By: JOHN JOE RIVERA
(DONNA) – In a tough 32-5A battle for playoff positioning, the Brownsville Pace Vikings managed to hang on and defeat the Donna High Bravettes 40-31 on Friday night in Donna.
With the win, the Vikings clinched the 3rd seed while the Bravettes claimed the final postseason bid.
Donna High coach Kevin Kromer was not pleased with his team’s performance.
“We didn’t play good. So I was very disappointed in our effort offensively,” said Kromer. “Offensively, we just didn’t have it mentally or physically.”
Brianna Quesada got the Bravettes (8-5) on the board early in the game with a three-pointer. After that, the Lady Vikings (9-4) defense clamped down and only allowed one more field goal in the quarter while finishing with a 7-5 lead.
In the second quarter, the Bravettes defense stepped up and forced Pace to earn their points with six of their 10 total points for the quarter coming by way of free-throws. Senior guard Bridget Guillen nailed a trey in the quarter as the Bravettes offense started to find their rhythm as well.
After halftime, the Bravettes shooters went cold once again with Guillen connecting on the team’s only field goal for the quarter.
The Vikings defense stepped up with a concentrated effort on forcing turnover.
“We were losing the ball, way too many turnovers, sloppy passes,” Coach Kromer analyzed. “For being our last home game, I was very disappointed in that part of the game.”
His team came alive in the fourth quarter however as defensive guru Bianca Quesada sparked a potential comeback win with her sharpshooting skills from three-point range. Quesada finished the game with a team high 8 points and all of them coming in the competitive final period.
“I was a little scared, but I gave it my all,” said Quesada.
Regarding the raucous crowd during her scoring outburst, she offered “It was very intense and nerve-wrecking. But I gave it my all and tried my best.”
The Bravettes got within two-points. But the Lady Vikings swarming defense and a large deficit were too much to overcome and their rally was eventually defused.
When asked about his thoughts on the game, Brownsville Pace head coach Eddie Lozano said, “It was a great defensive game and Donna High had a little comeback there in the fourth quarter.” Lozano added, “We’re going to have to learn from this game and not take any quarter easy. It’s not going to be easy in a playoff game.”
Despite his team’s offensive struggles, Donna coach Kromer felt his team’s defense was a positive.
“Defensively, we came out and we shook them up a bit. We kept the score down,” said Kromer.
The Bravettes will close out the regular season on Tuesday night as they travel to Brownsville to take on district champion Veterans Memorial.