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Lady Titans can't solve CC Ray again, eliminated from playoffs

By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Feb. 15, 2013 at 9:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:15 p.m.

Victoria East's Ramaya Dean drives to the basket against several Corpus Christi Ray defenders. The Lady Titans' season came to an end Friday in Woodsboro. After beating Ray four straight times, East has now lost its last two games against the Lady Texans.

WOODSBORO - Victoria East and Corpus Christi Ray were familiar with the emotions but unfamiliar with the result.

The Lady Titans had defeated Ray en route to two state regional tournament appearances and one state tournament berth.

But the Lady Texans turned the table on East, pulling out a 56-52 Class 4A area playoff win Friday night at the Eagle Dome.

"Our kids don't have anything to hold their heads about," said East coach Yulonda Wimbish-North. "They had a great year. It was Ray's time. We beat them two years in a row. It was just their time."

The Lady Texans (28-8) withstood a second-half comeback in which the Lady Titans took a one-point lead once in the third quarter and three times in the fourth quarter before icing the win on a pair of Jasmine Gomez free throws with 7.8 seconds remaining.

As a result, Ray will advance to the regional quarterfinals against Laredo Cigarroa, a 47-40 winner over Gregory-Portland. East ends the season at 21-10.

"They've gotten us two years in a row," said Ray coach Roy De La Pena. "But you know what, I was so proud of them because East went all the way to state. Don't get me wrong; it stings. It hurts when you lose, but I was proud of them."

East jumped out to an 8-3 lead before Ray took advantage of foul trouble that put Bre Williams, Ramaya Dean and Kendall Carter on the bench to build as much as a nine-point lead in the second quarter.

"I think Ramaya and Bre got their two, and it put us in a situation that we were unfamiliar with," Wimbish-North said. "We talked about how we had to be able to control the ball handler, and we didn't really do a good job of that in the beginning. We just struggled. I don't know what to say. We just struggled. We kind of struggled on both ends, actually."

The Lady Titans pulled within four at halftime, and neither team led by more than five points in the second half.

East's took a 49-48 lead with 3:12 left in the fourth quarter on the second straight jumper by Sonya Acuna, who had a team-high 14 points, but never led again.

The Lady Titans tied the game at 50 on a free throw by Carter and at 52 on a layup by Dean.

Ray went ahead 53-52 on a free throw by Erin Longoria. The Lady Texans missed their next six free throws, but East couldn't capitalize.

With the Lady Titans trailing 54-52, Wimbish-North called a timeout to set up a play. But Carter missed a driving attempt from four feet on the right side of the basket, and Gomez got the rebound and was fouled.

"We had opportunities to win the game," Wimbish-North said. "We had it and then we turned it over ... different things like that. So we did have opportunities, we just didn't execute it at the end."

After beating Ray four straight times, the Lady Titans have lost their last two games to the Lady Texans.

The first loss was in the season opener by an eerily similar 56-51 score.

Corpus Christi Ray 56, Victoria East 52

CORPUS CHRISTI RAY - Audi Espinoza 2, Erin Longoria 10, Julia Benavidez 2, Kat Bell 3, Shanell Stewart 5, Jazmen Williams 7, Dori Bonilla 11, Jasmine Gomez 16.

VICTORIA EAST: Ramaya Dean 9, Kamri Hardeman 8, Sonya Acuna 14, Bre Williams 10, Casey Jackson 5, Jada Whitby 3, Kendall Carter 3.

HALFTIME: Ray 31-27. 3-pointers: Bonilla, Gomez, Williams 2, Whitby. Records: Ray 28-8; East 21-10.

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