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As soon as the final buzzer sounded last Tuesday following their loss to Sharyland, Mission’s Rene Garza’s focus immediately turned from his own Mission team to Dan Morales’ La Joya squad. If the Lady Coyotes had lost then the Lady Eagles still had a shot at the postseason.

Luckily, La Joya did indeed lose and now the two teams are tied for the final fourth spot. As a result, Mission and La Joya are competing in a play-in game tonight at Mission High School.

Ironically, the two teams played just a week ago, with the Lady Eagles winning by one, 40-39. With their loss to McHi on Tuesday, the Lady Coyotes have now dropped two straight and are 4-3 since the second half of district play started just less than a month ago. Mission, on the other hand, is 5-2, only losing to Nikki Rowe and Sharyland.

Despite losing the last two—by a combined total of three points—Morales feels his team is ready for tonight.

“We are feeling great. [Our] confidence is not an issue.”

The key for the game, says Morales, is that his squad is aggressive on offense and defense. In the last two losses, the Lady Coyotes “had some mental breakdowns” that the coach says have since been corrected.

Of course Mission is hoping for La Joya’s struggles to continue. Point guard Alejandra Cedillo has been the Lady Eagles’ leader in running the offense and making plays. In these last seven games Cedillo has averaged just less than 14 points a game.

“[We need to] make sure she doesn’t get any open looks,” says Morales of his team’s overall strategy of guarding the Eagle star.

On La Joya’s side, there are plenty of guards capable of athletically competing with Cedillo. Point guard Elva Hinojosa and guard Karla Trevino have the defensive skills to stop the Eagles.

Tonight’s game winner will move on to bi-district where they will face Laredo Alexander, the number-one seed from District 29-5A.

The game tonight begins at 6 p.m.

Other Games-Boys

Nikki Rowe at Mission: The Warriors are needing to rebound from their third district loss.

Sharyland at La Joya: A win tonight will secure the Rattlers as the District 30-5A Champs!

Palmview at McHi: The last time these two teams met, the Lobos were on fire and sent the Bulldogs home after a 58-37 shellacking. If the Lobos can win tonight they will officially clinch a postseason berth and disqualify McHi.

Brownsville Veterans Memorial at Veterans Memorial: The Chargers are the surprise team of District 32-4A and are looking to solidify themselves as the third seed. The Patriots, on the other hand, are out of contention and are playing for pride.

Roma at Juarez-Lincoln: A must win tonight against the district’s top team. Not going to be easy considering the Gladiators are undefeated in district play.

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