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Titans beat Warriors for the first time

By aalvarado
Jan. 20, 2012 at 11:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 20, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.

RIGHT: Victoria East fans charge the court after the Titans 65-63 win over the Warriors on Friday.

Victoria East coach John Grammer had a message for Christian Herring at halftime of the Titans' game at Victoria West.

"They've got some guys that are stepping up and making shots and you have to step up and make shots," Grammer said.

The message sunk in. Herring scored nine of his game-high 19 points to lead the Titans to a 65-63 victory over the Warriors.

East overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half to beat West for the first time ever.

"Everybody said we couldn't beat them so it feels good," Herring said.

The Titans improved to 3-0 in District 30-4A and 16-10 overall.

West fell to 1-2 in district and 13-12 overall.

West had beaten East twice in District 30-4A play last season and defeated the Titans in last month's Victoria Classic.

Drew Erskine's putback spurred a 11-2 run that gave West an 11-point lead with 3:07 left in the third quarter.

"We knew we couldn't let them get up by too much and we kept playing," Herring said.

With the Titans trailing by four points entering the final quarter, Herring drove strong to the paint for a pair of buckets.

He made a 3-pointer that gave East a 51-50 lead East wouldn't relinquish.

"They called timeout and came out and played with some urgency," said West assistant coach Bucky Hartman. "They wouldn't give up and we thought that we had it. We missed a lot of shots in the third quarter that we normally hit."

The game featured 10 lead changes.

West trailed 65-62 with 5 seconds remaining and had a chance to tie the game on the final possession.

West guard James Murphy was fouled by East guard Ian Sharpless while shooting a 3-pointer with 0.48 seconds remaining.

Murphy missed the first and made the second free throw.

After a timeout, Murphy had to intentionally miss his final attempt to give West a chance to send the game into overtime.

Warriors post Clayton Cain came up with the rebound along the right baseline, but his one-handed shot fell well short.

The final horn set off a celebration that included East players and students, who flooded the court.

"They really didn't expect us to win so they were kind of surprised because we've laid a goose egg against West so far," Grammer said.

Cole Wozniak scored 14 points and Sharpless scored 12 for East.

Drew Erskine led the Warriors with 15 points, while Murphy added 13 and Cain scored 10.

Senior forward Trey Cole scored 12 points filling in for Nic Bufford, who didn't play.

"Trey did an outstanding job," said West head coach Pat Erskine. "For the lack of playing experience he did a great job."

The two teams play again on Feb. 7 at the East gym.

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