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PALMVIEW – The McHi Bulldogs brought their storied history, their 4-1 district record and a two-game win streak into the gym at Palmview High School Tuesday night but left with a 58-37 beating at the hands of the Lobos.
“I am thankful the basketball gods were looking down on us and helped us out,” said Lobo head coach Andy Saenz. “This is a big win for the program.”
Just yesterday the coach was saying it was not a question of whether his team could physically and athletically matchup with their opponents but if they could mentally stay with the district’s top teams. They did that and more as Palmview recovered from being down one point at the end of the first quarter, to scoring 28 points in the second and holding the Bulldogs to just four.
“We had some guys that haven’t shot a great percentage [in the past couple games],” Saenz explained. “They hit tonight and we were due. That just comes with practice and repetition. Most importantly they never lost their confidence.”
No question the confidence was there as Mario De La Garza scored 9 points in the quarter and was assisted by big baskets from Dominick Garza and Jaime Garza. So hot were the Lobos that they scored the quarters first thirteen points, keeping McHi from scoring until the 4:25 mark of the second. And even after that rare point the purple and gold only scored two more.
One of the keys to the first half was Palmview’s defensive effort that contested nearly every McHi shot. Further, the team kept the poor-shooting Bulldogs from any second chance points.
After halftime, the question was whether Palmview would hold the lead and keep McHi from getting any kind of momentum that would allow them to claw back into it. It was not meant to be as the Lobos nearly built a 30-point lead when Danny Rios got and steal and laid it in easily to extend the margin to 44-15.
Saenz concluded part of the Bulldogs’ problem was their inability to make shots that normally go in. However, all night the opponent looked slow, frustrated and were even constantly running into each other. It was a dominating performance.
“I think we played decent defense but [McHi] usually hits more shots than they did tonight. Hopefully that is a good omen of things to come [and]…will propel us in the next game.”
The next game is a crucial one as Palmview has Memorial. A win would be huge for the Lobos. Tonight’s win creates a three-way tie for third/fourth with the Mustangs and Bulldogs, so a win on Friday would give Palmview a leg up on the Mustangs.
Game MVP: There were too many great individual performances to name just one player. Mario De La Garza, Dominic Garza, Danny Rios, Armando Gallegos, Jaime Garza, Hector Gallegos and Mark De La Garza were all on fire. Though the team got sloppy at the end, for the most part they made good passes that set up the three. Dominic Garza was great inside.
Sharyland 67 La Joya 40: The Coyotes playoff chances are getting slimmer and slimmer. The Rattlers, meanwhile, are continuing to groove, playing their best ball with McHi and Nikki Rowe on the horizon.
Juarez-Lincoln 59 Weslaco East 49: Huge win for the Huskies, giving them the tiebreaker over the Wildcats as well as separation from them and Veterans Memorial. That gap can stretch even further if Juarez can take down the Patriots this Friday night.
Mission at Nikki Rowe: TBA
McHi 70 Palmview 18: Another tough loss for the Lady Lobos. Gabriella Rodriguez scored eight for her team.
La Joya 58 Sharyland 56: This is a great win for the Lady Coyotes. La Joya continues to separate itself from Mission and are in line for a playoff beat. Wins over the district’s top teams—like Sharyland—is an added bonus. In fact, La Joya is now only a game behind the Lady Rattlers.
Hidalgo 61 Veterans Memorial 48: The nine-game win streak came to an end for the Lady Patriots. Hidalgo clearly demonstrated they are the district’s top team. However, Vets is very likely the second best team but the gap between them and Roma is not much.
Mission at Nikki Rowe: TBA
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.