East, West optimistic entering district play
Jan. 13, 2011 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 12, 2011 at 7:13 p.m.
A year ago John Grammer and Pat Erskine were preparing their Memorial team for District 28-5A games against Converse Wagner, Converse Judson and San Antonio East Central.
"We're in a different world," Grammer said.
The world Grammer's Victoria East and Erskine's Victoria West teams will enter Friday is the District 30-4A basketball race and both teams begins with high expectations.
"If we start shooting like we're capable of, I really believe we can go on a run," Grammer said of the Titans (16-6), who open district at home against Gregory-Portland. "We should have a lot more athleticism than some of the teams we're playing."
"We've seen them and we feel like our kids are as good or better," Erskine said of the Warriors (11-12), who play Calhoun in Port Lavaca. "It's just a matter of who's going to show up. For us, luckily, the last three games opportunity has come our way as far as playing well."
West has gained some momentum coming into district play, winning four of its last five games.
"I think we're playing a lot better than we were at the beginning of the year," Erskine said. "I think we're playing with confidence. I think our guys have confidence right now. They feel like they can win. We've just to make sure they understand it's a big game in district."
East struggled during the Victoria Classic, but has bounced back to win its last three games.
"We're playing really well on defense," Grammer said. "We've been able to keep our opponents' scores low. It's just a matter of us scoring more. We're getting good shots. We're just not shooting as well as we can."
Many of East's and West's struggles can be attributed to inexperience. East's Tyler Friedel is the only player on either squad who played extensively at Memorial last season.
"We've made progress in that area," Grammer said. "We're not taking many bad shots. Once we get our shots to go down, I think our confidence will skyrocket."
"We've just got to find the right players and put them in the right position, whether it's scoring or defense," Erskine said. "There's a combination of five and even six guys who really play well together."