By: JOHN CANNON
(EDCOUCH) – Edcouch-Elsa head boys’ basketball coach Lalo Rios knew that Donna High was going to bring their “A” game on Tuesday night.
After all, the Redskins were playing for their playoff lives and needed a win to punch their ticket to the “Dance”.
Down by 16 late in the third quarter, Donna High went on an impressive 14-0 run thanks to a combination of three-pointers and inside shots which cut E-E’s lead to two midway through the fourth.
That caused Rios to call a time out.
“I felt we lost our focus a bit and called a time out right away,” Rios said. “I told them that we might very well see this type of situation in the playoffs and couldn’t let it happen again.”
“It was up to them to decide how they were going to handle it and if they were going to be able to respond back. Right after I said that, I saw something in their eyes that they were determined not about to lose this game.”
From there, Joseph Gonzalez converted on a big three-point play to push the lead to five and E-E never looked back from there as they survived a stiff test by a score of 51-46.
Edcouch-Elsa has now won nine of their last ten contests and ends the regular season with an 11-3 record which was good enough for second place in District 32-5A.
“I am proud of the kids and the way they showed resiliency,” said Rios. “Tonight’s game had a playoff feel and the crowd was electric for both sides.”
“The kids dig deep and we ended the season strong with the win. Now we have a ton of momentum heading into the playoffs.”
The Jackets will now set their sights on season number two as they will face Rio Grande City in the Class 5A Bi-District round of the playoffs with the time, place and date to be determined on Wednesday.