Cards and Hawks set to clash in pivotal district match

HARLINGEN — The back half of the first round of league play has arrived and so far District 32-6A has not disappointed as one of the top conferences in the Valley.

On Tuesday another chapter of the Bird Bowl will be written when Harlingen South visits Harlingen High at 7:30 p.m. Both teams enter the contest with 4-1 district records and remain a game back of Los Fresnos, which is in first place at 5-0. Last season Harlingen South swept the series against Harlingen.

After a 2-0 start in district play, Harlingen fell to Los Fresnos in what was the Cards’ worse loss of the season. Since then, the Cards have picked up back-to-back wins in convincing fashion.

The Cards are led by junior point guard Michael Arellano along with seniors Matthew Sesler, who provides a presence inside, and Jeremy Vasquez, who has also provided a steady hand.

“They’re an exciting team to watch,” said Harlingen coach Greg Yates of the Hawks. “We have watched them and when they’re knocking down those threes, they’re as good as anyone in the Valley.”

Harlingen South is coming off a 54-40 loss to Brownsville Rivera on Friday. The Hawks are now in a rough stretch where they meet Harlingen and Los Fresnos in the same week.

The Hawks are fueled by point guard Aaron Briones, and sharpshooters Grant Lowery and Sean Turrubiates.

“Playing in a crosstown rivalry is always big,” said Hawks coach Brian Molina. “We’re looking forward to a fun and exciting matchup against a very good Harlingen team. Coach Yates has done a great job of preparing his team and they’re an experienced team.”