For EHS it’s been a super season on the hardwood so far, as both the girls and boys rose to No. 1 in the Valley last week.
Heading into Tuesday’s grudge match against rival North, the Lady Bobcats had won 15 of 18 games, including a 29-point triumph over the Lady Cougars at a tournament in San Antonio earlier in the month.
That rematch at EHS promised to be a barnburner, as the Lady Coogs sought to end a recent slow stretch that saw them lose six of eight games after a 7-0 start.
At last Tuesday’s 31-5A contest at home against P-SJ-A Memorial, North sat its usual starting five and went with the second teamers, the second time this has been the case in recent weeks.
Coach Jenny Garcia was hesitant to discuss the matter, but did say that her starters have had problems with confidence in the past two weeks. Vicky Pena came off the bench to get 13 points in the easy victory over the Lady Wolverines with aggressive sophomore Larissa Arriola adding a dozen.
North headed into the latest challenge versus EHS with Pena averaging 17 points per game and senior Dani Vargas netting around 11. Now is the time for seniors Vianey Salinas and Dora Ureste to come on strong, because inside, the Lady Bobcats have been terrific in 2010-11.
Sophomore Micheline Mercelita leads the Valley with 15 rebounds per game and has become a shot-blocking machine. Her quick progression in all phases has given EHS an extra boost this season, while reliable stars Laura Torres and Bianca Casas have been steadily productive. Plus, senior Steph Nunez has nailed 44 threes this year already.
As for the EHS boys, the 12-game winning streak came to an end over at Sharyland last week, after the Bobcats had defeated the Rattlers to win the Diamondback Classic title the weekend before. The club had climbed as high as No. 10 in the TABC state rankings before the loss and will need to get back on track with a day game Tuesday at home against Weslaco. Over the break, EHS welcomes North for a contest Dec. 31 as District 31-5A play revs up.
In other boys notes, Econ advanced to the semi-finals of the C.E. Vail Tourney before losing to Mercedes in a narrow 48-47 decision Friday. Junior John Barrientos scored a season-high 24 points for the Jags in the preceding game, a victory over host La Feria. He was named to the All-Tourney team and averages 15 points per game, with teammate J.J. Velasquez at 14.
The Jags faced off against Mission Vets in the third-place game Saturday, and won by 15 to rise to 12-6.