Early on the Vela girls were sharp on the court, winning five in a row to start the season, outscoring their opponents 267-158. As expected, senior leader Bianca Cortez was the lynchpin with frontcourt newcomer Abby Arredondo also pitching in, getting double figures in her first two outings.

Though the Lady Sabes lost a ton of talent to graduation – Jaida Muhammad and Julissa Cuellar, among others – guards such as Kayleen Rios seem ready to pick up the banner and roll onward. Julia Cordon was solid in the first stretch while Andrea Molina contributed an 11-point night against Valley View.

Coach Lottie Zarate’s team faced matches with Donna, Brownsville Vets, and Palmview in the coming 10 days.

Meanwhile, North was off to a 2-6 beginning but the strength of schedule has been brutal for the Lady Coogs; they do have wins against Sharyland and Donna heading into a stretch that sees Los Fresnos, Mission, and again Donna on the schedule. The Nov. 25 clash against Mission will be a special evening as it brings a household divided, at least for one night. North Coach Jenny Garcia will visit Mission, where her husband Roy Garcia II will have his Lady Eagles primed to strike.

As for Econ, it’s struggling so far with a 1-12 mark, but the Lady Jags, like North, have had some bears on the radar. Mission Vets, Hanna, and Harlingen South are playoff regulars that have defeated Econ so far.

The Lady Jags have eight juniors, a senior and a sophomore on the roster, led by juniors Alyssa Perez (5.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Nelly Morales (5.3/4.2, 38 percent from three-point range, and 30 steals). Sophomore Sarahi Rios has pulled down 4.8 boards a game so far.

EHS checked in at 11-3 by week’s end after a pair of Saturday losses at a tournament in Valley View. The Lady Bobcats had posted prime wins over SA Clark and Churchill a day before but lost out to Clark and Weslaco on the final day. They had beaten the Pantherettes earlier in the season.

Right now, Jayla Santa Maria is plugging along at 16 ppg and 8 rpg, while Mercedes Hernandez and Jenassah Santa Maria are each at around 10 ppg. The trio has combined for more than 140 steals in 14 games.

The other statistical note comes from 6-0 soph Bri Sanchez, averaging 9 rpg, with at least 10 boards in five games. She has been particularly tough against top comp, grabbing 15 in the victory over Weslaco, 12 in a triumph against Harlingen, and 21 combined against Clark and Churchill Friday.

The Lady ‘Cats were to be at home Tuesday against Laredo United South before riding north for the NEISD Tourney in San Antonio. December sees EHS with great road challenges at Weslaco and Harlingen before beginning the league slate with Econ Dec. 15.