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For the second year in a row the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies are fighting for a playoff spot. Last year’s basketball team competed hard but still fell two places short of a playoff spot in District 32-4A. The one team ahead of them was Rio Grande City, tonight’s opponent a year later.

At just 2-6, the Rattlers’ chance of a postseason appearance is all but out of reach. However, for the Huskies every game counts, including tonights.  Currently tied for fourth but in a dead heat race with Edcouch-Elsa and Brownsville Veterans Memorial, Juarez is forced to beat the teams it is supposed to while pulling an upset here and there.

For the most part Eric Montalvo’s team has been able to do that. Led by players such as Jesus Salinas and Juan Andrade, Juarez has attained big wins such as their district opener at Weslaco East, a home victory over Hidalgo and double overtime victory at Mercedes. In addition, they have taken down the weaker teams such as Valley View. Of course, at 4-4 in district, J-L has given up some wins, including Veterans Memorial, Edcouch-Elsa, Brownsville Veterans Memorial and Roma, the district’s top team.

Thus tonight has the feeling of a must-win situation. The Rattlers are certainly beatable and Juarez needs that win to remain competitive in the race.

Other Games-Boys

Sharyland at Mission: The Rattlers are coming off an emotional win over Memorial last Tuesday, continuing a three-game win streak. The team is perhaps playing its best basketball of the season behind the Pistokache brothers and the deep bench. Shary will need to carry the momentum gained into tonight’s game against an Eagle squad who is playing more and more competitively lately.

La Joya at McHi: La Joya coach Rick Cantu’s team is currently .500 in district play and in a statistical tie for the fourth spot with Memorial and Palmview. A win tonight will not be easy but would do wonders for the Coyotes’ confidence and playoff probability.

Donna at Palmview: The Lobos need a game like this after facing perhaps the district’s two top teams in Sharyland and Nikki Rowe. Palmview struggled versus Shary but competed much better against Rowe. Despite all that, Donna should not be overlooked.

Veterans Memorial at Edcouch-Elsa: The psyche of the Patriots is got to be a question after losing four straight times. Tonight’s matchup does not get any easier in a tough road game with the Yellow Jackets. A win would be huge and be great preparation for a run in with Hidalgo. Not to mention it would help Juarez-Lincoln out.

Other Games-Girls

Sharyland at Mission: The Lady Eagles suffered a heartbreaking three point loss to La Joya on Tuesday and, unfortunately, it doesn’t get easier tonight. The Lady Rattlers have been playing really well lately. Despite the loss to the Coyotes, the two are still competing each Friday and Tuesday as the two teams will likely be the final candidates for the fourth playoff spot.

La Joya at McHi: The good news for Mission is La Joya faces a tough road visit. A win tonight combined with a Mission loss would give La Joya some firm ground to stand on.

Donna at Palmview: This is the battle of ‘beatens. Both the Lady Redskins and the Lady Lobos have yet to win a district game. That will change tonight.

Veterans Memorial at Edcouch-Elsa: With the district’s top team Hidalgo just around the corner, tonight could be a trap game for the Lady Patriots. Add in the fact the Lady Jackets really need a win to move up in the standings and this game gets even bigger.

Rio Grande City at Juarez-Lincoln: Tonight is a great opportunity for a struggling Juarez team to get a much needed win.

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