It was a hard row to hoe Friday as EHS welcomed Weslaco to town for a night of hardwood warfare. The boys dropped a 47-38 decision after having drawn to within two late in the game, while the girls suffered a heartbreaking defeat, 47-46 to a Pantherette squad that scored the last eight points after the Lady Bobcats had built a 46-39 advantage in the fourth.
The Bobcats came off a 43-29 win at Econ Tuesday and battled the Panthers well enough, but turnovers and the visitor’s edge inside spelled doom for EHS, now 2-1 in District 31-6A and 14-12 overall. The club tries to right the ship Tuesday at Vela against a SaberCat group that has begun 2-0, including a win over Weslaco.
Vela won a non-district match with Harlingen South Tuesday and has been playing better as of late. The SaberCats were 10-15 overall heading into Friday’s 31-6A action against Donna North and pushed to 2-0 in league play with a triumph. This week they take on EHS at home Tuesday and then head east to take on Weslaco East Friday. Vela has had the edge on the Bobcats to the tune of nine wins and three losses in past encounters.
Econ lost an overtime game against East Friday and is now 1-2 in the district, while North is 1-1 after having beaten the same East unit Tuesday; the Coogs took the bye Friday and now look to Tuesday’s showdown with the Jags, on Rivalry Night, Part One.
LADY ‘CATS ONE POINT SHORT
For the Lady Bobcats, their biggest fear became reality Friday, as an already depleted roster was slammed by early foul trouble, as Leslie Martinez picked up two in the first minute of the game and post-Bri Sanchez was saddled with three in the first period. In the second half, Julissah Santa Maria went down with her fourth foul, and it was somewhat of a feat that the hard-working Lady ‘Cats did not succumb to the problems.
Instead, they got strong intermittent performances from Santa Maria (12 points and nine rebounds), Martinez (11 points, some terrific passing), and Daysha Tijerina (15 points, eight boards) and converted 15 of 20 free throws to just five of 15 for Weslaco. The difference came inside, where the Panthettes took advantage of the long absence of Sanchez to get 12 points and 14 rebounds out of its center position.
Weslaco led at the end of each quarter but EHS enjoyed its share of advantages in a wild, back-and-forth contest featuring a huge crowd and tons of drama. Weslaco was up at the half, 27-24 before the Lady ‘Cats (3-1, 25-3) rallied into a 32-29 lead in the third when freshman Lucero Hernandez assisted on a bucket by Tijerina. Hernandez then knocked down a jumper after a Martinez pass, but the Pantherettes ended the third up one.
Santa Maria was the star of the fourth as she banged for three baskets, two off expert ball-handling and feeds from Martinez; her last hoop made it 46-39 with time on the wane, but Weslaco (3-0, 21-5) got it together down the stretch to nip the tape barely ahead.
EHS averaged six threes a game coming in but did not connect on any against Weslaco; the Lady ‘Cats had a shot to win it, but a last-second inbound play led to a good look in the lane that bounced off the backboard and rim just after the buzzer, ending a crazy, star-crossed evening.