East girls even record with win over Goliad
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GOLIAD - Usually, Tigers are the predators. Usually, it's Goliad that is able to impose its will in a girls basketball game.
Tuesday, the Tigerettes ran into a team that usually forces teams into turnovers.
Defensively, Victoria East pressured, hassled and, at times, fouled Goliad to stop its momentum in a convincing 57-30 win.
East improved to 6-6 on the season largely due to its constricting man-to-man defense.
"Intense. We wanted to come out intense. Defense is our thing," said East guard Bre Williams, who scored 12 points on the night.
Goliad's 14 points at halftime were its lowest output in 12 games this season. The Tigerettes were held to six field goals in the first three quarters of the game - two in each quarter.
"We play together as a team. We don't argue and we've played together for a really long time," added East's Ramaya Dean when asked how the Lady Titans ratcheted up the defense.
For the home team, three starters returned from the team that won the District 30-3A title and a school-record 27 games last year. One of them, Sydney Morris was relegated to a seat on the bench next to the coaches because of a stress fracture in her left foot.
The pressure began at the first whistle. Goliad won the tip, but before it could even run a play East's Kamri Hardeman stole the ball and coasted down the court for a layup.
"Victoria East is a great defensive team, hands down," said Tigerettes head coach John Reyes. "They put pressure on my guards all night and we turned the ball over way too much. But, they are so great on defense they gave us fits all night long and we didn't take care of the ball."
Perez led Goliad (9-3) with 10 points in the loss. However, she was the only Tigerette in double figured as Avery Zamzow scored seven points and Melanie Jones added another five points.
East led 9-5 at the end of the first quarter. From then on, the Lady Titans pressure led to transition baskets, or wide open jumpers from Williams and Dean, or high-percentage looks from posts Cassie Pustejovsky and Kendall Carter. Hardeman scored eight points, many of which came in transition, while Carter scored 6 points and Pustejovsky added another 5 points.
Reyes said East is the best defensive team Goliad has played all year. The Lady Titans were the fourth Class 4A team the Tigerettes, who moved down to District 30-2A this year, have faced and the first they have failed to defeat.
Corpus Christi Moody, Beeville and Calhoun were among the victims in the Tigerettes' streak of nine straight wins to start the season.
"The thing I tell my girls is nobody in our district, I believe, has played the schedule we've played," Reyes said. "I don't think anyone in our district will provide the pressure Victoria East did. If we can learn how to handle the ball a little better in those pressure situations it's going to be that much easier come district time."
Time will tell whether that is the case. What cannot be argued was the intensity the Lady Titans exerted to pull out the win.
Dean scored 16 points to lead the Lady Titans. However, the play that may have encapsulated East's effort came 3:49 remaining when the Titans were leading by 25 points.
Dean missed the second of two free throws. The senior immediately realized the shot was short, recovered the rebound underneath the basket before putting the ball in the bucket to give East a 53-25 lead.
"The communication as there," Williams said. "It wasn't that tough of a game, so we had different players come in and we played with them. We made sure we played up to our level."