The summer league is a prime time for teams like North, seeking to mold into a cohesive unit, find their personal and collective court identity, and get ready to fight for a playoff spot in the winter.

In 2009-10 the Cougars looked like they might be able to do the job but it ended up that Econ became the Cinderella sleeper, making the playoffs while North stayed home. But hopes are high for this year’s bunch, which took out Donna by 15 Friday evening as the league’s first week came to a conclusion.

For several years now, North has had some talent but has experienced trouble with consistency, looking like a champ at times but not at others. How the latest season will turn depends on the little things, like taking care of the call and making correct decisions at the end of quarters and halves.

With Jhared Weems poised for a great senior season, maybe this is the year that Rudy Garcia’s bunch breaks into the mix. Weems is 100 percent healthy these days and put a dozen points on the board Friday as North ked Donna the whole way, running well, hitting the boards, and defending the erratic Redskin backcourt.

Weems was joined by Robert Ramirez, a skinny dude with fine quickness who resembles former OU quarterback Sam Bradford in the face but did not finish the 2009-10 campaign. Flashing to 14 points in the first, Ramirez showed some quick-step mastery and also several look-away passes; he finished with a game-high 20 as the Cougars netted 57. If he can play steady ball in the winter, it will greatly aid the effort; he has the one-on-one touch.

As always, dependable Hector Garza was a hustling presence down low, and he continues to improve his in-close passing skills. With him on the blocks will be looming 6-5 underclassman Kerry Williams. When Williams plays under control, he is an intimidating force who can keep the ball high after caroms and start the break with outlet passes. He certainly gives the Coogs some size with which to battle the 31-5A frontcourts.

Another man to watch this summer and beyond is Sam Cavazos, who can jump well for a guard and has quick hands on defense. The truth is, North, as in past seasons, has some promising dudes on board. In the summer, the guys are working on protecting the basketball and finding open teammates on offense; one of the perennial problems for the group has been the alarming tendency to play hully-gully at times, and a necessity for the coming year will be to stay calm under fire.

North played EHS to a 10-point decision earlier last week, and the kids feel confident that their solid showing against the four-time defending champs augurs well for the future. Time will tell if the Coogs can take the next step into the upper echelon of the league; they definitely had Donna’s number Friday.

SUMMER LEAGUE SKED

BOYS’ HOOPS

Monday, June 14

San Isidro at North, 6:30

Weslaco East at EHS, 8:30

La Joya vs. Econ at North, 8:30

Wednesday, June 16

Econ vs. Weslaco East at EHS, 5:30

McHigh at EHS, 7:30

Roma at North, 7:30

Monday, June 21

Quest at North, 5:30

Econ vs. McHigh at EHS, 7:30

GIRLS’ HOOPS

Tuesday, June 15

P-SJ-A at North, 5:30

Weslaco East at EHS, 6:30

Thursday, June 17

Weslaco East at North, 5:30

Harlingen South at EHS, 6:30

Friday, June 18

McAllen Memorial at North, 5:30

Harlingen at EHS, 7:30

VOLLEYBALL

(All games at South Junior High)

Monday, June 14

Harlingen South vs. North, 6:30

Weslaco East vs. Econ, 6:30

EHS vs. Mercedes, 7:30

Wednesday, June 16

Roma vs. EHS, 6:30

Santa Maria vs. Econ, 6:30

Sharyland vs. North, 8:30

7-ON-7 FOOTBALL

Tuesday, June 15

Games at Cats Stadium from 5:30 to 10 p.m.