Thursday, December 10, 2009

McAllen Doubleheader Brings Talented Teams from Corpus Christi

CC Moody Lady Trojans vs. McAllen Lady Bulldogs

I had come to McAllen to check out the boys’ game, but to my surprise I enjoyed an exhilarating double header that showcased both Coach Teresa Casso’s and Coach Roy Swift’s Bulldogs versus some very talented athletes from the Corpus Christi area. The first half had the Lady Bulldogs evenly matched against the Lady Trojans. During the second quarter, McAllen was only down by one point, 11-12, and was fighting hard. Corpus Christi began to press relentlessly and caused McHi to commit several turnovers. The first half ended with a score of 19-14 in favor of Moody. After the half, it was all Moody. The Lady Trojans defense allowed the Lady Bulldogs to score only an additional 15 points the entire second half.

Top standouts for the Lady Trojans were (left to right) F Karisa Norfleet (#20), F Kiana Orise (#14), and PG Alyssa Salinas (#1). These three girls stood out because of their athleticism and leadership. I would have never guessed that the Lady Trojans were being led by a freshman. Point guard Alyssa Salinas displayed leadership characteristics that usually radiate from an upperclassman. I was very impressed with this young lady and the depth she brought to the court. After the half, all you could hear was the net swooshing as she dropped consecutive 3-pointers plus two free throws to give her team the first 8 points of the second half. Not only is she a shooter, but she’s a great passer and can handle the ball well. I can’t wait to see how this season will unfold for Salinas. Look to see this name again in the coming years as possibly one of the top point guards in the Corpus Christi area as well as the rest of South Texas. Salinas leads the Lady Trojans in assists, averaging 7.8 per game. The Dynamic Duo of juniors, Karisa Norfleet and Kiana Orise were sensational. If it wasn’t Norfleet slashing to the basket, then it was Orise getting the rebound and putting it right back up. Orise hussled all night on the boards as well. She was successful at both offensive and defensive rebounds, making the most of second-chance points. With a power drive down the baseline in the 3rd qtr, Orise extended the Lady Trojan lead 29-22. She leads her team in rebounds and steals. Her teammate, Norfleet, had great speed which allowed her to move quickly to the basket on several transition plays. During the second half, she had a pair of buckets that helped give her team a double digit lead. Norfleet continued to make hussle plays all night. Norfleet leads her team in blocks. The Lady Trojans never looked back after the half and sailed through the 3rd and 4th qtr. with ease. Final score 46-29.

Congratulations to Coach Myra Nerios and the entire Lady Trojans basketball team on a great win! Good Luck during your season.

CC John Paul II Centurions vs. McAllen Bulldogs

The second game of the night brought an anxious and packed McHi crowd. It was J.J. Avila and Diondre Harris with the tip off and it was apparent the athleticism John Paul II had as Harris received oo’s and awe’s from the crowd on the jump. Believe me, that wasn’t the end of the oo’s and awe’s. There were many more spectacular plays on both ends of the court the entire evening.

This game was definitely a game of transition, as both teams
boasted quick and agile point guards. McAllen’s Nevin Franks never stopped playing. He ran a marathon. This is the kind of hussle any coach would love to have. His quick hands afforded him numerous steals and his high elevation gave him two 3 pointers in the game. The first quarter was back and forth ending in a close race 10-9 with the Bulldogs leading. The first quarter also introduced John Paul’s freshman PG Damarcus Whittington. At 6’, Damarcus displayed great ball handling skills and showed that he can lead his team. I'm very excited about this young man because he showed some special qualities: long arm span allowed him to steal, his resilience to follow his shot and rebound his own ball, quality shooting, and great passing. Look for Whittington to become a household name, not only in the Corpus area but extending to Central/South Texas.
The second quarter showed off the outstanding trio McHi will use to continue into the post season this season, Nevin Franks, J.J. Avila & Ryan Evans. These three combined for 34 points for the entire night. Several minutes into the 2nd qtr, Avila hit Evans with a no look pass and then a bucket. Next play went as follows, Franks hit Evans with a quick pass in the paint, Evans gave the ball right back to Avila down low, and boom, a quick two. The trio worked like a well-oiled machine. On the other end of the court, the second half allowed 6’11” Senior PF Triton “Tank” Mayberry to get his gears turning. After being charged with an offensive foul in the first couple of minutes of the game, Tank adjusted his game and began to play smarter. He smashed the boards and had several points on put backs. Avila and Mayberry battled it out most of the evening, posting up on each other and inching their way to the basket. Mayberry finished strong with a power DUNK in the last minute of the game. Mayberry led his team with a high 18 points.
The second half started 23-16 with McHi showing it’s muscle. Though John Paul used it’s quickness and 6’5” Sophmore F Brandon Jones kept playing defense and battling, the Bulldogs controlled the third quarter. John Paul began to inch their way in as the score quickly turned to a 5 point difference, but as McAllen built momentum, guards Joey Pompa and Nevin Franks both hit shots from downtown and helped end the quarter 35-28. In my opinion, Pompa was the secret weapon that lit several runs for the Bulldogs. I was impressed with his assertiveness and leadership.
The final quarter was a firework display for the Bulldogs. Avila showed his quickness by slashing to the basket with a layup and the foul. Again the McHi Trio was in full effect. This time, Franks hit Avila with the ball, and Avila sent it flying with a touch pass to Evans for the deuce. Right after that, Franks, a great passer, found Avila, with another no look pass to put the Bulldogs up by 16 (44-28). Just when it seemed John Paul was running out of steam, Senior F Kyle Oliver started heating up. With his decent handles, he was able to find himself shooting and scored five of his seven points in the 4th. John Paul began to show fatigue as Coach Odoms pulled from his bench. With a final minute on the clock, John Paul gave a last push and scored it’s last ten points. Tank went for the jam and sunk two free throws, while Damarcus hit two consecutive 3-pointers. Final score 55-47. Congratulations McAllen Bulldogs!
J.J. Avila – 19
Joey Pompa – 10
Ryan Evans – 9
Nevin Franks – 6
John Paul:
Triton Mayberry – 18
Damarcus Whittington – 14
Kyle Oliver – 7

Top players for John Paul were (l to r) G Kyle Oliver, C Triton “Tank” Mayberry, PG Damarcus Whittington, and F Brandon Jones.

Good Luck to Coach Sam Odoms and the John Paul II Centurions!