By ARMANDO GARZA
Special to the NEWS
McALLEN—If the San Benito Lady ’Hounds start 2014 the way they ended it, there will be plenty to celebrate in the new year.
The girls went on the road and earned a gritty and important 39-22 win over McAllen High on Tuesday afternoon to keep the fourth spot in District 31-5A all to themselves.
With the victory, San Benito improved to 12-13 overall and 4-3 in 31-5A, and coach Clarisse Arredondo liked what she saw against McHi.
“It was a defensive game and my girls got after it,” she said. “McHi’s got a couple of tall post players. We struggled to stop them in the beginning, but we made some adjustments and went to a full court press that helped us out a lot.”
Early on, it was a defensive battle as neither team was willing to give up too much ground. San Benito led at the break 13-10.
But the second half was much kinder to the Lady ’Hounds. They outscored McHi 26-12 over the next two quarters thanks to those aforementioned adjustments.
“We’ve been trying to work on being more aggressive on defense,” Arredondo said. “The first couple of games in district we were holding teams to 30 points, and that was our goal. We want to keep opponents under 30 points by being aggressive defensively and making it difficult to score.”
For the Lady ’Hounds, Stephanie Castro hit a couple of big three-point shots to help them keep their lead.
On the defensive end, Jav’ana Gonzalez and Rebecca Hartman each did marvelous jobs keeping the Lady Bulldogs in check.
“Jav’ana Gonzalez did a phenomenal job on their point guard,” Arredondo said. “And Becca Hartman did good job containing their post players because they had height.”
The Lady ’Hounds closed out the first round of district play on Friday at home against PSJA High.