PHARR—Harlingen High’s junior combo of Alyssa Cervantes and Taegan Dickey proved to be too much for PSJA North on Monday night.
Cervantes scored the first five points of the evening and set the tone for the contest as the Lady Cards used a strong, complete effort to breeze past the Lady Raiders 66-41 in a Class 6A bi-district playoff game.
The Lady Cards will now await the winner between McAllen Memorial and South San Antonio in the area round later this week.
The Lady Cardinals executed on all phases and put forth their best team performance of the season.
“The bottom line is the girls went out there and played for each other,” said Harlingen coach Ashley Moncivaiz. “They had great ball movement, they blocked out and just got it done on both ends of the court. One of the things we lacked earlier in the year was we didn’t play a complete game, but tonight the girls played a complete game.”
Three Lady Cards finished in double figures. Senior Nadia Flores had 12 points, Dickey netted 14 and Cervantes poured in a game high 21 points.
“I knew I had to come out and play strong, and help my team in any way,” Cervantes said. “Tonight we played together as one and we knew we needed a strong start and we got one. Coach (Moncivaiz) wanted us to finish the second half just as strong. She and the coaches did a great job on preparing us all week.”
Harlingen outmuscled PSJA North inside and won each quarter. Cervantes got the offense rolling by scoring seven of the 11 points Harlingen scored in the opening period. The Lady Cards led at the half 27-11.
“Both Alyssa and Taegan were huge tonight,” Moncivaiz said. “They had big nights for us and other girls stepped in and contributed. We know Alyssa can shoot and tonight she played big for us. It was her night.”
Harlingen’s monster quarter came in the third period when the Lady Cards outscored the Lady Raiders 24-9. The offensive onslaught put the game out of reach 51-20 midway through the third period.
Moncivaiz, who is in her fourth year at the Lady Cards’ wheel, won her fourth bi-district title. The Lady Cards will now look to get past the area round for a second time under Moncivaiz. The last time the Lady Red Birds reached the third round was in during the 2015-16 season.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win a playoff game but we always want to win the next one, that is the bottom line,” Moncivaiz said. “That’s why we keep playing and work on getting better. It’s an amazing feeling and it’s also humbling to do with this group of girls.”