It was a crazy high schools sports weekend. Here are some thoughts on a few major events and what’s to come early in the week.
Two teams — it could easily have been four — advanced to the third round of the Class 4A playoffs. If anyone can inform me when the last time this happened to two El Paso teams in the same year, let me know. Some brief research didn’t reveal much.
Chapin knocked off a Plainview team with a 30-foot buzzer beater by Samantha Alvarez. The Plainview radio broadcaster told me that Plainview had been 16-0 against El Paso teams under their current head coach prior to the game.
The Huskies advance to play Canyon, ranked No. 5 in the state on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. MST at Odessa College. Chapin is No. 6, and should have a great chance in this game, especially considering how Burges played Canyon.
Horizon also will move on after a 49-41 win over Frenship. Enough can’t be said about first-year coach Arturo Escobar. His pressure defense has made such a difference. Reigning All-City MVP Janelle Perez was dynamite as usual, as she hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with about 90 seconds to go. Perez and Leslie Caballero make a nice combo.
The Scorpions will play Palo Duro on Tuesday at Seminole at 5 p.m. MST. Horizon has a great shot in this game.
Congratulations to both Irvin and Burges too. Irvin nearly made sure there was a third-round game in El Paso, falling on a last-second shot to Palo Duro. If Irvin can nearly take one from Palo Duro, Horizon, which beat the Rockets earlier in the year, should be able to as well.
Burges played a heck of a game against Canyon. To go down to the wire with the No. 5 team in the state is impressive. The Mustangs may have give Chapin the blueprint to take down the defending state champ.
The Irish, ranked No. 2 in the city, fell in their first playoff game after a great year. They took Liberty Christian to the wire, losing 47-46 in overtime.
Coach Omar Duran will (perhaps deservedly) take some heat for his decision to sit his starters against Faith Christian on Wednesday, especially since the move did not pay tangible dividends. Yet give Duran credit for sticking to his guns and trying to get Cathedral out of the first round. That was a tough team, No. 12 in the state.
Just as important, the Irish, after a long hiatus, are back on top of El Paso basketball. It wasn’t an easy climb and Duran had a major role in this — whether you agree with his controversial move or not.
Faith Christian starts their playoff run late this week. I fully expect the Lions to be in the state tournament, perhaps the favorite at state.
Public schools open the playoffs Monday and Tuesday. Some teams to watch for in my mind are: Burges, Riverside and Hanks. I think if Burges gets some good matchups, the Mustangs may be able to make a deep run.