The Brownsville Herald/Valley Morning Star All-Area Girls Basketball Honors

Offensive Player of the Year: Angelina Reyes, San Benito

San Benito’s Angelina Reyes averaged 16 points a game this season for the Greyhounds with a tough schedule and competitive district.

The Herald/Star Offensive Player of the Year San Benito’s Angelina Reyes. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Herald)

Reyes is the The Brownsville Herald/Valley Morning Star’s 2023-24 Girls Basketball Offensive Player of the Year.

Reyes has been a standout for the Greyhounds since a freshman and played another key role during the 2023-24 season as San Benito picked up a bi-district win after finishing third in District 32-6A. The junior has one more season in the gold and purple. Reyes also provided 2.5 assists per game.

Reyes did feel like she could have had a better season offensively, but despite that – Reyes was still one of the best offensive players in the Valley.

Reyes averaged 16 ppg last season but had an assist less. The Greyhounds’ baller has 1,511 career points and is on pace to reach 2,000 next year as a senior.

“I hope for a good season next year, we lost a lot of seniors, there is a lot of younger girls coming through,” Reyes said. “But, I think we are still going to show out. Just because we have a lot of young girls doesn’t mean we are going to be scared. It is my senior year, got to end it big.”

Defensive Player of the Year: Regina Tovar, Brownsville St. Joseph

Brownsville St. Joseph’s Regina Tovar was one of the best all-around players in the Lower Valley this season and one of the best point guards in the Valley.

The Herald/Star Defensive Player of the Year Brownsville St. Joseph’s Regina Tovar. (Miguel Roberts/The Herald)

Tovar had stellar defense in 2023-24 to earn The Brownsville Herald/Valley Morning Star’s Defensive Player of the Year.

The senior guard averaged six steals a game as she led her defense from the front. Tovar’s steals often led to points that helped the Bloodhounds reach the Elite Eight in the TAPPS 5A playoffs.

“I think my defensive side has always been a part of my game even since a freshman,” Tovar said. “I never really thought of myself as a defensive player to get this award.”

Tovar had a total of 161 steals this season and six blocks. The four-year letterman finished with 472 career steals for St. Joseph.

Tovar praised her coaches at St. Joes for her success on the court. Tovar does not plan on continuing her basketball career despite being one of the best players in the Valley.

Utility Player of the Year: D’Arrah Howard, Brownsville Lopez

Brownsville Lopez’s D’Arrah Howard dealt with injuries her first two years at Lopez. Howard came back strong this season and did a lot for the Lobos anywhere she could.

The Herald/Star Utility Player of the Year Brownsville Lopez’s D’Arrah Howard. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Herald)

Howard is The Brownsville Herald/Valley Morning Star’s Utility Player of the Year.

The junior averaged 15.5 ppg and also grabbed 12.5 rebounds a night as she had to maneuver between guard and post duties. Howard also found teammates, played terrific defense and will be a key player in the Lower Valley during the 24-25 season.

Howard had a full season healthy after battling with injuries as an underclassmen and it showed as she really moved up and down the court well. Howard knows if she wants to play collegiately she will be playing as a guard, but also knows in high school ball she has to score down low as well.

“Moving on I really want to get comfortable every where on the court,” Howard said.

Co-Newcomers of the Year: Seanah Mireles, Brownsville St. Joseph and Natali Lozano, Los Fresnos

The Lower Valley had a lot of young talent this season because of some retooling at major programs.

There could have been a whole team of newcomers.

Mireles and Lozano were fantastic and will be key pieces and players to watch the next three years.

The Herald/Star Co-Newcomer of the Year Brownsville St. Joseph’s Seanah Mireles. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Herald)

Mireles led the Bloodhounds in scoring, averaging 14 ppg with a total of 407 points, to go along with 7.5 rebounds a game, three steals and two assists a game as well.

“When I came to St. Joe, I was not treated as a freshman,” Mireles said. “I was always giving the opportunity to lead and grow.”

The Bloodhounds’ freshman was clutch in the playoffs and down the stretch in their challenging TAPPS district.

Lozano averaged 13 points, six rebounds, 1.5 steals, a block and an assist for the Falcons this season. Like Mireles, Lozano was a key player as a freshman on a team in arguably the toughest district in the Valley, District 32-6A.

The Herald/Star Co-Newcomer of the Year Los Fresnos’ Natali Lozano. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Herald)

The Falcons’ freshman held her own against Edinburg High, the Valley’s best team for the 2023-24 season, during the bi-district round.

Lozano said she was nervous about playing as a freshman on varsity, but as the season progressed the coaches and seniors were the for Lozano.

“I am just grateful for all of the training I did just to get where I am right now,” Lozano said. “I have a long journey ahead of me, it was a great turnout that we had this season and I am grateful for that.”

Sub-5A MVP: Heather May, Lyford

Lyford’s Heather May was the Bulldogs’ rock this season as she helped lead Lyford to a co-District 32-3A title and a trip to the area round.

The Herald/Star sub-5A MVP Lyford’s Heather May. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Herald)

May is The Brownsville Herald/Valley Morning Star’s sub-5A MVP.

May was unstoppable at times down low as she dominated the paint, grabbing boards, making it to the foul line and finding open teammates for buckets.

The Lyford senior averaged 16 points, 17 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists a game after coming back from an injury as a junior.

May said she was proud of how she handled herself in the paint, especially against taller girls. May credited her coach, Teresa Gutierrez for her success on the court.

“She was one of the most important woman in my life,” May said. “She has basically raised me since the third grade … she treated me like her own daughter and taught me so much.”

May was not the tallest post but was strong and athletic from playing multiple sports at Lyford, and was one of the key reasons that Lyford had a chance against Aransas Pass in the area round.

Coach of the Year: Arnold Torres, Brownsville Veterans

Brownsville Veterans head coach Arnold Torres again graduated a bunch of key players only to win another District 32-5A title.

The Chargers won 34 games and only took one loss in district to Harlingen South. Brownsville Veterans also won a bi-district meeting with McAllen Memorial and was the only team in its district to pick up a playoff win.

Torres said he knew his team had the ability to do well despite another year of losing key players. The Chargers have graduated some of the best in the area the past two seasons and dominated again.

“What helped us was that our team bonded together, they gelled and they came in with a good attitude,” Torres said. “I was really proud of the effort we had.”

The Chargers made it to preseason tourney finals, bounced back after an opening district loss to win 17-straight and picked up a bi-district win.

“I have been blessed,” Torres said. “God has been good, and we have been blessed with girls that come in and commit to each other, they believe in each other and are willing to go out and play for each other. Having the parents support and my family support has been a big plus.”

Torres is going to have his work cut out for him next year as the Chargers are set to move up to District 32-6A.