West girls score big upset of No. 6 Floresville
Jan. 11, 2011 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 10, 2011 at 7:11 p.m.
Tiffanie Wyatt tries not to overthink her shots.
It's simple for her: Shoot the ball, be prepared to get back on defense.
"That's kind of how it goes, patience and getting the ball in the hoop," said the senior post for Victoria West.
But it allows her to not overthink her play on the court, an invaluable skill when the pressure is mounting late in a close game.
"I just shot the ball and hopefully it went in," the senior said.
Late in the game, Wyatt's cool demeanor helped her hit a shot to put Victoria West up by two scores.
With a minute left against Floresville, it turned out to be for good.
The Warriors (16-8, 2-0) pulled off a stunning upset of the top-ranked Floresville (21-4, 1-1), leading almost the whole way in a 65-60 victory at home on Tuesday night.
The senior post led the way, hitting her first six shots and shooting 73 percent (11 of 15) from the field to finish with 23 points.
But the win means more, she said.
"It means we have the heart to defeat anyone we want to, no matter what they are ranked," she said. "It doesn't matter where they are ranked."
Which is a good mentality to have when taking the court in District 30-4A play against a team ranked No. 6 in the Class 4A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
No matter, Wyatt said.
"We had to stay calm and keep doing what we've been doing to beat them down court," she said.
Warriors coach Sandra Jimenez said Tuesday's game was a total team effort. The West players kept pace with the Jaguars, step for step, steal for steal, shot for shot.
"It means a lot to have these kids come out and play the way they did," she said. "Intense, following directions to the T, and playing team ball."
The Warriors defense held strong against Floresville's strong shooters. But whole team had an off night on the court.
"We keyed in on two of their best players, but of course they had other shooters," Jimenez said. "It was within the other three players and being able to pick them up."
The Jaguars shot about 30 percent as a team, and key players Erica Hernandez (5 for 21) and Katie Moore (4 for 13) struggled for long stretches from the field.
Hernandez had been averaging more than 20 points per game entering the game, but was held to just 13 by the Warriors' defense.
Only five players scored for the Jaguars. They were led by Brittany Aikens, who finished with 14.
On the other side, several Warriors had big nights. Sophomore Treka Franklin finished with 13 points and the team got points from all seven players that saw time on the court.
Wyatt ran into problems early on. She had been rolling offensively, but got into foul trouble early in the second quarter and sat for most of it.
If she couldn't help them on the court, she was going do her best off of it.
"I would've felt bad if my team was doing bad," she said. "But since they were doing good, all I could do was keep cheering and help them out."
Jimenez said the Warriors ability to handle the pressure and keep up with Floresville, which was at times just as fast much bigger, was key to the team's success.
"We found each other when they could have gotten lost in the sea of taller kids," she said.
Also important was the contributions of the Warriors three guards, Eboni Murphy, Emily Skipper and Sevanah Campos-Reyes, who spent the night breaking the Jaguars press with ease and controlling the ball in critical times with multiple defenders trying to steal it.
"Our three guards have so much experience, because that's what they've done the entire time," Jimenez said. "They've prepared and gotten ready for district play."
That included being ready for the press, which Floresville employed with more urgency as the game progressed.
The crowd also got into it late. It was middle school night at West gym, and the teams from Cade and Patti Welder were in attendance, helping raise the noise level.
The team was not phased, Wyatt said.
"The crowd really doesn't bother us," she said. "We are in our zone, we are all about basketball at that moment."