Econ began the basketball season with two wins, against Palmview and Hanna. In their first game the Jags were victorious over Hanna, with three kids scoring double figures in a 66-63 result. Sophomore point guard Angel Salinas (19), senior Josh Sauceda (17), and junior Simon Pena (10) helped Coach Carlos Ramos’ squad to the win and Econ connected on 10 three-point shots in subduing a perennial contender.
Then they defeated Palmview, 67-39 with Salinas (23) and Mikey Gonzalez (15) having great efforts.
EHS kicked off the latest campaign with a solid win Tuesday at home against La Joya, nipping the Coyotes, 57-55. Friday the ‘Cats took on McAllen and won 44-40. Against La Joya, Coach Zeke Cuellar got outstanding production from youngsters Antoine Woodard and Jesus Cantu, who combined for 39 points while Damian Garcia, looking to become a key backcourt contributor this season, pumped in a healthy 13. In the McAllen victory Woodard leapt for 24 to lead the way.
The North Coogs ran into a buzzsaw right off the bat, getting blasted at Santa Rosa, 96-70 and were to be at home Tuesday against a very tough foe, Laredo Alexander. In the early going, Coach Rudy Garcia is working through the loss of leading scorer Kobe Patterson, who transferred out for his senior season. Luckily, Garcia can still count on the services of senior Cristian Espinoza, who dominated in the summer league and will be counted on to pace the offense while a number of new faces learn the varsity ropes. Vets Sam Gomez and Alex Bocanegra tossed in a dozen apiece against CC Miller last week as the team started 0-2, losing by seven Friday. Espinoza had led the effort against Santa Rosa with 17. The Coogs will be at Rowe Friday, during the afternoon.
GIRLS’ HOOPS UPDATE
On the girls’ side, EHS rebounded from a three-game losing streak with a solid performance at the Border Bash Tourney, and is weathering the loss of junior star Jayla Santa Maria, who has missed the last 10 contests with an ankle sprain. The Lady Bobcats started 5-0 before losses to three of the Valley’s best teams – Weslaco, Harlingen, and Brownsville Vets – but won twice Thursday in convincing fashion, beating Rowe, 64-27 and Juarez Lincoln, 65-17. Friday, J.D. Salinas’ crew took out Edinburg Idea Quest and Brownsville Porter and then Saturday defeated St. Joe and McAllen to rise to 11-3 overall.
Each day, the Lady ‘Cats got an outstanding show from at least one player. Jenessah Santa Maria put in a season-high 21 against Lincoln and against St. Joe, Mercedes Hernandez sank 19 with three bombs. On the final day Emily Acosta had 30 points in two wins, connecting on seven threes.
The Econ girls were also at McAllen and went 1-1 on the first day, outlasting Porter by 8 but then going down against McAllen High, 54-23. In the early stages of the season the Lady Jags (4-9) have mainly gotten scoring from Lizbeth Cabrera, Brittany Cantu, and Daniela Castro. The team has struggled to find the basket, averaging 29 ppg through the first two weeks. The Lady Jags ended the Bash with a victory over Porter. Castro was excellent versus Lincoln in the Bash, scoring 17 points and collecting a career-high 21 boards. Cantu hit for double figures in a loss to McAllen and 16 in a defeat versus Idea Quest.
Meanwhile North won once and lost twice at a tourney up in Corpus, starting off with a 10-point win over SA Holmes. Last week the Lady Coogs defeated Donna and this week will battle Los Fresnos and Mission, both contests on the road. In the 12-point triumph over Donna, senior Tiffany Chapa poured in 21 points to lead the way. North then split its tries at the Border Bash, beating La Feria and Rio Hondo.
The new kid in district, Vela, was off to a quick 3-0 start having recorded victories over Rowe and Donna and Alice at the Border Bash Thursday. The Lady Sabes were beaten by SA Johnson during the tourney and were set to host a strong Weslaco bunch Tuesday.