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Warriors close out Victoria Classic with win over Titans

MIKE FORMAN

By MIKE FORMAN
Dec. 30, 2011 at 6:30 a.m.
Updated Dec. 31, 2011 at 6:31 a.m.

Victoria East's Dav'Vin Hill races for the ball as Victoria West's James Murphy tries to regain control during the last game of the 2011 Victoria Classic. The Warriors defeated the Titans 54-36. ANGELI WRIGHT/AWRIGHT@VICAD.COM

Victoria West coach Pat Erskine made a point to emphasize rebounding before the Warriors played Victoria East.

"We got on the boards," Erskine said. "The one thing I wrote on the dry erase before the game is you will win the game if you win the battle of the boards and they did."

The Warriors outrebounded the Titans 42-15 and ran off with a 54-36 win in the final game of the Victoria Classic on Friday night at the East gym.

The District 30-4A rivals agreed to play each other in the annual tournament, and the Warriors (11-8) captured their third straight win over the Titans (11-9) since the schools opened last season.

"It's an opportunity to play games," Erskine said. "It's always strange you don't even know what's going to happen. We've been talking to our kids about we've got to get better each game. It's just another opportunity to get better."

Erskine liked the improvement he saw in the first quarter when the Warriors outscored the Titans 25-7 to take control of the game.

"We handed the ball really well under pressure," said West senior Drew Erskine, who scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the first quarter. "That's their style. They try and create a lot of turnovers. We did a good job of controlling the ball and taking good shots. We worked the ball around and got the shots we like to take."

East converted six 3-pointers, but didn't reach double figures until Cole Wozniak converted from long range with 3:54 left in the second quarter.

"They made shots and we missed shots," said East coach John Grammer. "The first quarter was pretty much the game."

The Warriors converted all 12 of their free throws and never allowed the Titans closer than 15 points after the first quarter.

"I thought our kids played really well," Pat Erskine said. "I thought they played within themselves. We always seem to have a few of those spurts where things kind of get out of hand.

"But I thought they pulled themselves back and they looked at each other and said, 'Hey, we can do this.'"

The teams will meet next in district play on Jan. 20 at the West gym.

"It's an in-town rivalry," Drew Erskine said. "We're still close to the guys on their team, but we want to beat them when we can."

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