Lady Cardinals clinch postseason spot with 46-32 win over Los Fresnos

HARLINGEN — Harlingen’s Alyssa Cervantes scored a game high 14 points as the Lady Cardinals powered past a struggling Los Fresnos team to clinch a postseason spot with a 46-32 victory Tuesday evening at the Lady Cardinals gymnasium.

The 14-point win over the Lady Falcons kept Harlingen (10-2) in second place in District 32-6A along with San Benito and a game behind District 32-6A leader Weslaco (11-1) with just two district games remaining (Brownsville Hanna, San Benito).

“We played very well together as a team and we had good ball movement after starting off slow,” said Harlingen head coach Ashley Moncivaiz. “What I liked was that I saw us working together because other people stepped up. Tonight I felt like Bianca Rodriguez stepped it up by hitting some key shots when they needed to be hit and that got us over that hump.

“Overall as a team, everybody is picking up as a team as they’re supposed to because this is the time when we need to get more efficient and playing well together.”

Despite coming out of the gate on a 5-0 run, the Lady Cardinals’ offense sputtered a bit in the first period. Missed shots mixed with a couple of empty possessions allowed the Lady falcons to stay with Harlingen for a 13-9 first-quarter lead.

After scoring seven points in the first period, Cervantes started the second the same way she started the first and added a quick five points as the Lady Cardinals began to gain some breathing room with a 20-9 lead.

The Lady Cardinals added 16 points to the scoreboard in the second quarter while allowing just eight.

“Alyssa is able to score inside and outside,” said Moncivaiz. “She didn’t have her shot from beyond the arc last season, but this year you can see the improvements and she trusts her shot. When she sees that she is open she is going to take it and that is a good thing about her. People have to guard her, they can’t leave her open, and she did very well getting us into a grove and helped us set the tone.”

In the third quarter the Lady Cards kept their foot on the gas and came out on fire letting the three-pointers fly connecting on three back-to-back threes as Harlingen’s Bianca Rodriguez nailed two consecutive shots, and senior Nadia Flores added another.

However, the Lady Falcons answered right back to keep the contest close at 40-26 heading into the fourth.

The loss dropped Los Fresnos to 7-5 on the season with just Brownsville Rivera and Weslaco remaining on the schedule.

For the Lady Falcons Britney Ruiz scored a team high 10 points, Jasmin Garcia added eight and Ari Gallardo contributed six.