WESLACO — In a preview of what’s to come in District 32-6A, Harlingen and Harlingen South met up at the Mid-Valley Classic tournament and played for the Gold Championship at the Weslaco East High School on Saturday afternoon.
After a back-and-forth contest that saw the lead change hands many times, the Lady Cardinals were able to pull away in the third period and come out with 52-40 victory.
Harlingen began the tournament on Thursday with a 48-40 loss to Edinburg before beating Mission Veterans 87-52 in their second game of the day. On Friday, the Lady Cards followed with a 69-27 victory over Mercedes and a 75-11 blowout over Brownsville Porter.
After the game, Harlingen head coach Ashley Moncivaiz gave an assessment of her team’s performance throughout the tournament.
“I think we did really well because we were able to see different combinations that they (South) put on the floor,” she said. “We are still working on what route combinations we want, but that’s what it’s about in these tournaments. These tournaments are good because you can kind of see who you can play, but it was good thing for a lot of them to get more experience.”
The Lady Cards had three players in double digits against South. Alyssa Cervantes had a team-high 12 points followed by Andrea Cortez, who contributed 11. Meanwhile, teammate Ariel Leal netted 10 on the night.
The Lady Hawks began the tournament with 50-40 loss to McAllen Memorial before defeating Brownsville Porter 43-29. On Friday, Harlingen South was on the right side of a 50-42 victory against McAllen High and a 57-47 win over Mission Veterans.
South had two players in double digits against Harlingen. Karla Reyes continued to shine for the Lady Hawks as she distributed more than a hand full of no-look passes. Reyes had 11 points on the night and was placed on the all-tournament team. Teammate Cameron Del Angel also had 11 points on the afternoon and was a perfect 5 for 5 from the line.
Both teams will resume competition at the Border Bash tournament next week.
SOUTH’S ROAD TO THE GOLD BRACKET FINAL: As the clock wound down, Harlingen South’s Karla Reyes kept the ball in her hands patiently waiting for the right moment. When that moment arrived, the sophomore effortlessly dribbled past her defender, drove into the box and scored the winning layup to send the Lady Hawks into the gold championship with a 37-35 victory over Tuloso-Midway.
Reyes finished the game with a team-high 12 points.
“I like to have the ball in my strongest ball handlers’ hands and that’s definitely Karla,” said Harlingen South head coach Kelly Garrett. “We wanted to come out and spread the other team out so she can do her thing.”
While the game might have turned out in South’s favor, Tuloso-Midway had the lead with 2:02 remaining in the game. That was the point when Cameron Del Angel stepped up to the free-throw line and sank one bucket to even up the contest at 33-33. Del Angel went 2 for 6 from the charity stripe, but both points came late in the game when South needed them most.
However Tuloso-Midway’s Mackenzie Hermes wasn’t going to let her team lose without a fight as she scored her fifth point of the period to give the Lady Warriors a 35-33 lead. Hermes finished the night with a game-high 20 points in the contest.
Both teams squandered opportunities in the final minutes of the game before South was able to put it away.
“I think we’re improving on things, but still working on aspects of our game,” said Garrett. “I’m getting a lot of girls playing time, so that is good because I have a lot of girls without varsity experience.”