Los Fresnos News

Going The Distance

By Ruben Rodriguez
Los Fresnos News

The Los Fresnos Lady Falcons traveled to Harlingen to take on the Lady Cardinals for another round of 32-6A play. Coming off a loss to Weslaco, Los Fresnos looked to avoid back-to-back losses in district play. Harlingen, who has won 14 of the last 15 meetings against Los Fresnos, looked to continue their winning streak over the Falcons, Los Fresnos not only is looking to hold a winning record in District Play but defeat Harlingen for the first time since December 28, 2012

Senior #24 Sarahi Jones pulls for a hard layup in the paint. Photo by Andrew Cordero

Early on, what started as a slow-paced game quickly was controlled by Harlingen as Avery Hinojosa and Rosa Zapata combined for nine points to propel Harlingen to a 14-11 lead over the Lady Falcons. Olivia Parra and Aylene Ortega led the scoring with seven combined points. In the second quarter, Harlingen led by Hinojosa, Zapata, and Linnartz who combined for 21 points in the first half, continued their control on both offense and defense, outscoring Los Fresnos 22 to 12 to lead 36-23 at the half. Ortega, Jones, and Parra combined for 18 points to lead the Lady Falcon offense.
At the start of the third quarter, Los Fresnos took control early on as Jones, Parra, Garrido, and Ortega combined for 11 points and propelled the offense, to outscore Harlingen 14 to 11. For the first time in the game, Los Fresnos began to take control. Despite being outscored, Harlingen still managed to lead 47 to 37 as Zapata, Rodriguez, Hinojosa, and Bryant still led the scoring as the third quarter ended.

In the fourth quarter, the tempo of the game changed as Los Fresnos took control in the late stages of the game, Maritza Ortega had a great quarter, tacking on seven points on key steals. In the final moments of the game, Harlingen looked to extend their lead. Los Frenos made a decisive defensive play with a key steal that resulted in Sarahi Jones putting back a missed layup by Olivia Parra to cut it down to a one-point lead. Efficient shooting from the free-throw line played a major factor as Jones, Parra, Garrido, and Maritza Ortega combined for 22 points off free throws alone. Los Fresnos managed to tie the game 55-55 to go to overtime.

Los Fresnos maintained control in overtime to outscore Harlingen 12 to 9 and thanks to great offense and defense, held on to win 67-64. The Lady Falcons, who played dominantly on both sides of the ball, outscored Harlingen 30 to 17 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Los Fresnos overcame a 15 point deficit to capture their 3rd district win in a thrilling comeback fashion

“We know we could come back, we have the players that can do that, and we have the grit. Something that I’ve been asking for since the beginning of the season. We Just had to want it more” Lady Falcons Head Coach Alex Lucio said after the game. Jones and Parra, who combined for 37 points, were the powerhouse duo that paved the way and led the comeback with exceptional shooting from the free throw line and great defense, “Obviously, we want the ball in their hands when it’s crunch time, that’s why they got the ball so they can hit shots like that and set up our press.”

Junior #1 Maritza Ortega. Photo by Andrew Cordero

“Me and Olivia are cousins and we’ve been playing for the past three years so the chemistry has always been there. We have each other’s back so I was there for her when she needed me.” Los Fresnos Senior Sarahi Jones said about her chemistry with Parra. Olivia Parra also spoke on Jones’ putback. “Missing that jumpshot, I should have made it, but I still had faith that one of my teammates was going to be behind me and follow through and finish it.”

History was also made as this win marked the first time the Lady Falcons defeated the Lady Cardinals since December 28, 2012. “As a team, with our coaches, we all feel so great. This is a big win for our program.” Jones said on the history-making win. “Going into the game, we knew that we wanted it. Los Fresnos is rising, everyone needs to watch out for us.” “We just wanted to make a name for ourselves and be big,” said Olivia Parra.

“Honestly I’m not looking further than the next game we have. Our mindset is we just got to win the next one. We can’t be worrying about anybody else and just got to play the next game and win” Coach Lucio when asked for his thoughts on looking into the rest of 32-6A Play.

Sarahi Jones finished off with 20 points. Olivia Parra finished off with 17 points. Maritza Ortega with 10 points, Aylene Ortega with 13 points, Gaby Garrido and Karina Alvarez combined for 7 points. Los Fresnos will face off against Harlingen again on February 1st.