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St. Gerard fighting for a playoff spot

February 12, 2019

St. Gerard was hoping for a repeat performance against Victoria Faith Academy Feb. 12, with the length of its season at stake.

After splitting its final two games in TAPPS District 5-2A, the Royals (14-10, 3-3) finished in a second-place tie with Faith Academy (13-14, 3-3). That necessitated a play-in game to determine the district’s second qualifier for the TAPPS Class 2A tournament. The time and location of the game wasn’t determined at presstime, according to St. Gerard coach Vincent Mendez.

“We’ve had to battle a couple of injuries,” Mendez said. “We were really young, but we started becoming more disciplined on defense and started doing all the little things we needed to do.”

St. Gerard won 52-44 at Bulverde Bracken Christian (7-16, 0-6) Feb. 5 but lost 60-42 at first-place Shiner St. Paul (6-0 in district) Feb. 8 in its regular-season finale.

Eight area teams had qualified for the playoffs as of Feb. 9. St. Gerard was one of three other teams that had a chance to extend its season Feb. 12.

Like the Royals, Holy Cross was scheduled for a TAPPS 5-5A play-in game against TMI (10-22, 1-3) at San Antonio Christian after the teams shared second place.

East Central (21-13, 6-7) was on the cusp of qualifying ahead of a Feb. 12 home game against co-leader Steele (24-8, 11-2), sitting in fourth place in District 26-6A ahead of New Braunfels (15-13, 5-8) and New Braunfels Canyon (18-13, 5-8).

Brackenridge (26-7, 11-4), Brooks Academy (12-12, 6-5), Central Catholic (20-12, 2-3), Harlandale (19-10, 10-5), Highlands (21-12, 9-6), Sam Houston (21-8, 12-3), Southside (19-10, 11-4) and Southwest (18-12, 12-3) already had qualified for the playoffs.

St. Gerard played one of its worst games Jan. 18 at Faith Academy, falling 97-58. The Royals, who utilize an eight-player rotation, were without two players in the loss.

We just weren’t ourselves,” Mendez said.

St. Gerard avenged the loss with a 69-65 homecourt win over the Cougars Feb. 1.

“That was probably the best game we’ve played all year long,” Mendez said. “It’s going to take that kind of effort, determination and discipline if we’re going to keep playing.”

Juniors Ricky Mesquitti, the Royals’ quarterback in football, and Noah Cruz have been the leaders. They were the only returners from St. Gerard’s 2018 playoff team.

A transfer with limited basketball experience, Victor Lechuga, has replaced Edwawn Stevens (broken foot bone) in the post. Mendez said Lechuga, the team’s only senior, could be a first-team all-district selection.

“Vic was a big part of our season,” Mendez said.

Sam Houston 67, Alamo Heights 62 (OT)

The Hurricanes (21-8, 12-3) spoiled Alamo Heights’ party Feb. 8 in its final game after 70 years in the MuleDome. Not only did Sam Houston prevail in overtime, it bumped the Mules (22-9, 12-3) down to a first-place tie in District 27-5A.

Sam Houston outscored Alamo Heights 14-9 in overtime.

Isiah Miller (19 points), DeAngeles Reed (16) and Bralyn Sanchez (13) were Sam Houston’s scoring leaders.

Southside 99, Uvalde 56

The third-place Cardinals (19-10, 11-4) qualified for the playoffs for the third-consecutive year with a District 28-5A win at Uvalde (2-27, 1-15) Feb. 8.

Junior Steven Quintero was Southside’s top scorer with 25 points. Lorenzo Clark finished with 15 points. Richard Torres and Senobio Ortiz scored 12 apiece.

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