When Alice High School senior Criselda Cruz had a hot hand this season, it wasn’t rare to see her light up the scoreboard for 20-plus points.

However, ask coaches around District 30-5A’s North Zone and they’ll paint a different picture, one of a fierce and aggressive defense juggernaut. Blessed with speed and quickness, Cruz proved to be a force for the opposition to reckon with this season. That’s why Cruz was named the North Zone’s Defensive MVP in the recent all-district voting.

Cruz was one of seven Alice players to each all-district accolades. Moreover, 14 varsity girls earned all-academic honors, which means they maintained a GPA of a 90 or above throughout basketball season.

Junior Taylor Blum and senior Kaity Buentello was named First Team All-District. Blum, along with Cruz, was often the team’s leading scorer throughout the season. Buentello was a solid all-around player who held her own on both sides of the ball. She often contributed important points offensively while doing her part on defense.

Sophomore Kayla Escobar and junior Meagan Vazquez were Second Team All-District. Junior Ulyssa Perez and sophomore Sarina Cantu were honorable mentions.

North Zone
MVP: Alyssa Viera, Sr., Ray.
Offensive MVP: Mackenzie Hermes, Soph., T-M.
Defensive MVP: Criselda Cruz, Sr., Alice.
Co-Newcomer of the Year: Leiloni James, Fresh., Ray, and Kaitlyn Atkinson, Soph. GP.
Coach of the Year: Albert Walker, Ray.

First Team All-District
Ashlynn Fillies, Sr., GP
Alexis Mendoza, Sr. Ray
Makayla Lindsey, Jr., Ray
Meagan Cantu, Sr., TM
Victoria Barton, Sr., TM
Taylor Blum, Jr., Alice
Kaity Buentello, Sr., Alice
Bailey Tanguma, Sr., Calallen
Jennah Treat, Sr., Calallen

Second Team All-District
Victoria Lee, Sr., Ray
Lauren Mendoza, Jr., Ray
Evonne Valdez, Jr., TM
Hailey Mata, Sr., Calallen
Alys Perez, Sr., Calallen
Dani Serna, Sr., Calallen
Kayla Escobar, Soph., Alice
Meagan Vasquez, Jr., Alice
Raylin Valles, Sr., Miller
Erika Davis, Jr., GP

Honorable Mention
Melissa Mata, Soph., Ray
Karely Cruz, Soph., Ray
Angela Arce, Jr., TM
Emily Cortez, Jr., TM
Ulyssa Perez, Jr., Alice
Sarina Cantu, Sop., Alice
Lauren Moller, Jr., Calallen
Elise Fuentes, Jr., Calallen
Shaeleigh Dement, Soph., GP
Alexandra Chavez, Sr., GP
Naomi Arroyo, Jr., GP
Brianna Smith, Jr., Miller
Decasha McNair, Jr., Miller
Kiarra Guzman, , Fresh., MIller

All-Academic (GPA of a 90 of better): Jakki Barrera, Kaity Buentello, Criselda Cruz, Kayla Escobar, Alyssa Lazo, Clare Martinez, Mia Perez, Ulyssa Perez, Hannah Rodriguez, Layla Rodriguez, Laryssa Salinas, Meagan Vasquez, Mireya Villarreal and Brianda Zamora.