East's Adelaide Wenzel hones Titans shot at playoffs
Feb. 4, 2011 at 9 p.m.
Updated Feb. 3, 2011 at 8:04 p.m.
Adelaide Wenzel has been playing basketball since she was small, and her commitment is as absolute as one can get to a sport.
"I slept with a basketball," she said of when she was young.
Does that mean she was born with one in her hands?
"No, not that," the junior guard for Victoria East giggled. "That's a little too far."
The guard for the Titans has displayed a style of play this season not unlike someone who's been around it all her life. Her shooting and skill has made her one of the top scorers in District 30-4A.
The Titans are in a three-way tie for second place in the district, with Floresville and Gregory-Portland, with two games left to play.
Victoria East can do wonders for their chances of finishing in the second spot, behind Victoria West, with a win Saturday night at home against a beleaguered Floresville team that was once ranked sixth in Class 4A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches but has fallen off with three district losses.
A big part of Floresville's strategy will be to try and stop Wenzel, something no team has been particularly successful at in the last month.
She has good accuracy from long distance, and she said she tries to visualize and follow through on her technique. Think it through and watch the basket.
"When I shoot, I think I focus a lot on it," Wenzel said. "I think of all the principles, the elbows and all that."
And when they catch on to her shooting ability?
"When they come up at me, and think I'm going to score, that's when I drive," she said.
Wenzel has performed well in district play this season, averaging about 13.6 points per game in seven district games so far, including 24 in a tense one-point win at Calhoun.
On top of being able to rain 3-pointers and shoot from good distances, she has the ability to run the offense and set up her teammates and to drive to the hoop.
Although she stands 5-foot-9 - tall enough to play post or at least forward for many teams - she finds herself at home most playing guard for the Titans.
And there are still aspects of the game that she said she is still adjusting to, particularly in district play with the book on her capabilities out to the other five teams before the Titans even play them.
"It's different the way people guard me," Wenzel said. "I still think varsity is new to me sometimes, and I think it's even harder the second round of district to get open. ... It makes everything harder."
Yet, for all her success this season, she knows it's not all her. Wenzel said she wouldn't be where she is without the rest of her team.
"Putting us all together is what makes our team, but everyone having their own special thing helps us a lot," she said.
This is especially true considering the change from Memorial to Victoria East, which involved a change of teammates and a new adjustment period to each other and a new coach.
"I'm proud of everyone," Wenzel said. "It was a new experience, and definitely different because of everything I got used to last year. I was just getting used to it because it was my first year of varsity.
"We all did well, we were really excited to start the new year. I think we've worked together well for a new team."