So it came to an end Friday in San Antonio, but the teams returned home with 55 combined wins for the season, and a Valley championship in their pocket.
North led San Antonio Jay for a quarter behind some clutch three-point shooting from Vicky Pena, who led the club with 14 points along with Brandy Garcia, playing her last high school game. But the Lady Mustangs soon took control and cruised to a 62-41 win over the Lady Cougars, who won 27 games and made their first-ever trip to the regional tournament.
North had advanced to San Antonio by virtue of a 60-41 breeze over Harlingen at UTPA Tuesday, after beating Lopez and Laredo United in the first two rounds.
Meanwhile Edinburg fell victim to the Valley Curse, getting blown out from the beginning and losing 83-35 to an awesome San Antonio Wagner outfit. Laura Torres was the offense Friday with 22 points for EHS, which went 28-8 this year and returned to the regional tourney for the first time since 2005-06.
The Lady Bobcats beat Weslaco and SA Southwest before upsetting Harlingen South at UTPA Tuesday to earn the right to play in the Sweet 16.
In boys’ action, Edinburg trailed entering the fourth period but rallied for a 12-point win over Laredo Martin in the area playoffs, setting up a showdown Monday night against Laredo United. The winner of that great matchup would advance to the regional tournament.
Aaron Olvera scored 32 points to lead the Bobcats (29-6) while Stevie Guerrero added 18. United rose to 34-2 this season after beating Weslaco in area Friday. Hanna and McAllen square off in the other third-rounder this week.
In baseball tournament action from McAllen, EHS started Thursday with an 11-1 loss to District 31-5A foe Harlingen, but came back strong the next day with wins against highly touted La Joya (4-3) and McAllen Memorial (10-3). They finally ended up on the short end of the stick against Valley power Sharland on Saturday night.
North also had a tough go on Day One, losing to Mission Vets and Brownsville Lopez, allowing 29 runs. They dropped game one Friday to Calallen before winning 8-1 against league rival Harlingen South. Saturday, the Coogs lost a close one, 10-9 to Mercedes.
Econ went 0-3 in the tournament, though the Jags did get some offense going in losses to Mission and Rowe, scoring 10 runs.
When first baseman Nikki Garza led her teammates in a rousing rendition of Josh Turner’s “Why Don’t We Just Dance” before Friday’s opening round of the annual round robin tournament, it was understandable as well as entertaining.
The Lady Coogs were chomping at the bit to play some softball after bad weather had canceled last week’s Mission Tournament and kept the team indoors for several days.
After the musical interlude, North got a good start in its annual event with a 9-3 win over Lopez, falling behind 3-0 before cranking out nine runs for the victory. Catcher Victoria Cardenas slammed a bases-loaded single for two runs while sophomore outfielder Desiree Dominguez bunted for a pair of hits Friday.
The Lady Coogs blasted La Feria 9-1 in the second game Friday and over the span of the weekend, senior pitcher Iliana Hinojosa added to her program record with her 83rd career win on the mound.
North won the tourney Saturday with an 8-1 win over Mission as Hinojosa pushed her record to 6-0 and Cardenas continued to pound the ball with a 3-for-3 afternoon.
Econ finished strong at the North tourney with 1-run wins against Brownsville Pace and La Feria, while EHS advanced to the consolation title at the Border Olympics, beating Crystal City, 3-2.
NOTES: Turn to the Review Web site for bonus photos from the girls’ basketball regional quarterfinals at UTPA Tuesday.
BRONC BASEBALL SMASHES THROUGH WITH 4-0 START
Now that’s the way to kick off the baseball season!
The Broncs of The University of Texas-Pan American won four in a row over the weekend to capture the Al Ogletree Classic at Edinburg Baseball Stadium, showing some good sticks and solid pitching in beating UT-Brownsville and Prairie View A&M twice each.
The lead game of the year Friday was a crazy 23-17 mess over UTB with a 5-1 win over PV to follow, junior righty Cody Plunk throwing one-hit ball over seven innings for UTPA in the second contest. In the opener, Mendoza had made four hits and Sharyland freshman Angel Ibanez homered and drove in four.
Next it was 9-2 over PV, with burly senior Garrett Bivone getting three hits and junior OF Alex Carnall going 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles. Junior righty Hayden Daugherty, who like Plunk is from Oklahoma, threw eight innings for the W, allowing four hits and striking out eight.
Sunday the Broncs rallied from a 9-5 deficit to take a 12-9 triumph over the Valley foe Scorpions, with Bivone going 3 for 4 and catcher Mike McCarthy out of Vermont adding a home run.
Last year the Broncs just were 14-41 under first-year coach Manny Mantrana, so this 4-0 start may be the ticket for some momentum. They traveled to Austin Tuesday to play the Longhorns at Disch-Falk Field and then will be back for a dozen games at home from March 5 to March 20. Local ball fans will get a look at Louisiana Tech, Notre Dame, and Stephen F. Austin against the Broncs.
This year’s team includes former Edinburg stars Josh Silva (North) David Fasci (finished at EHS) and Austin Casas (EHS).