Daysha Tijerina signs a letter of intent to Howard Collage at the City of Edinburg's Parks and Recreation Health and Wellness Center on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

EDINBURG — When Daysha Tijerina took the court at the Edinburg Sports & Wellness Center, where her basketball career began, to sign her national letter of intent, Edinburg High head coach John David Salinas pointed to one picture that best captured her contributions to the Bobcats’ program during her four-year varsity tenure.

Salinas pointed to a photo of Tijerina, who signed to play at Howard College in Big Spring on Wednesday afternoon, from the team’s postseason run during her sophomore season.

The Bobcats guard can be seen clapping and cheering on her teammates from a raucous Edinburg High sideline during the team’s 54-34 win over Harlingen High in the 2019 Region IV-6A quarterfinals to advance to the Sweet 16.

It’s a moment that captured Tijerina’s time at Edinburg High characterized by her team-first approach and poise under pressure.

“That picture right there is in my office because it not just exemplifies championship basketball, but it exemplifies what a great teammate is,” Salinas said. “Daysha was never concerned about statistics, only what was best for the team and to put us in a good position to win.”

Edinburg High teammates celebrate as teammate A’nnika Saenz (10) scores a three-pointer in the winding moments against Harlingen High during the 31-6A Regional Quarterfinals at Edcouch Elsa gymnasium on Tuesday, Feb.19, 2019, in Elsa. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor [email protected]

“Two years ago, I would have never imagined being in the position that I am today. But I’m so glad that I was able to push through these couple of years,” Tijerina said. “All these people around me definitely push me to be a greater, more mature person than I was overall and that I’m super thankful for.”

Tijerina became the Bobcats’ second college signee this season joining fellow senior guard A’nnika Saenz, who signed to play at UTRGV earlier in the offseason.

She’s also the seventh player from Edinburg High’s varsity squad during her freshman season to reach the collegiate level along with Saenz, Brianna and Leslie Martinez, Brianna Sanchez, and Jayla and Jenessah Santa Maria.

Tijerina, Saenz and Julissah Santa Maria combined to win 82% of their games together as Bobcats teammates, collecting a 121-27 overall record and four consecutive district championships.

“All of them are super great players and coaches who always want us to be family,” Tijerina said. “It’s not only like we are playing basketball together on the court, but off the court (too). We’re like a big family and we care for each other and we want to see nothing but the best for each other.”

Tijerina elevated her game to become one of the team’s most consistent scorers and a veteran leader by junior and senior seasons.

She helped lead the Bobcats to a 57-9 record during the past two seasons which included a 26-2 district record and 4-2 postseason record with back-to-back trips to the Class 6A regional quarterfinals.

Harlingen High’s Alyssa Salas (4) snags a rebound away from Edinburg High’s Daysha Tijerina (13) during the 2nd half of a 6-A Regional Quarterfinals game at Bert Ogden Arena on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Edinburg. ( Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | [email protected])

Tijerina saved one of her top postseason performances for Edinburg High’s matchup with Harlingen in the 2021 regional quarterfinals, where she scored a game-high 24 points on 53% shooting including the go-ahead bucket with seconds to play.

She finished her senior season scoring a team-high 15.4 points per game while posting career highs in rebounding (5.3) and shooting percentage (49%) to split District 31-6A Player of the Year Honors with Saenz.

Tijerina was also recognized as The Monitor’s 2020-21 All-Area Girls Basketball Offensive Player of the Year and the RGV Basketball Coaches Association’s Class 6A All-Valley Player of the Year.

“Going through a season like the one that we went through with COVID and everything that we had, I feel like we can almost get through anything. Because even through all of that, we still push and we still had fun out of it and we still were very successful,” Tijerina said.

“(I’m going to remember) the relationships and the lifelong connections I’m going to have with my coaches, my and my teammates (most), of course. It’s not all about basketball. It’s about family.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @ByAndyMcCulloch