LA JOYA — Thirty-two teams from across the state are battling on the hardwood at the second annual La Joya Packs’ South Texas Shootout Basketball Tournament, and it’s drawing some big names down to the Rio Grande Valley.

Tradition-rich RGV programs like Weslaco High, Edinburg Vela and Edcouch-Elsa all have fared well through Day 2 of the tourney, but teams like Austin Westlake, Katy Seven Lakes and a San Antonio Cornerstone team coached by former San Antonio Spurs player Bruce Bowen are also showing out in La Joya.

Coyotes head coach Eric Montalvo said the tournament has turned into one of the best South Texas has to offer.

“It gets awesome, you know? We have great support from our administration to host it. It’s about finding different competition to play against to make us better. We want to just make it as big as we can and promote our district in a positive way,” Montalvo said.

La Joya High, La Joya Palmview, La Joya Juarez-Lincoln and La Joya’s STEM Campus were all host sites for pool play between the 32 teams entered in the tournament.

The Coyotes went 2-1 in pool play with an 82-48 win over Brownsville Porter on Friday and an 86-34 victory, earning a fourth game against Bowen and his San Antonio Cornerstone squad.

“It’s a challenge, but like we talk about, life is full of challenges and we want to come out here and try our best and play against bigger opponents, very skillful players, but it’s a challenge we look forward to,” Montalvo said.

In the eight pools, Weslaco High, Eagle Pass, Edcouch-Elsa, Corpus Christi Veterans, Katy Seven Lakes, Austin Westlake, Laredo Alexander and Edinburg Vela emerged as the top dogs by going unbeaten in pool play on Thursday and Friday.

Those teams will square off for a place in the Platinum Championship Bracket set to tip-off Saturday at La Joya High School.

The championship game of the second annual La Joya Packs’ South Texas Shootout Basketball Tournament is set for 6:30 tonight at La Joya High School.

bramos@themonitor.com