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McAllen Bulldogs advance to program’s first-ever regional championship

Local Sports

Mcallen, Texas (KVEO) — The Bulldogs defeated the Georgetown Eagles to advance to the program’s first-ever regional championship Tuesday evening. 

The accomplishment was unbelievable, although, at one time, even the thought was unimaginable. 
“You know I knew we had a lot of potential,” senior guard Quinllion Canada Jr. said. “But never did I imagine making it to the elite eight.” 

In over 100 years of high school athletics, only one McAllen boys basketball program has made it to this stage of the state tournament, and Coach Ryan Flores is not sure it even counted. 

“Back in 1926 or 1929, there was a team that made it to the state tournament,” Coach Flores explained. “But the way they made it was winning one playoff game and they were in the state tournament.” 

One win doesn’t get you to the state tournament these days.

Players and coaches point to development and growth throughout the season when it comes to postseason success. Junior Guard Robert Canul sees a completely new team peaking at the right time compared to the team that tipped off the season. 

“Seeing what we’ve done this year compared to what we did at the beginning of the season, ” Canul pondered. “I think throughout the whole season we have just transformed into a completely new team.” 

Coach Flores attests to the development too but attributes plenty of his team’s success to one main focus: Defense. 

“If we can hold our opponents to under 50 points, we are going to win a lot of ball games,” Coach Flores explained. “The kids have bought into that.”

In four playoff matchups, the Bulldogs have not allowed over 50 points once. The philosophy has clearly translated to success, with the Bulldogs having solidified a spot in the regional championship. 

The Bulldogs’ historic season continues when McAllen takes on Glenn High School this Friday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio’s Blossom Center. 

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