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Titans earn share of District 30-4A title with win over Calhoun

By jhornberg
Feb. 11, 2011 at 11 p.m.
Updated Feb. 10, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.

East's Jaime Thomas drives to the basket as Calhoun's Isaac Cardona attempts to defend him. Thomas finished with five points for the Titans, who wrapped up a share of the District 30-4A title with a 54-37 win on Friday night.

The mission for the Titans, should they choose to accept it, was to stop Isaac Cardona.

Not like they had a choice.

The sophomore post has been the big points generator for Calhoun.

"We had to contain 32, he scored most of their points, so we have to just contain him," said senior guard Branden Williams. "We had to know where he was at all times."

Part of that strategy, stay with the Sandcrabs big man as much as possible.

"We wanted to keep him from touching the ball as much as we could," said junior guard Dav'Vin Hill.

The real incentive for East? The winner would get a share of the District 30-4A crown.

"Calhoun's game is to play half court," said Titans coach John Grammer. "We were trying to force them into a full court game. We wanted to wear them down."

Consider it mission accomplished.

Cardona finished with 17 points, but the Titans held him to just two in the first half, while building a double-digit lead in a big second quarter to beat the Sandcrabs 54-37 on Friday night.

Williams led the Titans with 14 points, and Tyler Friedel bounced back from a poor shooting night on Tuesday to notch 12 points.

The win gives the Titans a share of the District 30-4A title. A win Tuesday at Beeville would seal it.

The Titans traded baskets through the first quarter before shutting down the Sandcrabs in the second quarter.

Cardona had a basket early in the half, but otherwise the Sandcrabs struggled to even find an open shot.

"We knew Isaac Cardona was their scorer," Grammer said. "The couple times he did score, we lost him in transition, but I think that was his only basket of the first half."

Cardona's basket accounted for the only points for Calhoun in the second quarter.

Grammer said the Titans were able to exploit their speed at guard to harass Calhoun, and to get the Sandcrabs off their game.

"We just really tried to pressure them," he said. "I told them that they didn't have to steal it, but to pressure them and get inside their heads."

And it showed.

Freshman guard Jason Alonzo struggled to find any kind of game, and Lorenzo Resendez was in foul trouble for much of the game.

"We just wanted to press them and keep pressure on the ball," Hill said. "We wanted to make sure made them do things they weren't used to."

The junior guard finished with 8 points.

Williams said it was important for the Titans to come out and play with more intensity following their loss to Victoria West on Tuesday.

"We just wanted to be district champs, so we had to play our game," he said. "It feels good to do this in the first year."

Calhoun can secure second place in district with a win and a Victoria West victory on Tuesday against Floresville.



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