HARLINGEN — If you happen to be a Weslaco Lady Panthers fan, there’s plenty to be happy about right now.
As Weslaco High head coach Griselda Fino said after Tuesday’s game against Harlingen South, “The true character of the team is always the way you respond after you make a mistake.”
And when Harlingen South Lady Hawks star freshman Karla Reyes nailed a three pointer to tie the game at 8-8 with 3:55 in the first period, the Lady Panthers knew instantly they had made a mistake.
They had squandered an 8-2 lead and South had the momentum.
However, Weslaco’s Briana Pena quickly amended that problem by scoring 11 of her game-high 19 points in the first quarter as the junior led the Lady Panthers to a 55-33 victory over the Lady Hawks.
“As far I’m concerned, I am really happy in the direction that we’re moving,” said Fino. “Improving is the key right now, playing good basketball is key and I think were getting there.”
For the Lady Panthers (11-1 district), the victory was the team’s 10th consecutive win and assured them at the very least a playoff spot with San Benito and Los Fresnos remaining on the schedule.
Meanwhile, the loss was the second consecutive for the Lady Hawks and dropped the team to 8-4 with only Weslaco East and BrownsvilleRivera left in the regular season.
The loss put the Lady Hawks even with the San Benito Lady Greyhounds, who defeated Brownsville Hanna on Tuesday. The two are tied for third place. Meanwhile, Weslaco maintained its one-game lead over Harlingen High, which is10-2 after defeating Los Fresnos 51-48 in OT.
After the initial 8-8 tie, the Lady Panthers went on an impressive 13-5 run to finish the first period up 21-13.
The second quarter wasn’t much better for the Lady Hawks as Weslaco’s Andrea Villegas and Emily Saenz each stepped up to the free-throw line and added to the lead.
Laura Ramirez and teammate Carmen Del Angel each scored a bucket a piece for Harlingen South, however Weslaco went on a 12-4 run to take a 33-17 lead into the half.
The Lady Panthers added to the Lady Hawks’ woes in the third as they went on 9-2 scoring spurt to put the game at 42-19.