Victoria West weathers C.C. Moody comeback in home opener

Victoria West's Eboni Murphy (20) goes for a layup as Treka Franklin trails during Monday's home opener against Corpus Christi Moody. Murphy is the lone starter from last season's Memorial team playing for Victoria West this season.
  • Victoria West48C.C. Moody46Leading scorers: Natalie Vella (CCM) 15; Treka Franklin (VW) 12; Tiffanie Wyatt (VW) 12; Kiana Orise (CCM) 11; Sevaneh Campos-Reyes (VW) 11.

    UP NEXTLADY WARRIORS (5-3) AT EL CAMPO

    Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Eboni Murphy wasn't about to let the another team spoil her final home opener.

And for three quarters, it looked like the Warriors opponent, Corpus Christi Moody, wouldn't even come close.

But they refused to go away.

The lone starter from last season's Memorial team playing for the Warriors, was determined to hold them off.

"It's our home," she said. "It's our first home game, and we didn't want Moody to come in here and take it. So, we had to forget the bad calls and do what we had to do to win."

Even though the Lady Trojans (3-3) were able to tie the game late, Victoria West was able to get a basket from Treka Franklin in the final seconds to seal a 48-46 win Monday afternoon.

Warriors coach Sandra Jimenez said Murphy is one of the team's leaders on and off the court.

"I still expect the world from Eboni," she said. "She's one of our more experienced players. I put a lot of pressure on her, and I think she can handle it and will handle it.

"I always think she can do better, but she definitely had a good game."

The Warriors were led in points by the sophomore Franklin, a transfer from Athens, and Tiffanie Wyatt, who each had 12.

"We were all working together, and once you all start hitting shots back to back, it sets the momentum for everyone," Franklin said.

For much of the game, the Warriors were in control of the game. Murphy said the offense was hitting its shots and its passes.

"We were running the whole time, we were getting our play down and looking at the open people," she said. "We were getting our shots in."

A big part of the early success, Jimenez said, was their success at breaking Moody's press.

"They were following exactly how they were taught to break the press," she said. "But when one person doesn't show up for their responsibilties, it tends to throw them off."

The Warriors faltered in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Trojans made adjustments and the Warriors lost control.

For the second and third quarters, the Warriors hit about 40 percent of their shots. But that fell off in the fourth, and Moody's shots, which hadn't been falling for much of the game, started to.

"I don't know of any team that is consistent at that yet," Jimenez said. "We just need to continue to make strides."

Moody rallied in the first part of the fourth quarter to pull within one and a chance to tie.

"We were rushing, we weren't taking our time and forcing things that shouldn't have been forced," Murphy said. "We should have slowed it down like we were in the beginning."

The Warriors also had a basket disallowed when the Lady Trojans coach called a timeout after one of the players briefly stole the ball.

The call, and several others, were part of a chaotic final two minutes that saw Moody tie up the game for the first time since early in the first, and both teams without timeouts.

"I think everybody got upset with some of the calls at the end, and that brought us down a bit," Murphy said.

Franklin said the team just had to settle down and get back to its game to hold on.

"We were all riled up," she said. "And in the end, when we got our play set up and we got everything running together, that's when we hit our shots."

Jimenez said Moody made a change to its defense that caused a world of problems for the Warriors.

"They started denying the ball back to our guards," she said. "So then we had to depend on bringing the ball forward. When we had our posts in the right position, we were successful.

"When we didn't that's when we made poor decisions."

Still, Jimenez said she gives credit where credit is due to the players.

"I think it says something when somebody is trying to knock down the door and you keep it shut," she said. "Yes, we had it and we should have been able to continue with the lead, but Moody is not a bad team."