Harlandale continues from where it left off last season
Harlandale’s season ended last year in the Region IV semifinals. That’s seemingly where the Indians have resumed.
The Indians (5-1) reached the championship game of the Harlandale ISD Tournament on Saturday before falling 59-47 to Jay (5-1), whom Harlandale had defeated in pool play. Gavin Ramos led the Indians with 16 points.
Senior Caleb Garcia, as usual, was the Indians’ top scorer with 21 points in a 58-54 win against Highlands (4-1) and 12 in a 46-42 win over Boerne.
All-tournament pick Steven Benitez supplying nine points against Highlands and 10 against Jay, as did Nathanial Espinoza.
“We’re not missing a beat from last year,” Harlandale coach Eric de los Santos said. “Graduation brings change, but the level of intensity and commitment is where we like it.”
Harlandale was ranked No. 20 in the HoopInsider.net Class 5A state poll. The Indians held on when Highlands tied them with about a minute remaining.
“Their team is sound offensively and defensively,” Highlands coach Lorenzo Pena said. “It was a good test for us. It was a close game that could have gone either way.”
Highlands won their first three tournament games, defeating Southwest (2-4) 61-51 and Floresville 88-86 Thursday as well as St. Anthony 57-28 on Nov. 16.
Senior point guard Christopher Pena scored 12 against Harlandale.
“We’re having a good season,” Pena said. “We had a very good group of senior, but juniors Thomas Makey, Brian Curren and Jerome Williams are helping a lot.”
In the opening game for both teams, Southwest received 17 points from senior Vincent Fraga. Jose Casteneda and all-tournament selection Nathan Hernandez contributed nine points apiece.
“Watching Nathan progress has been fun,” Southwest coach Caesar Smith said. “He was the district’s defensive MVP last year. Now he’s displaying offensive skills. He’s come a long way.
“Vincent has been a part of the team’s maturation. He was all-district in his first year on varsity last season. He’s an aggressive scorer and an aggressive defender.”
Hernandez logged 25 points and 24 rebounds in a 57-53 loss to semifinalist Burbank (3-3) on Thursday. Fellow all-tournament selection Manny Arispe led the Bulldogs with 20 points.
Southwest has been without four football players whose season is ongoing.
“For these guys to hang in there and compete as well as they have,” Smith said, “I’m very proud of them.”
Burbank reached the semifinals before losing to Jay 46-42. Freddy Montenegro was another all-tournament choice for the Bulldogs.
Brackenridge (5-0) and Memorial (4-4) were area teams that won four games at the tournament, which took place at San Antonio Christian, Antonian, Castle Hills Christian and Sunnybrook Academy.
Going into its scheduled Nov. 17 game against Lubbock Christian, Brackenridge was undefeated. Unfortunately, that score was not reported.
The Eagles posted a key 71-70 win over Boerne Champion on Thursday. Donyae Suarez led Brackenridge with 26 points. Joshua Guajardo added 14 points).
Memorial, which lost 67-45 at Brackenridge on Nov. 13, won four of its six tournament games. Phillip Lopez led the Minutemen with 13 points in a 70-49 loss to Tyler All-Saints Nov. 16. Michael McGlothlin contributed 12 points.
Lanier (1-5) handed Memorial its other tournament loss, 75-67 on Thursday.