After a 9-5 upset against Zapata on April 8, the Port Isabel Tarpons knew their shot at winning the District 32-4A title was going to be tough, especially since the Hidalgo Pirates were red hot.
After dropping their season opener to Rio Hondo, the Bucs went on to win seven in a row by April 8, including an 8-5 win over the Tarpons on March 24, to improve to 7-1 in league play – a game ahead of PI, which had fallen to 6-2 after the Zapata loss.
But the gritty, never-take-no-for-an-answer Tarps shrugged off the setback and went on to win their last six games, including an 8-4 victory over Hidalgo on April 22 that put them in a two-way tie for the district lead.
On Friday night, the Tarpons closed out the regular season with an easy 11-1 win over La Feria to clinch a share of the 32-4A crown along with Hidalgo, which beat Grulla 9-3. This is Port Isabel’s first league championship since 2005 when they shared the title with Valley View.
“It’s been awhile (since we won district),” Port Isabel coach Robert Holland told the Brownsville Herald after Friday night’s win.
“It feels good, especially for the kids, they had a lot of pressure. But they put that on themselves, they knew they were good and we knew they were good. We’ve played good ball all year long. They work hard, I’m happy for them.”
More good news came on Saturday after the Tarpons won the coin flip with Hidaglo to become the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. As the top seed out of 32-4A, the Tarps will now face District 31-4A No. 4 seed Kingsville in the bi-district round later this week.
Coach Holland said the details for the opening-round series would be determined by Monday.
FALCONS’ PAIRING SET: The Los Fresnos Falcons, who finished as the No. 2 seed out of District 32-6A, will take on Weslaco High in their opening-round playoff series beginning Friday.
Game 1 of the best-of-three series is at 7 p.m. Friday at Los Fresnos. The series then shifts to Weslaco for games 2 and 3, if necessary. Game 2 gets underway at 1 p.m. and Game 3, if needed, will begin 30 minutes afterward.
CHANGE OF PLANS: The start of the San Benito Greyhounds vs. Edinburg High Bobcats bi-district series was moved back a day due to STAAR testing this week.
The series was originally scheduled to begin on Thursday at Edinburg. Now, however, things will get underway at 7 p.m. on Friday at San Benito.
The series then shifts to Edinburg on Saturday with Game 2 set for 11 a.m. and Game 3, if necessary, 30 minutes afterward.