East Valley players honored as TABC unveils all-region teams - Brownsville Herald: H.S. Sports

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East Valley players honored as TABC unveils all-region teams

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Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 10:29 pm

The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches released its 2019-20 University Interscholastic League all-region boys and girls teams Tuesday, featuring student-athletes from across the East Valley.

Ricky Altamirano and Elian Gonzalez were selected from District 32-6A champion Los Fresnos.

Altamirano was the second-highest scorer for Falcons (33-4, 10-0 32-6A), averaging 15.6 points per game, and he shot 47 percent from the field on the season. He also had 105 assists, good for second best behind Gonzalez, with 149.

Gonzalez scored 12.4 points per game and posted a 49 percent field goal percentage for Los Fresnos, which went four rounds deep in the playoffs.

“Elian and Ricky were two of three starters back from last year’s team,” Falcons coach Marco Hinojosa said. “We were blessed to have kids that can compete at a high level. While any one of our starters could have gotten this award, we just want to thank TABC (for) recognizing two of our players. Without a doubt Ricky and Elian were committed all year and gave it 100 percent every night. They will be missed!”

Brownsville Veterans Memorial’s Damian Maldonado, the reigning All-Metro MVP, was the lone Brownsville boys player represented on the TABC list. Maldonado scored 34 points, including a game-winning 3-pointer to lift District 32-5A champion Brownsville Veterans to a bi-district playoff victory over La Joya Palmview.

“I am really proud of (Maldonado) for receiving this honor,” Chargers coach Larry Gibson said. “It’s well-deserved (and) it’s a product of four great years of hard work.”

Lizzy Garza was named to the list for the Lady Chargers, who went 14-0 in district play during the 2019-20 season.

“Lizzie making the all-region team is well deserved,” Brownsville Veterans girls basketball coach Arnold Torres said. “I have had some great teams in the past, and she is the first player to receive such an honor. She was a great leader for the team and led by example. Her award is also a reflection of her teammates and the great year they had. I have always told the girls that the individual awards will be a reflection of the team’s success.”

Representing District 32-4A on the Region IV team were Daniel Rinza of Port Isabel and Jabez Villareal of Rio Hondo.

“It’s definitely well-earned on (Villarreal’s) part,” Rio Hondo coach Mike Alvarez said. “(It’s) an honor for him to be selected amongst very talented athletes in our region. I know the work he’s put in these (last) four years, and to finally be recognized is awesome! I can speak for him when I say that it wouldn’t be possible without his team.”

Representing Region IV in Class 3A was Santa Rosa’s David Bazaldua, who scored 21 points in an area-round win over Mathis, guiding his team to the third round of the playoffs.

“It is always great anytime a member of our team gets selected to the all-region team,” Warriors coach Johnny Cipriano said. “I know it’s an individual honor, but I always feel that in order for a member of any team to get selected to the all-region team, the team has to be relevant in the region. It’s great for David to be selected. He played well this year, and he has a lot of potential. If he works hard, he can accomplish greater things.”

In District 32-2A, Santa Maria’s Bernie Castellanos and Giovanni Diaz earned spots in the Region IV Class 2A team by helping lead the Cougars to one of the longest playoff runs of any team from the Valley, reaching the fourth round, where they lost to Normangee.

“It’s a great honor to have those two individuals represent their community,” Santa Maria coach Albert Briones said. “They are great role models and leaders of our team.”

San Perlita’s James Herrera and Tige Johnson, the reigning Valley Morning Star All-STAR MVP, also were tabbed to the all-region team for the district champion Trojans.

“(I am) extremely excited and proud of them,” San Perlita coach Nataniel Garza said. “Tige and James are a huge part of our team, and are truly deserving of this award. I am extremely proud of them and for them to get recognized on a regional level. Tige is now a senior, and he deserves this award. He has given this program four great years, and it was amazing to coach him. James comes back next year along with seven other returning players, so the future for San Perlita looks really bright.”

Meagan Kinney made the TABC list for the Lady Trojans, averaging 15 points, five steals and five rebounds per game.

“Meagan Kinney (was) elite all season,” San Perlita coach Marco Mungia said. “ Meagan’s no-fear, no-quit attitude caught the eyes of (coaches from Agua Dulce and Weimar in the playoffs) along with other coaches in our region. I couldn’t have asked for more from this young lady.”

Samantha Delgado earned all-region honors for the Lyford Lady Bulldogs, who went 15-2 in District 32-3A and earned the second seed in the 2019-20 postseason.

“Sam is an accomplished track star at our school,” coach Teresa Gutierrez said. “When she decided to join the basketball team last season, we were excited to have her be a part of our program. She quickly became a leader on and off the court. Her work ethic and dedication to the program motivated and challenged others to compete at the same level. It has been an honor to coach her and to see her grow as a multi-sport student-athlete.”

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