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Titans steal game out of El Campo's hands in 59-43 win

By jhornberg
Nov. 30, 2010 at 5:30 a.m.

Victoria East's Danielle Franklin, right, attempts a shot as El Campo's Shanice Thomas tries to block it during the first half of Tuesday's game at the Victoria East gym. The Titans defeated the Ladybirds 59-43.

The formula Tuesday night was, as simple as, it was predictable: El Campo would in bound the ball, and Danielle Franklin would try to steal it.

More often than not, the junior guard in her second season of varsity play would come up with the ball. And throughout the first half, she would follow up that steal with two points.

"The way their offense was, they kept doing the same thing," Franklin said. "They were overloading one side, and I'd think, cheat a little and get the ball away."

It helped that the Titans were changing up their press at each timeout, said guard Adelaide Wenzel, allowing Victoria East to keep the Ladybirds off balance.

"Every time they had a timeout, we would change our press, and they never got it really," she said. "We always changed it up on them, so that they could never get it down.

"We score a lot off of our steals, and steals create our offense."

Titans coach Yulonda Wimbish-North said the focus of the team's defense was turnovers, and turning each one into points.

"We created a lot of turnovers," she said. "Danielle got a lot of steals tonight, so I think our defense was pretty effective tonight."

Victoria East used a devastating full-court press to take advantage of El Campo, which struggled just to move the ball up the court for much of the game, let alone keep pace with the Titans.

Franklin finished with 12 points, eight of which came in the first half.

El Campo never led and the Titans used an 11-0 run to start the game with a massive lead that was as much as 27 points on Tuesday night, beating the Ladybirds 59-43.

Wenzel led the way with 13 points for the Titans, including nine in the final quarter to help put the game away.

"I was feeling it, my shots were finally falling because they weren't in the first half," she said.

Wimbish-North said the Titans are a full-court team that takes advantage of its speed.

"We try to press to create turnovers," she said. "So I think the kids were aggressive, they were getting in passing lanes and causing turnovers to allow us some opportunities for layups.

"We're trying to generate some offense through our defense."

El Campo was able to close the lead to as little as five in the second quarter, which Franklin said was just the team resting on its laurels for a few minutes.

"I think we just started slacking," Franklin said. "We were already ahead and we let it get in our heads."

Wimbish-North said the Titans have been at their most successful when they've been able to keep the game full court.

"We've been most successful when we can press and run," she said. "Our last game, we were forced into a half court kind of game, and it wasn't good for us.

"We want to put pressure at all times."

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