The Rio Grande Valley’s basketball season tipped-off over the weekend, but most teams made their season debut Tuesday night. Here are some players to watch, teams to watch and rankings as the 23-24 season begins.
Teams to watch:
Edinburg High – The defending District 31-6A champions return their top three players from the 22-23 season. Kimora Fagan averaged 18 ppg, Emily Carranco put up 15 points and 8 boards a night and Madison Martinez averaged 13 ppg during the 2022-23 season. Fagan, Carranco and Martinez enter the senior season with lofty expectations as one of, if not the best girl team in the Valley.
Brownsville Veterans – The Chargers, the defending District 32-5A champs, made it to the third round in 2023. Even though key players graduated, the Chargers return two of their top scorers, seniors Daniela Sauceda and Annie Cisneros. Juniors Brianna Brackhahn, Brianna Barnes and Alondra Ruiz are also poised to help Brownsville Vets get back to the third round.
Palmview – La Joya Palmview won 23 games in 2023 for a fourth place finish in District 30-5A, but the Lobos return top scorers Mia Rojas, Jocelyn Rojas and Nicole Flores who combined to average 35 ppg last season. The Lobos are off to a good start with a win on Tuesday night over PSJA North 54-28.
La Feria – The Lionettes are the defending District 32-4A champs and enter the season as one of the best sub-5A teams in the Valley. Guard Rianna Gonzalez is a handful for defenders. Gonzalez and plenty of other talented guards on the team will look to get the ball to post player Alena Benjamin as they hope to defend their title and return to at least the area round like last season.
Rio Hondo – The Bobcats made it to the fourth round of the Class 3A playoffs in 2023. They graduated a 30 ppg player, but return Abby Atkinson (17 ppg), Emily Molina (15 ppg) and Hadassah Campbell (9 ppg). The defending District 32-3A champs have the firepower to make another deep run.
Harvest Christian – The only team on here that is a state champ. The TAPPS 1A state champs started the season by beating Brownsville Lopez, a playoff team from District 32-5A, 70-21 on Tuesday. The Eagles can play with anyone in the Valley despite their school size and return one of the best players in the Valley in senior guard Ashley Gonzalez.
Players to watch:
Janai Coleman, Edinburg Vela – The senior guard was instrumental in helping Edinburg Vela reach the fourth round in 2023 by averaging 16 ppg and 8.5 rbg. Coleman drained 54 3-pointers last season and could drive as well making her one of the most lethal guards in the Valley.
Alyssa Cantu, McAllen Rowe – The junior guard was the Monitor’s newcomer of the year as a freshman. Cantu dropped 26 points against Weslaco High Tuesday night and is going to be a key player for the Warriors in District 31-5A.
Leah Adame, Mercedes – Fresh off helping the Tigers make the playoffs in Volleyball, Adame will look to do the same in basketball. Adame led the Tigers in scoring last season by averaging 12 ppg and 7 rbg.
Regina Tovar, Brownsville St. Joseph – The senior guard is one of the best in Brownsville and returns for a fourth-year for the TAPPS 5A school. Tovar averaged 14.5 ppg as a sophomore and could easily put up 20 points a night.
Raemie Medina, Weslaco High – The senior has been a leader on the team for a long time now and will need to bring that leadership and talent for the Panthers to be successful in the competitive District 32-6A. Medina is off to a strong start with a team-high 24 points in a 55-45 win over McAllen Rowe Tuesday night.
Angie Reyes, San Benito – Easily one of the best all-around players in the Valley, Reyes averaged 17 ppg and 5 rbg as a sophomore in 2023. Reyes also has plenty of talented teammates around her as the Greyhounds look to challenge Weslaco High and Harlingen High for a District 32-6A title.
Jiselle Montemayor, Harlingen South – As a freshman Montemayor led the Hawks in scoring with 12 ppg in 2023 to help Harlingen South make the playoffs. The Hawks picked up a 55-29 win over Brownsville Rivera Tuesday night.
The above rankings is the RGV Basketball Coaches Association Pre-Season Rankings and district outlooks for the RGV.
RGVSports.com girls basketball rankings:
- Edinburg High
- Edinburg Vela
- Brownsville Veterans
- Weslaco High
- San Benito
- McAllen Rowe
- La Joya Palmview
- Harvest Christian
- Harlingen High