EDINBURG — It’s the third round of the University Interscholastic League boys basketball playoffs and two of the Valley’s own — Edinburg Vela and Los Fresnos — will compete against one another to advance to the fourth round.
With a large crowd expected, Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg is set to host the Region IV-6A regional quarterfinals between the Edinburg Vela SaberCats and Los Fresnos Falcons at 7 tonight. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Students from each school receive free admission with a valid student ID. General admission tickets are $5, while floor tickets are $15. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting BertOgdenArena.com or in-person at the Bert Ogden Arena box office.
On Friday, Bert Ogden Arena hosted a second-round playoff game between McAllen Rowe and Weslaco High. Now, it’s the SaberCats (22-16, 11-1) and Falcons’ (32-3, 10-0) who will play on the RGV Vipers’ home court.
Vela earned its way to regional quarters with a 61-58 overtime win against Laredo Nixon, while Los Fresnos managed a 48-45 win over Laredo Alexander.
The two played earlier this season in the Los Fresnos tournament with the Falcons edging out the SaberCats in a 56-54 win.
For Rowe’s three seniors — Josiah Alonzo, Darrin Everage Jr. and John Galan— their final year has been one to remember.
The Warriors captured their fourth consecutive district championship. And for the first time in four years, they have advanced to the third round of the postseason.
They’re determined to keep this run alive.
“I love being a part of this program since I was a freshman. Now I’m a senior and I’ve loved every bit of it. We’re four-time district champs, but we’re hungry for more. We’re always hungry for more,” Galan said.
Rowe recorded a 59-45 second-round win over Weslaco High at Bert Ogden Arena to punch their ticket to Region IV-6A regional quarterfinals, setting up a matchup against Laredo United.
With 12 underclassmen on the 15-man roster, Everage Jr. and the other seniors have led the way on the court and in the locker room, which has resulted in back-to-back double-digit wins this postseason.
“As the seasons come along, we’ve acclimated them to the atmosphere and we just created culture here with a real togetherness between us. It’s been a lot of fun playing with these guys, and we’re looking forward to continuing that tomorrow,” he said.
Rowe and United will tip things off at 8 tonight at H.M. King High School in Kingsville.
Last season, the Diamondbacks season was brought to an end in the second round of the playoffs at the hands of Corpus Christi Miller.
This year, Pioneer returned the favor.
The Diamondbacks (29-7, 14-0) made history by advancing to the third round of the playoffs with an emphatic 88-57 area-round victory over Miller on Friday. Leading 45-37 at the half, Pioneer upped the intensity to outscore the Buccaneers 43-20 during the third and fourth quarters. The Diamondbacks have now won their first two playoff games by a combined score of 173-114.
Now, Sharyland Pioneer shifts its focus to a Corpus Christi Veterans squad, which split its season series 1-1 against Miller, the team the Diamondbacks just defeated.
C.C. Veterans (30-9, 12-4) beat Brownsville Veterans in the area round, but lost to the Chargers earlier this year 80-75, while also losing to Edinburg North by 15 points during the La Joya tournament in November.
Tip-off between the Diamondbacks and C.C. Veterans is set for 7:30 p.m. at La Feria High School.
Former owner of the Oakland Raiders Al Davis helped popularize the phrase “just win, baby” while the Raiders were in their heyday.
This postseason, the Hidalgo Pirates (27-9, 13-1) have been doing precisely that.
In the first round, the Pirates pulled off a 56-55 overtime win against West Oso. Hidalgo followed that up with a 50-47 victory over Gonzales in Round 2, displaying its ability to win a close one. Ugly or pretty, the only thing that matters is the win for Hidalgo, which is faced with a Region IV-4A regional quarterfinals game against La Vernia (23-13, 9-3).
For Gus Sanchez, he wants to go out as one of the best teams to ever lace them up at Hidalgo.
“I want to remember my senior year by taking it the farthest Hidalgo has ever gone,” the senior point guard said earlier this season.
The Pirates continue their run at 7 tonight when they take on La Vernia at Alice High School.