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Strong finish lifts Lady Titans over Sandies

By MIKE FORMAN
Jan. 8, 2013 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 7, 2013 at 7:08 p.m.

Victoria East's Cassie Pustejovsky beat the Calhoun defenders to the basket to go up for a shot during Tuesday's game at Victoria East High School. The Titans defeated the Sandies 63-45.

The closer a game gets, the harder Victoria East seems to play.

The Lady Titans had a 12-point halftime lead shrink to six at the end of the third quarter. But East outscored Calhoun 17-5 in the fourth quarter to claim a 63-45 District 30-4A win on Tuesday night at the East gym.

"I felt like in the third quarter we didn't do so well," said Victoria East coach Yulonda Wimbish-North. "We didn't come out as sharp. We did some fouling and turned the ball over and stuff like that. But we did a little changeup on some of the things we did defensively, which affected them defensively and caused turnovers, and that's why we were able to score."

The Lady Titans' strong finish helped them improve to 14-8 and stay perfect in district with a 5-0 mark.

"Our defensive intensity picked up," said East's Sonya Acuna, who had 13 points and was one of three East players in double figures.

The Sandies (15-11, 2-4) were able to stay close to the Lady Titans because of the play of posts McKenna Villegas, who scored 17 points, and Jordan Edison, who had 12.

"I think McKenna is low and she's a very good player," Wimbish-North said. "Trying to keep up with her is very difficult. I think Jordan Ellison drew some fouls on us driving the lane, but I think overall we did OK."

Villegas and Edison helped Calhoun get a number of second and third chances early in the game before East did a better job on the boards in the second half.

"We work hard in practice," Acuna said. "We've just got to talk to each other and communicate on defense and know that backside is going to be there and just trust to teammates. We just had to really box them out. We knew they were good rebounders. We just had to get around them and box out."

The game was a physical throughout with a total of 39 fouls called and 44 free throws shot.

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