Lady Hawks host Lady Cardinals tonight in high-stakes affair

HARLINGEN — When the Harlingen South Lady Hawks host the Harlingen Lady Cardinals at 6 p.m. today for the second time this season, one can rest assure that both teams will be prepared.

Prepared for a playoff-like atmosphere, prepared for the hype, and, most of all, prepared for each other.

WHAT’S AT STAKE: Going into today’s District 32-6A matchup, both teams, along with Weslaco High, enter with identical 6-1 league records.

The Lady Cardinals enter the contest on a six-game win streak that stretches back to Dec 16. But the last team the Lady Cards lost to is the same opponent they face tonight— Harlingen South.

With the three-way tie for first place, every game from here on out is a must-win for Harlingen, Harlingen South and Weslaco.

MOTIVATION: Two different teams, means two different motivational forces.

The Lady Cards are looking for some payback after a 55-49 home loss to the Lady Hawks in the district opener.

The Lady Hawks, on the other hand, will be looking for the series sweep.

“When it comes to the Bird Bowl, that’s their motivation right there,” said Harlingen South head coach Kelly Garrett. “I don’t think this group of seniors had ever beat Harlingen.”

Should the Lady Hawks win tonight, it will be their first district sweep over the Lady Cardinals since the 2012-2013 season. Since then, Harlingen has dominated the series, winning a perfect six-out-six games between the two.

Meanwhile, South’s only loss in district this season has been to Weslaco earlier this month. Tonight, the Lady Hawks get another chance to prove how far they’ve come since then.

“Since that game I think our defense has picked up,” Garrett said. “We’re playing more confident, better and smarter. And, honestly, I think that’s our thing right now.

“We just need to play our game,” continued Garrett. “The girls are confident. They’re not over confident and they know the last time we played (Harlingen) it was a tough game, and we played well. We finished plays and now we just have to do the same thing.”