As the area hoops teams headed for the new year, it looked like both EHS squads with a solid shot at repeating last year’s playoff appearances.
The girls were bumping along at 14-3, with a 2-0 start in District 31-5A, led by the inside tandem of Yadi Salinas and Trish Lopez. Those seniors have been fabulous so far as Salinas scored 16.1 in non-district, with a high of 30 against Alice, and followed that up with 44 points through the initial two league matches. Lopez, among the Valley’s leaders in rebounds, was hitting for 15.9 points and 12 boards in non-district, and went for 39 as the Lady Bobcats defeated P-SJ-A Memorial and Harlingen recently.
The Econ Lady Jags are in the mix right now, at 7-9, but they are 0-2 in league play after losses to Pharr North and Harlingen South. Becky Diaz and Shay Hernandez have led the way with averages of 13.9 and 13.0, respectively, as Econ seeks a third consecutive playoff spot under Coach Kelly Garrett. There are a bunch of youngsters trying to fill in graduation gaps and in the early going, hustling Mireya Galvan and post Daniela Gaitan have shown promise, along with athletic Kayla Silva.
Meanwhile, North has been up and down this year, and currently sits at 1-1 in 31-5A after losing to Harlingen but rebounding to take out P-SJ-A, 55-52. Brandy Garcia nailed three three-pointers for 13 points against the Lady Bears, and soph point guard Dani Vargas also tossed in three bombs for the Lady Coogs, 10-8 overall.
The EHS boys are 8-4 so far, with the senior duo of Chris Flores (20 per game) and Jaime Acuna (14.4) carrying the load while a slew of underclassmen learn the ropes. Sophomore guard Aaron Olvera is a potential Newcomer of the Year this season, as he’s averaged 13 points and six assists per game with a superb floor game.
North has amassed a 5-9 record so far after a 1-point loss to Sharyland over the weekend, while the Jags of Econ have struggled to a 4-13 start.
NOTES: The Valley’s best sports Web site has changed its name. Edinburg Coach Jake Berry announced recently that rgvsn.com has renamed itself, but the same comprehensive coverage of area athletics now can be found at a new location: 956sports.com.