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Warriors fall short to Yoakum

By aalvarado
Dec. 7, 2011 at 6:07 a.m.

West freshman point guard Mercedes Ellison, center, grabs onto the ball while teammate Treka Franklin and Yoakum guard Sevannah Campos-Reyes wait to clean up any rebounds on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at Victoria West High School.JONATHANHINDERLITER/JHINDERLITER@VICAD.COM

YOAKUM 50, VICTORIA WEST 49

With 24 seconds left in the game and her team trailing by a single point, Yoakum senior guard Allyson Blakeney walked up to the free-throw line with just one thought.

Her thought was likely what many people in the stands were thinking, but would not say out loud.

"Don't choke, make your free throws just like in practice," Blakeney said with a smile following the game.

She made both free throws and Raeian Samuel came up with a pair of late steals to help the Lady Bulldogs edge Victoria West by one point, 50-49, at West's gym Tuesday.

Sevanah Campos-Reyes connected on four 3-pointers and scored a team-high 14 points, while Emily Skipper and Treka Franklin each scored 13 points for the Warriors.

Jaccarri Hights led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points, while Blakeney and Samuel each finished with double-digit points, scoring 11 points and 10 points, respectively.

The loss drops the Warriors' record to 10-4, while the Lady Bulldogs improve to 11-1.

Yoakum is ranked ninth in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 3A poll.

West coach Sandra Jimenez said that although the loss was heartbreaking, it could become a positive down the road.

"The more you play close games, of course you always want to win the close games, but the better you are prepared to win them in the future," Jimenez said.

Recently, the Warriors have not been giving home fans much bang for their buck, easily defeating El Campo and Alice by a combined 74 points.

Tuesday's game featured 12 lead changes and six ties.

One of those ties was at halftime as the teams were tied 19-19.

After the break, things opened up for the backcourts of both teams, and the tone was set when Skipper drained a 3-pointer to start the half.

Blakeney quickly answered with her first 3-pointer of the night before the Warriors countered with a three from Campos-Reyes.

Yoakum and West combined to make 11 of 15 shots from beyond the arc in the second half.

The outside opened up for the Lady Bulldogs' guards because West limited the effectiveness of Yoakum's post Ashtyn Henkes.

Although Henkes was held to six points, Yoakum's backcourt stepped up by scoring 24 points.

"They were diving on the post and not letting her get anything going," Yoakum head coach Shawn Griffin said. "We got inside and kicked it back out, and we got some shots."

Added Jimenez: "A couple of times, we were out of synch, and, with a good team, that's all it takes for them to hit that wide open three."

The Warriors made similar adjustments, but with Franklin.

After scoring eight points in the first half, the Lady Bulldogs defense targeted her, and she was limited to just five points in the second half.

The senior guards carried West's offense in the second half as Campos-Reyes and Skipper combined to score 25 of the Warriors' 30 second-half points.

"As long as teams allow (Campos-Reyes) and Skip to shoot, we're going to keep doing that," Jimenez said.

West took a 35-32 lead into the fourth quarter and answered the Lady Bulldogs until the final three minutes of the game.

Campos-Reyes' fourth 3-pointer of the game put West up 48-46 with 1:15 remaining, but Hights out-muscled the West defense for a basket in the paint to tie the game 48-48 with 40 seconds left, setting up the game's tense final moments.

"We lost last week, and I didn't want to lose again," Samuel said. "I don't like the feeling, so it was good to know I got one more steal added to my book, and we won. We finished."

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