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20120302-Palmview-ANDY-SAENZAnother Big Six basketball season has come and gone, leaving in its path the memories of a district championship, the rise of a new playoff contender, thrilling overtime victories, late season comeback and heroic defeats.

To honor the concluding season, the Progress Times Sports Page recognizes the top coaches and players from the Big Six schools. The recognition comes via the on court performances, giving honors to the boys and girls coach of the year, player of the year and first and second teams.

Big Six Boys
Coach of the Year:
Andy Saenz, PHS

The second year coach turned around a district cellar dweller and took them to never before seen heights, winning 24 games and finishing fourth in district play. Saenz also competed well with the district’s traditional powerhouse teams, sweeping McHi and splitting with Memorial. The coach worked his boys hard during the offseason and it paid off as Mario De La Garza, Dominick Garza and the rest of the team helped make basketball relevant at Palmview.

Big Six Boys
Player of the Year:
Quino Pistokache, SHS

20120302-Sharyland_Quino-PistokacheThe older Pistokache didn’t lead his team in scoring—that honor was bestowed on his freshman brother Jesse—but there was no doubt the senior was the team leader, keeping the team in shape during the offseason and propelling the team to victory during the season. The senior averaged 12.6 points per game as well as 4.3 rebounds per game and 1.8 steals a game.

Big Six Boys First Team

Mario De La Garza - PHS
Dominic Garza - PHS
Jesse Pistokache - SHS
Joshua Villarreal - VMHS
Jesus Salinas - JLHS
Peter Arizpe - MHS

Big Six Boys Second Team

Hector Gallegos - PHS
John Madrigal - SHS
Eduardo Garcia - SHS
Santos Villarreal - VMHS
Victor Contreras - LJHS
Mario Tamez - LJHS

Big Six Girls
Coach of the Year:
Ralph Cantu, VHMS

The girls basketball program at Veterans Memorial has known no coach other than Ralph Cantu. Not coincidentally, Cantu and his program has only known success and this past year was no different. Cantu led his team to runner-up finish in District 32-4A, as well as a bi-district appearance. Cantu employed Kassy Lopez and Briana Casas to lead his team and to achieve another successful season.

Big Six Girls
Player of the Year: Clarissa Suarez, SHS

20120302-Sharyland-Girls-Clarissa-SuarezSuarez was outstanding for the Lady Rattlers, leading her squad to a bi-district victory as well as a second-place finish in District 30-5A play. The senior had a great jump shot, played solid defense and was the team go-to player. In the losing effort against Harlingen in this year’s area round, Suarez scored 15 points, had three steals in the fourth quarter in her team’s near comeback win.

Big Six Girls First Team

Monica Salinas - SHS
Elva Hinojosa - LJHS
Karla Trevino - LJHS
Alexandria Cedillo - MHS
Kassy Lopez - VMHS
Briana Casas - VHMS

Big Six Girls Second Team

Laura Eberly - SHS
Savannah Prichard - SHS
Leyla Platas - LJHS
Carolee Lopez - MHS
Gaby Rodriguez PHS
Maria De Alejandro - JLHS

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