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Tonight’s matchup between the Mission Lady Eagles and Sharyland Lady Rattlers may come down to a battle of wills. On one hand you have Mission, needing a win to secure itself at least an additional shot at the postseason and, on the other hand, Sharyland will play with some motivation of their own.

“Part of our motivation is the fact it is our senior last night playing at home,” says head coach Dale Whitaker. “[In addition] we don’t want to share second with anyone. [The girls] know what they are playing for.”

A loss would indeed force the Lady Rattlers to share second with McHi, though Shary hold the tiebreaker between the two.

The last time these two meet Coach Whitaker’s team came out on top, 31-21.

“Our strength and the way we beat them over there is we started going inside to our big girls in the second half.”

Those girls are senior Laura Eberly and junior Monica Salinas. The two combined to score 23 points, outscoring Mission by themselves.

For Mission head coach Rene Garza, the veteran coach knows his team must do a better job defending the inside game.

“We need to contain their inside game. I think we will have a chance if we can restrict [Sharyland] to one shot every position.”

Of course Whitaker knows this Mission team is much different than the one they faced about a month ago. The victory over the Lady Eagles was their opponent’s third in a row. The team would go on to lose another. Since then, however, the team has won five straight.

Garza says the key to the win streak has been the team’s ability to score. During the losing streak the Lady Eagles averaged a dismal 21 points. The slump was due to bad shots and then a resultant lack of confidence. However, Garza kept his team shooting and, in the last five games, Mission has averaged almost 40 points per game.

The key player in the five-game win streak has been Alejandra Cedillo. The guard has averaged 16 points a game.

For Sharyland, not only will Salinas and Eberly be key but the outside game will need to be employed as well. Clarissa Suarez and Savannah Prichard will have to show up as well.

Tonight’s game begins at 6 p.m.

Other Games-Girls

McHi at La Joya: Dan Morales’ Lady Coyotes were just two points away from securing a postseason berth last Friday. However, the one-point loss to Mission forced La Joya into a tie with the Lady Eagles. A win tonight combined with a Mission loss would secure the bid. However, if both teams win then a three-way tie will be created between McHi, Mission and La Joya. If both lose then Mission and La Joya will participate in a play-in game.

Veterans Memorial at Weslaco East: The Lady Patriots will be District 32-4A’s second-seeded team no matter what happens tonight. However, a win on the road against a well-coach Lady Wildcat team would be great.

Other Games-Boys

Mission at Sharyland: The Rattlers are three games away from taking home the district championship.

McHi at La Joya: The Coyotes have no chance at the postseason but they could help out Palmview with a win tonight.

Veterans Memorial at Weslaco East: The Patriots have to win tonight if they want any shot at the playoffs. Juarez-Lincoln is counting on them as well.

Juarez-Lincoln at Valley View: The Huskies cannot afford to lose any more games.

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