ALICE — Victoria West was still hungry after clinching a district 29-5A title.
After the Warriors clinched their first ever district title last Friday the team celebrated, but came back ready to work and prepare for their Class 5A bi-district round game against Roma.
No player in this group of Warriors had the feeling of a playoff basketball victory before, but that changed Monday night, as the Warriors blew out Roma 93-39 in the opening round of the playoffs.
“This team is on a mission,” said Kevin Rankin, a senior. “It feels great to get this far and to see what we’ve accomplished, but we all feel like we aren’t done yet.”
Roma took an early 3-0 lead, but that didn’t last for long as West (17-4) never trailed for the rest of the game and behind Rankin, La’Trell Barfield and Omar Posada led 20-8 after the first quarter.
“Those three seniors, it goes back to when they were sophomores,” said West head coach Pat Erskine. “They’ve gone through this journey and they realize, this isn’t about the end result, it’s about the process. And they’re enjoying that process now and they’re trusting each other. Their trust level has just gotten higher and higher with each other. That trust is what has made these guys special.”
The Warriors hit nine 3-pointers in the first half, with Posada accounting for five of those threes just in the second quarter as the Warriors broke the game open to lead 51-19 at halftime.
“Coach (DeAndre) Holmes reminded us before the game that this could be anybody’s last game and we knew that we didn’t want that. We don’t want to end so early so we were determined.”
With Posada and Barfield leading the way scoring, Rankin was able to play more of a facilitator role.
“I love it when I’m able to do that and just be a passer and creator,” Rankin said. “People say I just like to score but that’s what I really enjoy, when Omar and La’Trell, Jadyn and Dion get going. When they do that it just makes me feel better and I love that.”
West didn’t miss a beat in the second half as backups entered the game in the fourth quarter and got some well-deserved playing time.
“Those kids have been working just as hard as anyone and that was the biggest thing that happened tonight for us,” Erskine said. “They deserved that opportunity, they’ve been cheering and going hard in practice all season and I’m just happy for them.”
Posada finished the night with 33 points, while Barfield had 17 and Rankin scored 16.
“We just trusted each other,” Rankin said. “When we trust each other and take care of the ball only good things happen. That’s our game plan every night.”
The Warriors will play Sharyland Pioneer on Wednesday. The location and time are yet to be determined.
“It feels great,” Barfield said. “It just keeps giving us momentum for our next playoff game and shows us what we need to do if we want to make a run.”
Class 5A bi-district round
Victoria West 93, Roma 39
Points: (W) Omar Posada 33, La’Trell Barfield 17, Kevin Rankin 16, Zo Morgan 6, Dion Green 4, Avery Ballard 4, Luke Parker 3, D’Andre Fillmore 3, Adrian Chavez 3, Isaac Nemes 2, Sammy Brito 2; (R) Christian Garza 15, Rick Hernandez 11, Allen Perez 6, Angel Kerz 2, Mario Bazan 2, Alejandro Perez 2, Sebastian Martinez 1;
3-Pointers: Posada 8, Barfield 2, Rankin, Fillmore, Chavez, Ballard, Garza, Hernandez; Halftime: West 51-19; Record: West 17-4