Saturday, February 27, 2010

Area 5A Playoff Round Up

Bryan 68 Garland Naaman Forest 58

San Antonio Judson 52 Austin Akins 38

Senior F Thurman McNeil controlled the boards, especially on the offensive end as he kept the Akins guards from getting out and running.

Laredo United 63 Weslaco 41
2010 PG Daniel Rosas strong leadership and 3 point shooting has Laredo United on a collision course with Converse Wagner. United gave the T Birds their only loss of the season over the Christmas holidays.
Converse Wagner 77 Pflugerville 75
2010 Jordan Clarkson (Tulsa) scored 28 to lead the T Birds into the next round v San Antonio Churchill.
2010 "Cleveland" Smith had 28 points for Pflugerville but their furious 4th quarter rally fell just short to Wagner. Cleve now prepares for his college life. He has signed with Lamar in the Southland Conference.
Austin Bowie 69 San Antonio Clark 55
2010 G Jason Brickman (below, courtesy of had 26 points. It was not enough, and now his basketball life moves from the high school level to Long Island University. We wish him well.
2011 P Connor Robinson keeps plugging away and putting up big numbers. He led Bowie to the win with 27 points and 10 boards, many of them during a pivotal late 3rd, early 4th quarter run that put Clark away. 2010 P Deandre Perry did a great job of keeping high scoring wing, Elhad Emmerllahu to only 5 points in the game.

San Antonio Churchill 77 Victoria Memorial 52

2012 PG Scott Mammel had 18 and 2011 P Clark Lammert 19 for the the Chargers who must now face Wagner in the next round.

Cen Tex Area 4A Playoff Round Up

Dripping Springs 77 San Antonio Alamo Heights 63 Double OT
Apparently 2010 Daniel Alexander (Texas A&M) is not ready to be an Aggie yet. Alexander fouled out with 19 points and 17 rebounds and the rest of his Tiger team mates rose up to send them into the 3rd round. Alexander will match up against summer team mate, Jonathan Perry as Drip will take on Kerrville Tivy on Tuesday.
Del Valle 49 Humble Kingwood Park 36
Senior jumping jack, 5'9" Rodney Lee led the Cardinals with 12 points and the W.
Austin Lake Travis 49 Schertz Steele 42
2010 W Zach Karczewski had 15 to lead Air Cav ( photo courtesy Mark Schultz)

Kerrville Tivy 60 Pflugerville Hendrickson 56 OT
201o Jonathan Perry scored 26 points to lead Tivy over Hendrickson in OT. The two time All Region Player (shown below with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors) outdueled 2011 PG Jalen Harris who had 20 for the Hawks.

Austin LBJ 70 Boerne Champion 51 No details

Friday, February 26, 2010

San Antonio Jay 62 Edinburg North 41 GIRLS

San Antonio Jay's Kiara Taylor helped lead the John Jay Mustangs to a lopsided win over Edinburg North. Taylor's brother, Dejon plays for Iowa Lakes (IA) CC.

As my friends on the West side like to say, John Jay, "Still The Stable of Champions".

Austin Bowie 69 San Antonio Clark 56

Clark takes a 14-11 1st quarter lead on aggressive play by 2010 F Elhad Emerllahu and 2011 F Ainsely Benjamin. benjamin had 6 first quarter boards.

Things opened up in the 2nd quarter as Bowie began finding guys cutting to the hole for easy buckets. Nobody does this better than them. Bowie built a 5 point lead as 2011 Connor Robinson controlled the boards for his crew. He has 7 boards at the half. A late flurry of triples from Clark sends them to the dressing room up 30-29 at the break. Hard nosed D by Bowie has caused several turnovers and Clark finds themselves down 39-32 with 4:51 left in the 3rd. Timeout, Clark! Clark has scrapped back from being down 42-32 to make it 42-41 with 1:15 left in the 3rd. 46-41 at the end of three as that period was owned offensively by Robinson with 12 points and 3 boards.

51-41 Bowie with 6:24 left. You cannot let Baxter get up a head of steam because he will get to the rack and FINISH. Baxter picks up is 4th foul with 6:00 left. Bowie 56-47 with a little over 4 minutes left. Bowie is in the bonus. And just like that, two layups by Tre Lindsey give Bowie a 60-47 lead with 3 minutes left. Clark was forced to foul and Bowie was flawless at the line. Nice win, great fundamental basketball.

Converse Judson 52 Austin Akins 38

Coach Wacker has put 7 footer Stuart Lagerson up a little bit higher than normal defensively and in the 1st quarter he already has 2 blocks and has altered Akins thinking a number of times on how deep they attack to the rim. Judson has hit shots and lead 19-8 after the 1st.

At the half, Judson is up 33-18. Akins is getting outplayed right now with Judson getting a lot of offensive boards as well as nice dimes from PG Mike Stewart. The light at the end of the tunnel for Akins may be the foul count v Judson. Senior tevin Russell has 6 pts and 2 fouls while Senior Thurman McNeil has 8 pts and 7 rebounds (but also has picked up 2 fouls ). McNeil has been the spark, getting offensive put backs. A huge triple from 30 feet out at the buzzer by Akins' Kevin McFarlane may give the Eagles a spark. We'll see if that lights a fire.

At the end of 3 quarters Judson leads 42-30 Mike Stewart scored the first 6 points of the stanza, then Akins went on a 9-0 run. The foul count is low, at 3 a piece so this one has a ways to go before anyone gets to the bonus. 2011 G Yolonzo Moore hits two threes to start the 4th, one of them from way downtown...BANG. Judson timeout with 7:18 to play. Akins cut it to 43-38 but the story of the game was a possession just after that where Judson got 3 offensive boards. They controlled the glass, and thus the game. Judson's Thurman McNeil was the big difference with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Credit PG Mike Stewart for taking care of the basketball. Experience wins out. Nice win, Judson!

Tonight's Big Cen Tex Games

Is it any coincidence that of these six teams competing tonight in the Centex area's marquee games are home to many of the better coaches in the area. Bowies' Celester Collier & Akins David Peavey have had time in the college ranks, while old hand Steve Sylestine of Clark returns to the boys game after a hiatus from past perennial powerhouse San Antonio John Jay.

Wily Mike Wacker, and Pflugerville's Mike Murphy were team mates back in the day for the Texas Longhorns. Along with their size and commanding presence, that's where the similarities end as Wacker's Judson Rockets aim to control the game in a deliberate fashion while Murphy gives his guards freedom to "go get 'em". The young buck of the group, Wagner's Cliff Ellis (a former Wacker protege') has the deepest collection of athletes, perhaps in the entire State...and he's going to force the tempo with their full court pressure and wave of hungry 6 footers off the bench looking to cause havoc in the other team's backcourt.

The beauty of high school basketball is that on any given night 16 and 17 year old kids can break your heart or lift you up. I reserve the right to not be responsible for my

San Antonio Clark v. Austin Bowie

This should be a dandy. Clark has nice weapons in Emerllahu & PG Jason Brickman (Long Island) as well as a good supporting cast led by emerging 2011 W Ainsley Benjamin. On the other hand, Bowie brings super soph PG Paul Baxter who plays above the rim, and a host of lunch pail cats like 2010 P Deandre Perry (Houston-football) & 2011 P Connor Robinson who just gets the job done. Sylestine will not allow their D to get pinned high side as SA Reagan's did time after time v Bowie on Tuesday. Everybody's going to have to work for this one. Who can forget Clark's loss at the buzzer to Pflugerville last year? This year, Clark wins at the buzzer.
San Antonio Clarks's Elhad Emerllahu won't equal his career high 37 against Bowie's amoeba D, the 2-3 matchup zone. However, he will cause them problems inside as well as out. (Photo courtesy of
Bowie is the penultimate "team" with many guys capable of playing their role or also stepping up to carry the team. Below, 2010 W Tre Lindsey could have the hot hand from the perimeter.
Austin Akins v Converse Judson
Akins 1st playoff win in school history over mighty Madison has them as Coach Max's Cinderella story in this year's playoffs. I'm going to stick with them even though they face a battle hardened, playoff savvy Judson team. Judson must get superior ballhandling from PG Mike Stewart in order to control pace. Even though Akins likes to run, Coach Wacker will have none of that. Patience and shot selection will decide if Akins advances. Akins by 4.
Malcolm Canada was flat nasty in Akins 1st round win over San Antonio Madison. His 3 free throws to tie it and force overtime were clutch. He won't get to the rack quite as easily v. Judson though.
Converse Wagner v Pflugerville
If there's one team that doesn't mind running with Wagner, it's The Ville. High major prospect Deon Mitchell when "on" is devastatingly good from the perimeter as well as effective getting to the rim. Wagner counters with Tulsa signee Jordan Clarkson. Wagner boast a host of role players in their full court up tempo game. Watch out for Pflugerville's Jarrell Turner. He sank one with no time on the clock last year to beat San Antonio Clark, so he must be accounted for. The key is can Pflugerville control 6'7" Andre Roberson on the boards? It's not going to be easy. Wagner by 7.
Lamar signee Demetris "Cleveland" Smith needs to come out with his motor running high on all cylinders for Pflugerville to stop Wagner.
Wagner's Andre Roberson will try and control the boards. He'll need to clean up with trash buckets to keep the Panthers from running it right back at the favored T Birds.

Louisiana Playoffs Fixin' To Fire Up Tonight

Shavon "Sugar" Coleman (shown Below with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors) leads his Thibodeaux, Louisiana high school team into tonight's playoff game.
Read all the exciting news at Bobby Sibley's Louisiana Basketball Report.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

ESPN is featuring a story on the New Mexico Lobos & Junior Darrington "Butta" Hobson. The Texas D-1 Ambassador leads the Lobos in three categories. He's averaging 15.6 Points, 4.8 Assists, and 8.8 Rebounds per game.

Texas D-1 Ambassador Darrington Hobson stars for the New Mexico Lobos.

The 6'7" lefty had NBA range as a high schooler and great court vision. He was part of that Texas D-1 Ambassadors team who beat the Portland Legends (with future NBA players Kevin Love & Kyle Singler) by almost 20 points on Center Court in the Las Vegas Easter Tournament in the April of 2005. Hobson was living in Houston at the time with his mother and attended now defunct Gulf Shores Academy. He subsequently reclassified to the Class of 2007.

Hobson is at once a lovable, but maddening guy who drove myself and Coach Mark Beasley nutty. But you had to love him, such as when he'd make me blow a gasket in the huddle, he'd grin and just rub my little bald head. lol Great memories folks, great memories!

Another Texas D-1 Ambassador, 2007 A.J. Hardeman of Del Valle is also starting for the Lobos filling mostly a rebounding & shotblocking role.

In the Mock NBA Draft of 2011, the Texas D-1 Ambassadors will have two likely picks. 2009 John Henson is pegged at #3 overall, while Hobson is expected to go midway through the 2nd Round.

Coach Max's 1st Round Playoff Report Card/Round 2 Predicted Winners

There's an old saying that's better to be quiet and have folks THINK you're a fool, instead of speaking and having them KNOW it. As most folks know, I've never been a shrinking violet while at the same time I can laugh at myself.
Out of 64 1st round, games in 4A, I predicted 51 of them correctly. 80%. I pegged 15/16 in Region 2. Bet my buddy, Glenn Smith of DFW Metroplex Hoops didn't get that many
Out of 64 1st round games in 5A, I predeicted 41 of 64 correctly. 61%. Several key upsets kept me to 9-16 in Region 2 while I was 12-16 in Region 4 (My Home Region). About 70%.

2nd Round Predicted Winners 5A

Region 1 Arlington Bowie El Paso Hanks Dallas Jesuit Flower Mound Marcus

Region 1 North Crowley El Paso Americas Lewisville Plano West

Region 2 Bryan Killeen Ellison Houston Langham Creek The Woodlands

Region 2 Desoto Temple Klein Oak Ridge Spring

Region 3 Houston Bellaire Alief Elsik Pearland LaPorte

Region 3 Kingwood Katy Seven Lakes Fort Bend Bush Fort Bend Dulles

Region 4 San Antonio Clark Austin Akins San Antonio Southwest McAllen

Region 4 Converse Wagner Victoria Memorial Edinburg Laredo United

2nd Round Predicted Winners 4A

Region 1 Big Spring Canutillo Mansfield Legacy Azle

Region 1 Amarillo Palo Duro El Paso Bowie Birdville The Colony

Region 2 Frisco Dallas Pinkston Midlothian Red Oak

Region 2 Dallas Kimball Sherman Dallas Lancaster Texarkana

Region 3 Magnolia Brenham LaMarque Houston Wheatley

Region 3 Huntsville Del Valle Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated Houston Yates

Region 4 Austin Lake Travis Austin LBJ Weslaco East Gregory-Portland

Region 4 Kerrville Tivy Dripping Springs Laredo Nixon Harlandale

Playoff Updates

Both the San Antonio & Austin papers were very short on details this morning on last night's playoff games.

San Antonio Churchill 84 Austin Westlake 77. The shocker of the night was 4th place Churchill's sound victory over Westlake, who got behind early and were never in the game. They were led by Mike Byron, a rapidly improving big 6'9" post who has signed with Gardner-Webb. Cody Doolin (below shown alongside summer mate Paul Garnica will now head off to the University of San Francisco.). Doolin, Westlake's all time leading scorer had 25, but it wasn't enough. Frankly, I never gave Churchill a chance in this one, but that's why they play the games. Big congrats there as the 1st year Head Coach Timothy Woods has developed his big men, something Churchill fell short at in the past. Pflugerville 66 San Antonio MacArthur 37. The Main In Black, P'ville's Mike Murphy was all smiles as he called to let me know that they took care of business with balanced scoring and a deep bench. It could be interesting vs Converse Wagner Friday night. The Ville has the athletes to run with Wagner, but rebounding may be another story.
Pflugerville Hendrickson 70 Austin Reagan 69. This one had to be heated. 2011 G Jalen Harris scored a career high 29 in the win and they needed every one of them. 2011 W Jalen Washington added 15 for the Hawks, while 2011 Cornelius Cammock had 19 and 2011 Jaquarius Daniels 17 for the the resurgent Raiders. Reagan, and for that matter Hendrickson too will have most of their guns back next year. The Hawks now travel to Fredericksburg for what amounts to darn near a home game for Kerrville Tivy. This game will be an interesting contrast in styles.
Austin LBJ 63 Hutto 62
Austin Lake Travis 69 Austin McCallum 58
Cedar Park Vista Ridge 69 Houston Cy Fair 51 2011 W Joey Faglie had 16 to lead The Ridge.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Austin Bowie 57 San Antonio Reagan 45

2012 PG Paul Baxter led Austin Bowie with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in their convincing win over San Antonio Reagan.
Bowie came out shooting and hitting, led by Senior W Mitch Anderson's 3 triples in the first quarter. Bowie is limiting Reagan's two primary scoring threats 2011 G Tre Demps & 2011 W Max Yon in their shot opportunities.

Bowie is pretty much getting any look they want, most of them down low to 2011 P Connor Robinson with little backside defensive help. You don't rotate against Bowie on the defensive end then you've got problems. Robinson leads all scorers with 15 points and 6 rebounds at the half as Bowie leads 37-21. Tre Demps has 10 for Reagan. The 3rd quarter was fairly uneventful. Yon came alive with a big block and a three, but Baxter countered on the other end with a couple of buckets. Bowie 44-30 after 3 quarters.
2011 W Max Yon was held to 2 first half points by Bowie
Early in the 4th Bowie has run the lead up to 18 on a big three pointer by Lindsey. I'll be shocked if they shoot another one all game. Reagan has their work cut out for them now as Bowie will milk clock while Reagan must take chances. Bowie does NOT blow big leads.
Easy buckets down low allowed 2011 W Connor Robinson to pad his totals. He had 15 of his 17 in the pivotal 1st half.
Although Bowie hit early threes, this game was decided inside by Bowie reversing the ball and pinning the Reagan posts on the high side , thus allowing countless layups. The lack of defensive rotation down low hurt, big time.
2011 PG Tre Demps had few penetration opportunities in leading the Rattlers with 16 points.

San Antonio Reagan 9-12-9-15-45

Austin Bowie 18-19-7-13-57

TJ Garza Joins Texas Basketball Inc.

Over the past 10 years, the Texas D-1 Ambassadors has morphed from a 6th grade basketball team started in 2001 for my son and his friends to today, into a basketball conglomerate. Texas Basketball Inc. consists of several key divisions; D-1 Gear (our uniform factory overseas), Coach Max's Prep Report (our media/recruiting/ranking service), & of course the D-1 Ambassadors Nation (elite level travel teams).
This dynamic results oriented growth has necessitated the addition of a key partner in the area of operations & player development. As Founder of the Texas D-1 Ambassadors I'd like to formally announce the appointment of T.J. Garza as Chief Operating Officer of Texas Basketball Inc. His responsibilities will be player development, and day to day operations, including the accounting of club dues & determination of awarding player scholarship monies within the club.
Garza brings a ton of experience and is widely recognized as the leading trainer of high level Central Texas athletes for the past 12 years. His passion, knowledge & experience in cutting edge athletic performance training has allowed him the blessing of having trained over 60 college level players as well as several pros.
Garza resides on his ranch in Liberty Hill, TX with his wife, Dana and three young children Alex, Kyle & Caleb. This is more than just a business partnership as he has trained my son Chip (UT-San Antonio) and I have handled the recruitment of his son, Jonathan (Lamar). We have become two tight knit families sharing one common goal: To maximize the opportunities for scholar/athletes to get recruited, receive scholarship money & to subsidize family education costs.
The addition of Garza will allow me to further refine my own duties, to handle the recruitment and placement of all players in the D-1 Nation. My personal focus will be on the continued development of our video show, magazine, recruiting site & player evaluations.
Coach Max Ivany
TJ Garza of Speed Killz Period joins Texas Basketball Inc. as Chief Operating Officer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Converse Judson 39 San Antonio Stevens 37

Nobody likes to talk about next year, but I liked enough of Stevens younger guys that I feel next year will be a big improvement for them. However, tonight ended up being a veteran Converse Judson team's night.
I sat at the UTSA media table with San Francisco Assistant Coach Jeff Linder who had originally flown in to see the Austin Bowie-San Antonio Reagan game that was snowed out. He asked me who had some good young talent playing in the area tonight, so I told him Stevens had the guys to watch. He drove down from Austin and caught the game with me.
I pointed out my earlier prediction that Judson would be happy to win this one, 35-34 and with 45 seconds left that's exactly what it was. A few late free throws threw me off just a Judson jumped on top early, 17-6 in the 1st quarter by hitting 4 triples; two by 2010 PG Michael Stewart who led the Rockets with 13 & two by 2010 W Tevin Russell who finished with 9 points. At the half it was Judson up 23-15 as Stevens started to chip away at the lead and play more confidently.

The 3rd quarter was all Stevens as they took a slim 29-28 lead. They were buoyed by their two youngsters; 2012 WG uche Ofoegbu with 6 points, all from the FT line. Unfortunately, he went 6-10 and that may have been the difference in the game. I was most impressed with 2012 W 6'5" Marcus Roper (below) who finished with 13 points. He defended the perimeter extremely well for a lanky soph and had several key steals on the Judson guards. he'll be added to my list of recruitable 2012 players along with Ofoegbu who was already there. 2010 Stevens Post, Joe Monroe (St. Mary's) finished his high school career with 7 pts, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks. Although he didn't show up with big numbers in the box score it was 7 footer Stuart Lagerson (UT-Arlington) of Judson who made a couple of decisive blocks down the stretch including a big one as Stevens went for the tie in the waning seconds. Judson now has a date with Austin Akins in the 2nd Round.

San Antonio Clark 91 San Antonio East Central 66

In a totally dominant 1st round performance, San Antonio Clark steamrolled a pretty good San Antonio East Central squad 91-66 at St. Mary's University. East Central likes to run and shoot but Clark had all the answers.

2011 W 6'4" Ansley Benjamin had 18 for the Cougars. Benjamin, whose Pops Benoit had a nice NBA career is now really coming into his own and will suit up for the Texas D-1 Ambassadors on the summer circuit next month. 2010 PG Jason Brickman (Long Island) had 25 for Clark and ran the fast break offense.
2010 W Elhad Emerllahu pounded East Central inside and out to the tune of 37 points.
I look for Clark to be at least a Regional Semi Final team this year. They're mature and have all the pieces. They are a little bit smallish BUT they can score, play good D and are well coached under veteran Steve Sylestine who has been around a long time but is in his first year at the helm with the Cougars. Clark's heartbreaking loss at the buzzer to Pflugerville in last year's post season is still fresh in their minds, and that's a mighty strong motivator.
Thanks and photo credits to Van Williams of

Weslaco Panthers vs Harlingen Cardinals

Team Profile: Weslaco Panthers

As I entered through the doors of the Sepulveda Gym, there was a calm serenity about practice. Coach Gabe Valdez seemed very relaxed, yet very focused and it emminated onto his players. Just as in any practice, especially before a playoff game, the habitual must be enforced, layup drill, jumpshot drill, freethrow drill, I could go on and on. Eventhough it seemed as though the Panthers were going through their daily routine, you could see the intensity in their eyes of a mental preparation that was taking place for tonight's game. It's the first round of the playoff, WIN or GO HOME!
As the practice continued Coach Valdez focused on fundamentals, as the Panthers have always been a fundamentally sound group. I could hear instruction on correct passing, hand/ball technique, dribbling, etc. Just as any master musician must be correctly tuned ,Coach was fine-tuning his team for a great performance. With each dribble, each swoosh of the net, each pass, it was very obvious that this great Purple Powerhouse was preparing for their show. As Coach yelled out, "don't be fancy!" it was a confirmation that Weslaco was in good hands. Utilizing his great staff of coaches, instruction was everywhere, key to a great program.
Tonight Weslaco will rely on their entire team, but most of all on some key players who have shown their strength and depth throughout the season. Below are Rodrigo Verduzco, Sr., Julius Marquez, Sr., and JT Lopez, Jr. Rodrigo Verduzco has been a standout player each time I've had the opportunity to watch him. When he gets going on the 3-pt line, beware, he'll hit it everytime. Rodrigo is a coach's dream, a player who can come off the bench and light it up. In the last meeting between Weslaco and district Rival Brownsville Hanna, Verdruzco showed his outstanding shooting ability. An additional advantage is his size. As a guard he can easily come off the dribble and shoot, but at the same time he can definitely play solid defense down low if needed. I would definitely give this young man the "Sixth Man Award!"

Julius Marquez, starting forward who is quick, nimble, and smart under the basket. Marquez is quick on his toes for an easy put back. I've seen this kid physically and aggresively hussle in order to get the "ball back in the hoop." That relentlessness is what separates Julius from the rest. You can't play in the paint and hope you get the two, you make it happen. This is the attitude Marquez creates. He's committed to his team and coach. As a senior on the team, his leadership is apparent, 'Never give up!'

JT Lopez, 'Mr. Hussle', that's the nickname I have officially given him. Lol. There's never been a game that this kid hasn't landed on the floor, ran into the pads on the sideline wall, taken a charge (his defense is always more than 100%), while at the same time, gracefully pulling up for a 10 foot jumper and scoring! Lopez, a junior shooting guard, has worked his way to a starter this year and he is definitely showing why Coach Valdez has him on the floor. Not only does he portray a great team attitude, JT boasts a near perfect GPA. JT loves the term student-athlete because this is truly his goal.

Raul Garcia (pictured above in purple) is the teams go-to-guy as he has proven worthy of this title. Playing as a post, Garcia rebounds extremely well and knows how to maneuver his body to get to the bucket. He is smart on transition and can easily hit an outside shot. As a bench players last year, Garcia has risen above and beyond to become a standout. At the start of the season, he was named MVP in two tournaments. He truly is a "Most Valuable Player." The Panthers will need him to be strong tonite and throughout the post-season to continue their success.

Andrew Rangel, point guard and as many call him, GINOBILI, commands the floor with leadership. Only a junior, Rangel will need to take a more aggressive step as he is the one who directs his team. Rangel has a way of being crafty and sneaking in for quick layups. He reminds me of a Tony Parker/Manu Ginobili mix. He is extremely well at tucking in the ball as he goes up for his shot, therefore sending him to freethrow line. Rangel is a good freethrow shooter which has given the Panthers a nice cushion in close games. Great on defense and transition basketball, I see Rangel becoming an even greater contributor to his Panthers.

Tonite the Weslaco Panthers take on an equally talented team in the Harlingen Cardinals (Blog entry Wed, Jan. 20). Tonight will definitely be a packed house. I believe the winner will be determined through number of turnovers and made freethrows. I predict an extremely close game within single digits. I wish both teams and coaches, Gabe Valdez and Greg Yates, the BEST OF LUCK!

** Action shots courtesy of the Mid-Valley Town Crier**

RGV Begins Playoff Run

This week starts the first round of playoffs for the entire state of Texas. For the RGV, some of these matches are tough. Here's a glance at the games going on this week:

Monday, Feb. 22
Class 5A
Brownsville Hanna 79, Edinburg Economedes 51
San Antonio Southwest 61, McAllen Rowe 59
Laredo United 61, Sharyland 33
Class 4A
Weslaco East 60, Laredo LBJ 52

Tuesday, Feb. 23
Class 5A
Weslaco High vs Harlingen High
Porter vs Harlingen South
McAllen High vs Laredo Alexander
Edinburg High vs San Benito
McAllen Memorial vs Laredo Martin
Class 4A
Roma vs Laredo Cigarroa
Mission Veterans vs Tuloso-Midway
Mercedes vs Laredo Nixon

Friday, Feb. 26
TAPPS 1A state semifinals
Edinburg Harvest Christian vs. Dallas Tyler Street

A big CONGRATULATIONS! to Coach Jaime Gonzalez and all the players from Harvest Christian Academy in Edinburg, Texas who are doing an excellent job representing the RGV as they get ready to compete in TAPPS 1A State semifinals! Here is a look at their road to STATE!

Harvest Christian Academy 80, Houston Life Academy 39

State Quarterfinals
Harvest Christian 71, Geneva School of Boerne 61
Harvest Christian Academy 85, San Antonio Atonement 50

Area 5A Playoff Spotlights/Predictions

Monday night was pretty good to me. I picked 10 of 11 4A-5A winners correctly including 4th seed Austin Akins over San Antonio Madison. I did not see Dripping Springs upset of Killen coming, not in a million years.

***Horrible area weather is causing cancellation of many playoff games tonight from just north of San Antonio and northward. They will be rescheduled for tomorrow. This includes Westlake-Churchill, Reagan-Bowie, etc. As of now, the San Antonio Metro games are still on.***

Killeen Ellison over Mesquite Below, 2011 W Jaleel Williams shows his wingspan as he challenges a shot. He plays well, the Eagles soar. If not, then summer ball here we come. Bryan over Mesquite Horn. The Vikings under Coach John Reese just don't lose first round games. Of course it doesn't hurt to have son, 2012 J. Mychal Reese running point for you either. Young Reese (shown below in ESPN The Magazine)was the only All State frosh in Texas. Shown below as a 7th grader with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors, he handled the pressure of being the Nation's #1 player in the Class of 2012 for 4 consecutive years. Other prospects have pushed Reese slightly down the National Rankings list but make no mistake about it he's Texas, Carolina, UCLA etc good. The X factor will be how hard 2010 P Terrence Tucker hits the boards for Bryan.
Cedar Park over Houston Langham Creek. Cedar Park's 2011 PG 6'4" Dylan Cox must lead the Timberwolves against a more athletic Houston Langham Creek team. Look for Coach Blake Brown to control tempo and snag the close win.
Austin Westlake over San Antonio Churchill. 2010 Cody Doolin (San Francisco) will lead the Chaps to the lopsided win. Churchill is big, but so is Westlake....and they are so much more athletic. If Churchill has to come out of their zone it will be all over. X factor is 2010 W Conner Kemper of Westlake. If he hits shots then it's a rout. Churchill's best hope to last another day in the playoffs is the UIL's decision to postpone the game because of the impending inclement weather.
San Antonio Taft over Victoria Memorial. 2011 G Dylan Elias (below) and 2011 backcourt mate Marshall Harris will be too much for Vic to handle. Pflugerville over San Antonio McArthur. The two best players on the floor, 2010 W Cleveland Smith (Lamar) & 2011 G Deon Mitchell (below) happen to play on the same team: Pflugerville. MacArthur has limited firepower, and their best player, Matt Gramling is a soph. Pflugerville by double digits. The score will be lower than their 72 ppg average as Mac will try and take the air out of the ball.
Converse Judson over Stevens. Brandon Thompson is now at Arizona State but Coach Bruce Hirst has some nice 2012 talent including WG Uche Ofoegbu (below). I give the edge to Judson, and wily Coach Mike Wacker who would be happy to win the game 35-34. Judson controls the pace and will win over the inexperienced Stevens crew.