Victoria East knows it is at a point in its season where it has bigger things to worry about than rivalry games.

Entering Tuesday night’s District 29-5A North Zone matchup against crosstown rival Victoria West, the Lady Titans were a perfect 5-0 in zone play and were in prime position to give themselves a cushion at the top of the standings.

“It’s more so about us and us playing at the level that we’re supposed to play and getting better,” said East head coach Yulonda Wimbish-North. “That was the challenge.”

The Lady Titans (18-11, 6-0) rose to the challenge, scoring a season-high in points with a 78-25 victory over the Lady Warriors (11-19, 1-7) at Victoria West High School.

“We came out with the mentality of go hard and make the playoffs,” said East’s Nevaeh Sanchez, who finished with 13 points. “We really were aiming for a high in points and holding them to a certain amount in points.”

“Coach North had really put everybody up to the test,” said East’s Kamryn Jackson. “I think everybody played defensively good. Everybody crashed the boards. Everybody got good rebounds.”

The Lady Titans out rebounded West 40 to 20, 20 of them coming on the offensive side of the floor, which gave them plenty of second chance opportunities in the win.

“Obviously I don’t feel like it was our best game,” said West head coach Christina Rankin-Williams. “They do apply a lot of pressure, and they got some bigs that make it harder to play our best game. We just need more consistently on the offense and defensive side.”

West had a long night with East’s post players, particularly Jackson who came off the bench in the first quarter and ended the game with 12 points (10 in the first half).

East power forwards Kateanna Cleveland and Ariel Haas also combined for 13 points and 15 rebounds.

“Clearly they were a lot bigger than us,” Rankin-Williams said. “We just can’t match with them inside.”

C’Niaha Randle ended with a game-high 15 points for the Lady Titans, however she was most impactful on defense, coming up with five of East’s 16 steals.

Four of Randle’s steals came in a third quarter in which the Lady Titans outscored West 23-3.

“I think we’re at our best when we can get the ball out and get some steals, deflections and different things like that when we can create those two-one-one’s,” Wimbish-North said.

Rankin-Williams was not pleased with her team turning the ball over 25 times on the night.

“(Turnovers) have been impactful all season long,” she said. “We turn the ball over a lot. We need to take our time on offense, and we need to slow things down.”

West’s Charlye Scott and Leilani Lee-Green ended with nine points for the Lady Warriors.

The Lady Titans are now 2-0 against West this season, after a 59-31 win earlier this month. They now lead the all-time series 20-10.

District 29-5A, North Zone - GIRLS Victoria East 78, Victoria West 25

Points: (E) C. Randle 15, N. Sanchez 13, K. Jackson 12, A. Valentine 10, (W) C. Scott 9, L. Lee-Green 9, M. Falcon 3;

Halftime: East 35-14; 3-Pointers: (E) N. Sanchez 3, A. Hopkins 2, A. Valentine 1 (W) M. Falcon 1, L. Lee-Green 1, C. Scott 1

Records: Victoria East 18-11, 6-0; Victoria West 11-19, 1-7

Jeremiah Sosa is a sports reporter at the Victoria Advocate. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Sports Journalism.