (2-8) 54, O’Connor 50

Pride of Texas Tournament

At Corpus Christi

AREA TEAMS – Burbank (13-4). (scores unavailable)

SAISD Tournament

AREA TEAMS – East Central (7-4), Highlands (5-9), South San (9-2), Southwest (5-4 ???). FINALS – Saturday at Alamo Convocation Center, 6 p.m.

Championship bracket

At Alamo Convocation Center

Semifinals

Game 19 – Clark 69, East Central (8-5) 58

Game 20 – Brandeis 67, MacArthur 55.

Third place

Game 22 – East Central (8-5) 68, MacArthur 49

Championship

Game 23 – Brandeis 77, Clark 54

Fifth-place bracket

At Lanier Athletic Center

Game A – Holmes 79, Lee 67

Game B – Taft 75, Highlands (5-10) 35

Fifth place

Game D – Holmes 68, Taft 55

Consolation bracket

At Alamo Convocation Center

Semifinals

Game 17 – Wagner 61, Antonian 57

Game 18 – South San (10-3) 56, St. Anthony 31

Consolation championship

Game 21 – Wagner 55, South San (10-3) 49 (OT)

Consolation guaranteed games

At Lanier Athletic Center

Game C – Smithson Valley 58, Southwest (5-6 ???) 42

Game F – Littleton (Colo.) Heritage 53, Southwest (5-6 ???) 45

Game G – El Paso Eastlake 65, Littleton (Colo.) Heritage 53

Consolation third place

Game E – Antonian 59, St. Anthony 44

GIRLS BASKETBALL: This week’s results (thru Dec. 13)

NOTE: teams we cover in boldface

Games of Dec. 7-13

Monday’s games

No games scheduled

Tuesday’s games

District 27-5A

Memorial (1-12, 0-1) at Lockhart (3-8 ???, 0-1) (score unavailable)

Floresville (6-10, 1-1) 41, Kennedy (5-11, 0-2) 36

San Marcos (15-5, 1-0) 50, Seguin (8-10, 1-1) 27

Boerne Champion (9-4, 2-0) 52, Alamo Heights (7-3, 1-1) 44

District 28-5A

Sam Houston (5-5 ???, 2-0) 51, Burbank (6-11, 0-2) 44

Brackenridge (6-12, 1-0) 64, Edison (6-12, 1-1) 52

Lanier (9-9, 1-1) 49, McCollum (1-11, 0-2) 39

Harlandale (8-10, 2-0) 61, Jefferson (3-12, 0-2) 48

TAPPS 4-4A

Laredo St. Augustine (9-6, 1-0) at Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (6-4 ???, 1-0) (score unavailable)
San Antonio Christian (16-4, 1-1) 50, Holy Cross (8-7 ???, 1-1) 39

Victoria St. Joseph (15-5, 2-0) 66, TMI (3-10, 0-2) 16

Corpus Christi John Paul II (0-1 ???, 0-1) at Providence (1-17, 0-1) (score unavailable)

Non-district

Pleasanton (7-7 ???) 50, Fox Tech (2-14) 14

Young Women’s Leadership Academy (9-5 ???) 39, Randolph (3-9) 34

Judson (8-8) 44, East Central (6-7) 34

Southwest (11-4) 47, New Braunfels Canyon (10-7) 32

Lee (11-7) 47, South San (8-8 ???) 26

Taft (10-3 ???) 51, Southside (7-6 ???) 40

Dilley (2-3 ???) at Brooks Academy (1-2 ???) (score unavailable)

Wednesday’s games

No games scheduled

Thursday’s games

Non-district

Natalia Tournament

St. Gerard 56, Fox Tech (2-15 ???) 34

Fox Tech (2-15 ???)  vs. Luling (score unavailable)

Friday’s games

District 27-5A

Floresville (7-10, 2-1) 50, Boerne Champion (9-5, 2-1) 44

Kennedy (5-11, 0-2) at Kerrville Tivy (12-4, 1-0) (score unavailable)

Alamo Heights (8-3, 2-1) 60, Lockhart (3-9 ???, 0-2 ???) 17

San Marcos (16-5, 2-0) 49, Memorial (1-13 ???, 0-2 ???) 7

District 28-5A

Jefferson (3-12, 1-2) 49, Edison (6-13, 1-2) 30

Harlandale (9-10, 3-0) 48, McCollum (1-12, 0-3) 29

Lanier (9-9, 1-1) vs. Burbank (6-11, 0-2)  (scores unavailable)

Highlands (12-9, 2-0) 50, Brackenridge (6-13, 1-1) 38

TAPPS 4-4A

Victoria St. Joseph (16-5, 3-0 ) 81, Providence (1-18 ???, 0-1 ???) 17

Cornerstone Christian (5-4 ???, 1-1) 54, TMI (3-11, 0-3) 39

Non-district

Falls City (2-3 ???) at Brooks Academy (1-2 ???) (scores unavailable)

Laredo Alexander (4-3 ???) 54, South San  (8-8 ???) 39

Southside (8-6 ???) 49, Stockdale (1-9 ???) 23

East Central (7-7) 73, Holmes  (4-11) 37

Southwest (12-4) 48, Judson (8-9) 35

Natalia Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Fox Tech (2-15 ???). FINALS – Saturday. (scores unavailable)

Randolph Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Young Women’s Leadership Academy (9-5 ???). FINALS – Saturday.  (scores unavailable)

Saturday’s games

TAPPS 4-4A

Laredo St. Augustine (9-6 ???, 1-0 ???) at Corpus Christi John Paul II (0-1 ???, 0-1) (scores unavailable)
Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (7-4 ???, 2-0 ???) 44, Holy Cross (8-8 ???, 1-2) 43

Non-district

Natalia Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Fox Tech (2-15 ???). (scores unavailable)

Randolph Tournament

AREA TEAMS – Young Women’s Leadership Academy (9-5 ???). (scores unavailable)