EDINBURG — For a third straight year, the Harvest Christian Eagles are set to represent the Rio Grande Valley at the TAPPS state tournament, punching their ticket to the Final Four with a 84-32 victory Saturday.

The Eagles, a TAPPS 1A school with roughly 60 students, has quickly evolved from “just another small private school” into one of the top girls basketball programs in the Valley.

Their evolution didn’t happen overnight, with countless years of hard work leading to the Eagles’ flight to the top. Here’s a look at how Harvest Christian has climbed the ranks.


Harvest Christian’s journey to the top began roughly four years ago with a group of eighth-graders. Head coach Jaime Gonzalez said to that group of girls back then that if they believed they’d be playing against 5A/6A programs in the future.

One year later, that same group of girls already was making noise, picking up wins over Class 5A programs like Mercedes and Roma en route to a 19-3 overall record and a TAPPS 2A Elite Eight appearance.

The Elite Eight appearance was just a sign of things to come for the rising Eagles.


Harvest Christian wasn’t satisfied with its results in 2021, upping the intensity the ensuing year. The Eagles loaded their schedule that year with UIL Class 5A and 6A schools, including games against Edinburg Vela, Los Fresnos, McAllen High and Sharyland High.

The Eagles experienced growing pains through the gauntlet schedule, suffering double-digit losses to the SaberCats, Falcons and Bulldogs that year, but the tough schedule paid dividends, with Harvest Christian breaking into the state tournament for the first time by year’s end.

Harvest Christian’s season ultimately came to an end during a TAPPS 2A state semifinal, falling to Shiner St. Paul 56-42, but the Eagles continued to prove they were a program on the rise, posting a 31-7 overall record that year.

Edinburg Harvest Christian teammates react during the final moments of a TAPPS Class 2A State Semifinal game against Shiner St. Paul at University High School on Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Waco. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])


Last year’s motto from head coach Jaime Gonzalez to his team was simple — finish the dance.

After coming close in back-to-back years, the Eagles had their sights set on grabbing what they felt was theirs.

The Eagles looked even more dominant than in previous years, going 30-7 during the regular season, including wins over Los Fresnos (68-63), Gregory-Portland (51-39) and many other Class 5A/6A programs.

Once again, their regular-season gauntlet paid dividends come playoff time. The battle-tested Eagles pieced together a dominant postseason run en route to the TAPPS 1A state championship game, outscoring their first three playoff opponents 210-70.

Harvest Christian went on to finish the dance as they planned, capturing the school’s first state title with an 81-25 victory over Prosper Prestonwood Christian in the title game.

Left to right, Harvest Christian’s Ashley Gonzalez and Jamie Gonzalez pose with their dad and head coach after winning the 2023 TAPPS 1A state championship game Thursday at Robinson High School in Robinson. (Mason Flippin | Special to The Monitor)


The Eagles entered the 2023-24 season as the undisputed No. 1 team in TAPPS 1A, with everyone predicting a repeat from the loaded Harvest Christian squad.

Last year’s state championship run also added a target on the Eagles’ back in the RGV, with every team they faced wanting to take down the state champs.

The pressure of repeating and the added targets on their back hasn’t fazed the Eagles this year, opening the season with 27 straight wins while outscoring opponents 2,007-799. Among those wins were double-digit victories against Brownsville Veterans, Harlingen High, Los Fresnos and San Benito.

The Eagles’ winning streak came to an end at the hands of another RGV powerhouse, falling 66-60 to Edinburg High on the road. Still, Harvest Christian continued to prove it belongs in the conversation as one of the RGV’s top programs, going toe-to-toe with the standard of girls basketball in the RGV.

Edinburg High’s Emily Carranco (10) and Harvest Christian’s Samantha Munoz (340 battle for position under the basket in a non-district game at Edinburg High School on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])


The Eagles undoubtedly have secured their status as one of the Valley’s perennial girls basketball programs after this year’s regular-season run.

The Eagles haven’t lost since their defeat against Edinburg High, finishing the regular season 37-1 while outscoring their opponents 2,974-1,079.

Harvest Christian isn’t quite done yet, however, outscoring their first three playoff opponents 254-67 en route to a return to the TAPPS 1A Final Four.

Just two games stand in the way of Harvest Christian and back-to-back state titles, beginning with its TAPPS 1A state semifinal contest against Fredericksburg Heritage Christian at noon today.

The state championship game is slated for 10 a.m. Thursday, with the Eagles possibly facing the winner between Texoma Sherman Christian and Prosper Prestonwood Christian.

Regardless of this week’s outcome, however, the Eagles have established themselves as a program to watch in the RGV for the foreseeable future.

Member of Harvest Christian’s girls basketball team. (Andrew Cordero | Special to RGVSports)

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