This is the last warm-up week in girls’ basketball, as the District 31-6A campaign begins Dec. 15 with a pair of intercity matchups.

The EHS Lady Bobcats are preparing for the league wars after a trip to San Antonio for the NEISD Tourney. They won four out of five in the Alamo City, posting solid W’s against Weslaco, McAllen Memorial, and Harlingen. EHS (16-5) gained revenge over Memorial with the convincing decision, and beat Weslaco for the second time in two tries, capping the ride over Valley foes with a 53-48 win against the Lady Cardinals Saturday, beating that club for the second time in 2017.

This week EHS is back at it against those worthy opponents, taking on Weslaco Tuesday and Harlingen Friday – both on the road – in preps for the Dec. 15 league opener at home against Econ.

The Lady Jags stand at 2-15 after competition at the Tommie Wiseman Tourney in La Feria over the weekend. They managed a 1-point victory against Santa Rosa and played Rivera and Valley View close, losing TO each by 8. Econ is at La Joya Friday to finish non-district action.

North and Vela went east for the Dreamcatcher Tourney in Donna over the weekend, and each had some excellent moments. The Lady SaberCats rolled to six wins, though one came by forfeit, and improved to 14-3 for the season. They clinched the tourney championship with a 6-point result over league foe P-SJ-A Memorial.

The sharp showing at Donna erased a loss at Palmview Tuesday and now Coach Lottie Zarate’s bunch is at Harlingen South Tuesday and San Benito Saturday before the 31-6A opener Dec. 15 at North.

The Lady Cougars beat Donna North, Pioneer and Brownsville St. Joe at the Donna event, losing a tense 2-point decision to P-SJ-A Memorial. At 6-9 overall, they finish the preseason at Edcouch-Elsa Friday and then get ready for the district slate. The North-Vela tilt Dec. 15 will be, as in recent years, a barometer on how the race might shake out.

Vela has churned to a nice mark through 15 contests with the inside-out combo of Bianca Cortez and Kayleen Rios, while Abby Arredondo has provided length and scoring pop, averaging 11.4 ppg so far. She led the team with 18 against Rio and 16 against Donna a few weeks back, and has paced the club with 6.5 rebounds per game.

Rios (10.5 ppg) is second in boards and first in assists, second in steals behind fellow junior Julia Cordon. Freshman Andrea Molina continues to impress with a 6.6 average and at the tournament she shot 7 for 14 from three-point range over a 3-game span.




The football season came to an end last week as the Vela run ended in the regional quarterfinals. The team’s 70-14 shellacking at the hands of Austin Westlake came at Gregory-Portland, as the SaberCats surrendered the most points in a single game in program history.

The 13-0 Chaparrals surged to 677 yards and held Vela (12-1) to a season-low 244 yards. Nate Garcia finished out his fine career with 186 yards passing and a rushing TD but the ground game was stymied, picking up a mere 58 on 37 carries. It was 21-0 in a hurry and by the half Westlake – which moves on to play Cibolo Steele for the region crown – had amassed 56 points. Senior Brandon Guzman did thrill the fans with a 98-yard kickoff return.

The Sabes committed four turnovers for the first time all year and scored their lowest point total of 2017. But in all, it was a tremendous run for Coach John Campbell in his debut season in the Valley, and the Sabes return a number of starters for the next campaign. They also have a flat dirty younger group of studs on the way up from the lower levels.

Vela was one of four Valley teams still standing for the third round but went down on a night when San Benito and Weslaco East also fell, the Greyhounds to SA O’Connor (52-43) and the Wildcats to Steele (36-21). Saturday Los Fresnos was defeated by Lake Travis to close out the border grid campaign for good.