SAN BENITO — The calmness and cool-headed mentality continued to rein over the San Benito Lady Greyhounds even after another impressive performance against Weslaco High.
Down by eight points with two minutes left on the clock against, the selfless play of Miranda Vallejo helped the Lady Hounds complete the season sweep over the Lady Panthers.
As the star senior said about Friday’s win: “It doesn’t have to always be me scoring because as long as my team is doing great that’s all that matters. Down the stretch we knew we had to play harder than what we were. Them having an eight-point lead kind of brought us down, but we regrouped and had more confidence in ourselves so we had to score harder and play harder defense.
“We were rattled a bit because of the intensity of the game, but we knew we had to want it more than they did. Haley (Lopez) has always had a great 3-point shot that we could rely on so when she hit those toward the end of the game it really picked up our momentum.”
Despite picking up another big win over Weslaco, the Lady Hounds will be looking to avoid another let down at Harlingen High on Tuesday in their regular-season finale.
Rewind back to Jan. 9 after beating Weslaco the first time around, San Benito lost the very next game to the Lady Cardinals. The Lady Hounds know everything they want leads back to Harlingen.
“Now that we (San Benito, Harlingen and Weslaco) are all tied for first place, it really just comes down to Tuesday night,” said Vallejo. “We are really going to have to play hard against Harlingen, harder than we played against Weslaco because we have to want it more than them.
“It’s going to be at their house so it is going to be a hostile environment so we just have to play as a team and not give up and not lose confidence.”
Confidence and motivation is something the Lady Hounds have plenty of at the moment. San Benito is currently riding a four-game win streak, but as Vallejo pointed out, their work didn’t just begin when the season did, it started in the summer.
“We have been playing and working hard since the fifth grade so winning a co-district title would be really great for us because of just how much work we have put in over the summer,” said Vallejo. “We were literally in the gym every day in the summer to the point where we had to sacrifice some family stuff but hopefully it all pays off.”
If the Lady Hounds can beat Harlingen on Tuesday, it will be San Benito’s first time since 2011 to win at least a share of the district title and only the second time in the program’s history.
“This is a very hard district and I don’t think I’ve seen a district this hard in a while,” said San Benito head coach Abel Moreno. “In our district four of our teams are in the top 10 (RGV Sports Top 10) and three are in the top five. It’s a district that’s a grind every night so, to a certain extent, it adds more value because there are no nights off.
“Our goals are high regardless of what happens. Even if we win third place our goal is to get to regionals and to the regional semis, and let’s see if we can get into the state tournament. Let’s see what we can do and let’s keep pushing the program, and let’s see how far we can go.”
WHAT’S AT STAKE:
-The winner of Tuesday’s game between San Benito and Harlingen clinches at least a share of the District 32-6A title.
-If Weslaco wins at Los Fresnos on Tuesday, the Lady Panthers win a share of the District 32-6A crown along with the winner between San Benito and Harlingen
-If Los Fresnos beats Weslaco on Tuesday, the winner between San Benito and Harlingen wins the outright league championship.