LOS FRESNOS — Heading into Friday’s contest, both Harlingen South and Los Fresnos had much to prove. The Lady Hawks needed to demonstrate they could rebound after a disappointing loss to Harlingen High on Tuesday and the Lady Falcons needed to show that it could string together some wins.
Fortunately for Harlingen South, the Lady Hawks were able to stave off a late fourth-quarter rally by Los Fresnos and preserved a narrow 46-39 victory.
“Tonight’s win was huge because we needed this win,” said Harlingen South head coach Kelly Garrett. “We didn’t play well Tuesday and I told the girls that after tonight we need to be 1-0 because we need to win out. We can’t afford to lose any game moving forward.
“Overall, I think we did OK. (AriGallardo) for them is a heck of a player and I think (Cecilia Eliserio) did a good job guarding her tonight.”
For Harlingen South (7-2), the victory keeps the Lady Hawks one game behind both Weslaco (8-1) and Harlingen (8-1). Meanwhile, another loss for Los Fresnos (4-5) set them one game behind San Benito (5-4) for fourth place.
After a slow first period where the Lady Hawks led 7-5, Harlingen South picked up its offensive pace and jumped out to a 24-16 lead at the half.
South freshman Laura Ramirez netted eight of her team-high 14 points in the period. Other top scorers on the night for the Lady Hawks were Leah Noe with 11 points, Cameron Del Angel contributed eight and freshman Karla Reyes, who dazzled the crowd with her dribbling abilities, scored nine points and had three assists.
After the halftime break, the Lady Hawks raced out to a 34-21 lead before outscoring the Lady Falcons 38-23 to end the third period. Noe began the fourth period by drilling a three pointer to extend the Lady Hawks’ lead to 18 points at 41-23.
However, midway through the fourth, the Lady Falcons began to rally behind Britney Ruiz and Ari Gallardo and went on an 11-4 run to cut South’s lead to single digits with 1:55 remaining in the game.
Ruiz scored seven of her eight points in the final quarter of the contest. Gallardo finished the game with a game-high 16 points.
Next, Harlingen South hosts Brownsville Hanna before heading to San Benito next Friday. Meanwhile, Los Fresnos welcomes Weslaco East on Tuesday before heading to Brownsville Hanna next weekend.