Rio Hondo Bobcats on the brink of a playoff berth

RIO HONDO — The second half of the 2017-18 high school basketball season has been quite the turnaround for the Rio Hondo Bobcats.

After a slow start to district play, the Cats have now won four straight and five of its last six to become playoff contenders.

“Our main focus is to finish the season strong,” said Bobcats coach Mike Alvarez. “We’re riding a four-game win streak and it would be a great confidence booster for these boys to finish off the season on a six-game win streak to end the regular season. Right now our mentality is to take it one game at a time.”

During their winning streak, the Bobcats have wins against Zapata, La Feria, Progreso and Port Isabel.

“The intensity and the attention to detail is there along with the 50-50 balls and kids fighting for rebounds and limiting our turnovers,” said Alvarez. “Those have been some key things to winning our last four games. Those small things are what make the difference. We know in this game it’s about runs and I tell the kids if we can finish with a run before the half and at the end of the game we will be in good shape.”

Senior point guard Oscar Caballero is looking to keep the win streak going and hopes to clinch a playoff berth. Against the Tarpons in their last meeting, Caballero netted 17 points in the win.

“It feels great to get some wins together,” Caballero said. “We never gave up on the season, we kept working hard and our minds are focused on basketball. We’re taking our practices more serious and we encourage each other. In our games we have been playing better defense and have been playing as one.”

On Friday, the Bobcats are at Raymondville and a win along with a La Feria loss would clinch the Cats the fourth spot in District 32-4A.