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MISSION -- Coming into tonight’s matchup between Juarez-Lincoln and Veterans Memorial, it was the Huskies who garnered all the talk in District 32-4A. It was the Huskies who were defying the odds and working their way to their school’s first playoff berth. Meanwhile, the Patriots, having lost five of its last six, were a sinking ship with hardly a chance for recovery. However, the Patriots quieted their critics last night by thumping the Huskies, 62-45. Now they can say they have won two of their last three.

“[We] showed a lot of resiliency tonight,” said Vets head coach Romeo De La Garza following the game.

After only up by four at the half, 25-21, Veterans Memorial came out of the second half punching. The Patriots’ top scorer on the season, Joshua Villarreal, used his quick dribble and smooth shooting to drive and attack more on offense, scoring Veterans’ first four points. When Juarez began to collapse on his drives, Villarreal found open teammates. The biggest beneficiary of these was Santos Villarreal who scored 25 points on the night, ten of them coming in the third quarter.

“[Santos] had a tremendous game tonight,” De La Garza noted. “That is what we expect of him. He is very capable of doing that every night.”

Defensively the Patriots played well, holding their normally well shooting opponent to just four three-pointers the entire game. Two of those came in the fourth when the game was already out of reach. Also hurting for Juarez were missed free throws.

The win is big for the Patriots. If Juarez would have won they would have built a two-game lead on Veterans. Now, not only does the win put De La Garza’s squad within striking distance of the Huskies but they also will have the tiebreaker since they have now swept Juarez.

“We got to start doing some things with a sense of urgency. We have to take care of our business. If we do that we will be in great shape.”

The Patriots have a good shot to continue their win streak and build their momentum when they take on Mercedes and Valley View next week. The two opponents are in the bottom three of the district.

Game MVP: Santos Villarreal was spectacular, leading the team in scoring with his 25 points. Perhaps in what was the play of the game, Santos got a steal in the last minute of the third quarter, took it straight to his own basket, spun off a defender and laid in off the glass despite being fouled.

Other Games-Boys

Nikki Rowe 80 La Joya 42: Despite the huge loss, the Coyotes are still only two games behind McHi and Memorial.

Palmview 49 Memorial 47: A very big win for the Lobos. The victory positions Palmview alone in the third place, a game ahead of the Mustangs and McHi.

Sharyland 68 McHi 42: The Bulldogs are quickly falling apart, dropping their past two games by large margins. The Rattlers on the other hand are on a six-game tear. Tuesday’s game with Nikki Rowe should be epic.

Mission at Donna: TBA

Other Games-Girls

Veterans Memorial 53 Juarez-Lincoln 21: The Lady Patriots responded to their Tuesday night loss to Hidalgo in a big way, taking down the Lady Huskies.

Nikki Rowe 57 La Joya 52: Despite the loss the Lady Coyotes are still a game ahead of fifth placed Mission.

Memorial 42 Palmview 27: The Lady Lobos put up a valiant effort but still came short against the Lady Mustangs.

Sharyland 31 McHi 25: The Lady Rattlers needed this win after losing a heartbreaker to La Joya on Tuesday. The win gives Shary a season sweep of McHi and thus alone in second place. On Tuesday the team can position itself in a tie for first with a win over Nikki Rowe.

Mission at Donna: TBA
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