Victoria West girls stay hot, cruise past Alice
Some people have a spirit so infectious that when they do well, it seems to invigorate their teammates. Silvey Estrada appears to be one of those players for the Victoria West basketball team.
The junior guard came off the bench to score 11 points Tuesday night in the Warriors' 42-29 victory over Alice.
A 90-second stretch late in the second quarter ignited West and allowed it to open up a double-digit lead. Estrada was right in the middle of the action. Her assist to a cutting Emily Coronado was the start of a 7-0 Warriors run.
West (9-2) forced another turnover on the ensuing Alice possession, one of 18 on the night for the Lady Coyotes. Estrada finished that play with a layup.
Fifteen seconds later Estrada was once again scurrying toward the basket after an Alice turnover. This time she completed the three-point play at the free throw line to give West a 26-11 lead with 1:48 remaining in the first half.
Estrada said the key to the Warriors torrid start to the season has been their communication and penchant for maximizing the ability of everyone on the roster. When asked, the junior, who is generously listed at 5-feet tall, said she brings speed to the team.
Alice coach Tracy Zamora said her team had a lot of opportunities Tuesday evening, but they couldn't capitalize. She praised West for its athleticism and quickness, adding the Warriors make her team better.
The game really hinged on the second quarter. West shot 58 percent from the field, which helped extend a six point lead after the first quarter to a 26-13 margin at halftime. Alice was 4-25 from the field in the first 16 minutes, a stat compounded by nine first-half turnovers.
"That will kill you after a while," Zamora said. "It starts bringing your team down. We have to learn to take care of the basketball. We can't have turnovers that lead to baskets where I can't play defense."
"I felt we did a pretty good job in our half court defense. When we forced them to run an offense, we did an OK job, it's hard to contest those breakaway layups."
Estrada scored seven of her points in the pivotal second quarter.
"The second quarter was big because of the transition," said West coach Sandra Jimenez. "That's where Silvey came in to play because she's such a quick player. She'll get down the floor. She catches the ball well and loves to slide in. Once we get the ball in her hands, I feel comfortable in her attacking the basket any time she has the ball."
From there, West cruised to the win. Alice cut the deficit to nine points 90 seconds into the second half, but West was never in jeopardy of losing after the convincing second quarter.
Treka Franklin did not play for West after sustaining an injury at El Campo on Nov. 20. Despite the absence of the post, the Warriors didn't lose the battle of the boards as both teams had 37 rebounds and West snatched 11 offensive rebounds.
West's Mercedes Ellison led all players with 12 points. Tiana Davila added seven points and Coronado had six. Brittney Rivera led Alice with eight points and Lexie Villarreal had seven for the Lady Coyotes who fell to 4-4.
"I think it is important. Everyone knows that she's out, so everyone wants to contribute to get us a win," Estrada said about Franklin's absence. "Everyone works harder to show that we're not a team of just one, but we're all one team."