Lady Cardinals down PSJA Memorial to advance to area round

HARLINGEN — It wasn’t the prettiest game the Harlingen Lady Cardinals have played this season, but it defined the type of growing pains the young and inexperienced Lady Cardinals have had this year.

Harlingen’s Andrea Cortez scored a team-high 12 points as the Lady Cardinals defeated PSJA Memorial 48-37 Tuesday night in a Class 6A bi-district playoff game.

Meanwhile, Nadia Flores scored 11 points, Julie Ann Garza contributed nine points and Taegan Dickey added eight.

“She’s the type of player I adore for being a 5-2 or 5-3 girl that plays inside and goes up against the biggest or the smallest players and is fearless,” said Harlingen head coach Ashley Moncivaiz of Cortez. “She has a lot of heart for the team and doesn’t care what she has to do. She may not score some games, but she gives it her all.”

After a seesaw first quarter that saw the Lady Cardinals take an early 13-9 lead, the Lady Wolverines never let the lead get out of hand and always stayed within striking distance.

After going into the half trailing 25-18, PSJA Memorial’s Alexandria Soto nailed a three pointer and capped 10-4 run that brought the Lady Wolverines to within one point. Soto finished the game with seven points, while Monique Deleon had a game-high 20.

However, Memorial’s scoring run was short lived and Harlingen quickly responded with an 8-0 run of their own keeping the Lady Wolves at bay.

As Harlingen coach Moncivaiz pointed out after the game: “When we play together, we pass, shoot and make easy baskets. But when we don’t, that’s when we turn over the ball and make mistakes.”

On Friday, the Lady Cardinals will take on a new challenge when they play 18th-ranked Laredo Alexander on Friday at the Corpus Christi Carroll. Only two players on the Lady Cards’ roster have experience playing in an area-round match.

“Bottom line we have to leave it all on the court because we’re going to be the underdogs so we have to go in there and compete and fight,” Moncivaiz said.