The girls’ hoops season came to a close last week as EHS was clipped at the regional tournament, but the Vela boys advanced to the third round with two solid wins.

The Lady Bobcats finished 33-9, tying the city record they set for victories back in 2005-06 while the SaberCats climbed to 27-10 ahead of this week’s regional quarterfinal match against Laredo United. Coach Lucio Rodriguez’ team defeated Hanna and United South last week with senior Noah Sekinger totaling 40 points, and junior Kaleb Coronado came up big with 15 against United South in a 64-53 decision Friday.

United (28-4) poses a tough challenge for Vela, having gone 6-0 versus Valley teams in 2018-19, including a pair of wins against the SaberCats in non-district. However, Vela – 1-5 against Laredo schools this season prior to Friday – is on a roll.

The Longhorns have traditionally been a thorn in the side of local teams, with a 19-2 record against Valley quintets in the playoffs the past 10 seasons, including three wins over EHS and one over the fine Edinburg North crew of 2012-13. The only area squads to defeat the ‘Horns over that span were the 2010-11 Fab Four Bobcats, and McAllen Memorial in bi-district last season.

The third-rounder comes off Tuesday night in Zapata.




It was a rough night with lots of contact and not a little fan agitation, and at the end, Americo Cortez’ Vela side had prevailed over rival North, in penalty kicks. The victory put the Lady Sabes at 15 points, with North at 18 and Donna North at 16. Taylor Campbell punched in a goal off a corner kick 20 minutes in and then completed the night with a PK winner for Vela, while Lizzie Loera scored off a nice feed from Vivi Torres 10 minutes into the second half to bring the Lady Coogs level.

Ayramar Cortez had a sharp first half in the midfield, defending and distributing smartly, while Vela teammate Kassy Rodriguez made some vital defensive plays in the second. In PKs, uber-accurate Lauryn Guzman converted her kick to help the side to the result at Richard R. Flores Stadium. It marked the first win over North following three straight losses.

The North boys prevailed in the nightcap, 1-0 over Vela in a contentious battle that saw three cards, including a red, handed to the coaches. Axel Loera ran onto a cross to score for North in the first half, and Aldair Cavazos led a strong Cougar defensive effort as Coach Elias Moran and Co. passed Vela into fourth place.

Right now, Donna North (20 points) leads the table with Econ second at 18, followed by EHS (13) and North (nine).