Sandcrabs wrap up district title with victory over East
Feb. 10, 2012 at 11:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 10, 2012 at 8:11 p.m.
PORT LAVACA - Calhoun made a few changes in its zone defense to prepare for its rematch against Victoria East.
"We tweaked it from last time," said Calhoun coach Sonny Benefield. "We had one guy going on the coverage and he couldn't quite get there so we simplified it just a little. When they cut through, we switched real quick to the regular spot. It worked against the JV, but I wasn't sure how it would work."
The Sandcrabs' zone worked well enough to force 21 turnovers, and led to a 55-42 win over the Titans on Friday night at the Calhoun gym.
The Sandcrabs (27-4) improved to 8-1 in District 30-4A and wrapped up their first district championship since they were co-champions in the 1992-93 season.
"They worked hard and that was one of our goals to go ahead and do that," Benefield said. "Hopefully, we can get everything ready and go into the playoffs."
The Sandcrabs started quickly forcing 12 turnovers in the first half and took a 29-18 lead at the break.
"We figured out coming into the second round of district that everybody is going to make some changes and we realized that we had to make some changes too," said Calhoun post Isaac Cardona. "We made changes for the better and everything came out good on our side."
Cardona scored 14 points, but was as much as a facilitator as a scorer. With East defenders pressing him every time he touched the ball, his passes helped Lorenzo Resendez score 16 points and Cory Williams score 14.
"One good thing about Isaac Cardona is if you get him the ball he's going to get it to the open guy," Benefield said. "The other guys stepped up. We said they're going double team him so don't rush it and take a good open shot."
Cardona picked up his third foul and left the court with 5:04 left in the third quarter. The Titans (19-13, 6-3) took advantage by outscoring the Sandcrabs 9-2 and pulling within 33-30 before he returned with 2:03 remaining.
"I'm flabbergasted as to why we would play like that," said East coach John Grammer. "We've been in big games before so it couldn't have been the big-game jitters. We kind of got rattled and it took us too long to snap out of it."
Cardona helped Calhoun close the third quarter on a 6-2 run and outscore East 16-3 to start the fourth quarter.
"I know my team is going to knock down the shots every time I pass them the ball," Cardona said. "It's just a thing where if I pass it, I know they're going to make it. If I have to score, I'm going to score."
Ian Sharpless scored 13 points and Christian Herring had 10 to pace East, which can wrap up second place with a win over Beeville on Tuesday.
The Sandcrabs can start making plans for the playoffs.
"I was real pleased with our defense," Benefield said. "We've got a chance to go a few rounds and that's what we're hoping."