HARLINGEN — Friday night’s game between Los Fresnos and Harlingen South featured a tale of two teams.
One was looking to stay unbeaten in District 32-6A play while the other was hoping to break out of a slump.
With a playoff-like atmosphere, Los Fresnos (7-0) put a stamp on the first half of district play with a 49-37 win over Harlingen South.
“I want to say this district is the toughest in the Valley,” said Falcons coach Marco Hinojosa. “Every night you need to come ready to play. It’s always hard to beat the same team twice. Seven games is seven games and a lot can happen.”
The Falcons, who are currently ranked the top team in the Valley, displayed their athleticism and veteran leadership.
Gabe Martinez led the Falcons offense with a game high 17 points and used a strong fourth quarter to help put the contest on ice.
“This is a senior ball club and we have a lot of experience,” Hinojosa said. “The kids have played a lot of ball together and it shows. Basketball is a game of runs. They (South) made a run in the first half, we made a run in the second half and we just made the final run to put the game away. Coach (Brian) Molina is a great coach and he always has his kids ready to play.”
Throughout the night, both South and Los Fresnos answered each other’s shots. Andrew Carrizales hit a three pointer to give the Falcons a 34-28 lead early in the fourth quarter.
South continued to battle back and cut into the lead, but late turnovers eventually doomed the Hawks in the final minutes.
After a 4-0 start in district play, the Hawks have dropped their last three games and now find themselves at a crossroads at the midway point. They are currently in fourth place and remain a game up on Weslaco, which is 3-4. The Hawks will begin the second half of league play with a road game at Brownsville Hanna on Tuesday.
“I told the kids that the first round is over. We go back to a 0-0 record,” said Hawks coach Brian Molina. “We need to start the way we did in the first half, but need to finish strong down the stretch.
“There is still plenty of basketball to be played and this district is very competitive. I thought our boys played a good game, but you can’t give any extra shots to a team like Los Fresnos. Credit to them, they got stops and made shots when they needed to.”
Aaron Briones finished with a team high 15 points while Chanz Love netted 12 points in the loss.