Way back in December, the Alice Lady Coyotes went head-to-head with Veterans Memorial in a crossover game and lost, 63-41.

It seems like a long time ago, especially considering the difference in the Alice girls squad from mid-December to now. In short, Alice is vastly improved. They began the first half of North Zone play by winning just two, and they wrapped up the regular season winning five of their last six games. 

Now on the eve of an all-important rematch between the two Friday for a shot at the state playoffs, Alice coach Amanda Gonzalez says her girls’ ability to come together and play as a team is the biggest difference. 

“We’ve been able to come together and start playing as a team,” she said. “We’re playing some good basketball now. We’re really a different team. I’m pretty sure (Veterans Memorial) is also a better team now too.”

It’ll all be settled when Alice and Veterans Memorial meet up against in the Alice High School gym at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The winner moves on to the Class 5A playoffs. For the loser, the outcomes means the end of their season. 

Alice (17-15) beat Tuloso-Midway, 64-51, Tuesday night to place second in 30-5A’s North Zone. Veterans Memorial (17-15) is the third place team in the South Zone. The district championship is being played between Ray (20-12) and Carroll (26-7) The two teams were at the top of their zone standings. Tuloso-Midway and Flour Bluff are playing in the district’s other play-in game.

The Veterans Memorial Eagles were a win away from winning District 30-5A’s South Zone. The Eagles played Corpus Christi Carroll last week for first place in the zone and won, 51-33.

Players to watch on Veterans Memorial’s roster include Michaela James and Victoria Arismendi. Against Carroll, James led the team with 10 points. Arismendi had two three-pointers.