HARLINGEN — A dejected Aaron Briones looked on from the bench as the McAllen High Bulldogs had three players in double digits and used a 26-4 third quarter scoring run to cruise past the Harlingen South Hawks 70-43 in a Class 6A area-round game on Friday evening.
McHi moves on to the Class 6A regional quarterfinals where they will take on Laredo United, who defeated the Los Fresnos Falcons 69-54. As for the Hawks – their season comes to an end.
“With this being an area-round game and both teams battling it out, Harlingen South came out firing and hit some big shots,” said McAllen High head coach Ryan Flores. “We made a couple of adjustments at halftime defensively to slow them down and it paid off.
“I told the guys we were getting a little stagnate moving the ball and we needed to pick up on defense so we could create something.”
And the Bulldogs did just that.
After Harlingen South’s Grant Lowery hit a mid-range jumper as time expired to tie the game at the half 23-23, McAllen’s defense responded by holding the Hawks to four points the entire third quarter.
The Bulldogs’ Bryan Argil continued his offensive output after the break. Argil scored 11 points in the first quarter before following it up with 10 in third. He finished the night with 23 points.
The Bulldogs took a 49-27 lead into the fourth.
McAllen’s Isayah West capped off his 15-point performance with a thunderous dunk that brought the traveling contingency to their feet in the fourth. After a slow two-point first half, West made his presence felt by scoring 13 points in the second half. Teammate Jaden Conrow added another 11 points on the night.
“We came out with a lot of energy in the third quarter,” said Flores. “At the half I told the guys their shooters are No. 12 (Chance Love) and No. 10 (Grant Lowery). Let’s take our chances and slow them down and see if the other guys can step it up.
“We stepped up our pressure and challenged their shots, because if you allow them to spot-up anywhere they’re going to knock down shots and we couldn’t afford that in the second half.”
For Harlingen South, Love and Lowery kept the home fans on the edge of their seats. Love finished night with a team-high 15 points while Lowery added another 12.