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East-West notebook: Warriors look back on big win

Jan. 16, 2011 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 15, 2011 at 7:16 p.m.

Victoria West coach Sandra Jimenez talks to, from left, Eboni Murphy, Emily Skipper and Sevanah Campos-Reyes during a timeout on Tuesday.

JOHN HORNBERG: ON EAST AND WEST

They completed every pass, read the opponents defense and frustrated Floresville on Tuesday night.

"We all played amazing," said sophomore guard Treka Franklin, who finished with 13 points. "We passed and passed, it didn't matter who got in what position, as long as we keep passing, made our easy shots and break the press and everything we needed to do."

About the only thing that wasn't going right for Victoria West against top-ranked Floresville last week was the shooting.

Unfortunately, it was a "you had to be there" moment, the kind that doesn't translate to words well.

Victoria West (17-8, 3-0) were just 23 of 60 from the field, or 38 percent of the field. Subtract Tiffanie Wyatt (23 points, 11 of 15 shooting), and the Warriors were just 26 percent from the field.

They never led by more than seven, even though they led more or less from start to finish.

But the stats don't paint the whole picture. Floresville was an intimidating team coming in, ranked sixth in Class 4A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

The players were ready for Floresville, came in with a strong game plan and, more than anything, ran a run-and-gun style of offense that tuckered out the Jaguars by halftime.

"We were all excited, We just had to keep going. We were all fired up," Franklin said.

And guards Eboni Murphy, Sevanah Campos-Reyes and Emily Skipper came out undaunted. They controlled the tempo and flow of the game, and most of all, kept turnovers down by handling the ball well.

"Our three kids, our guards, have so much experience," said Warriors coach Sandra Jimenez. "All year long, all they've done is prepared and gotten ready for district play."

Floresville did West one better (or worse), shot a shade more than 30 percent (20 of 65 as a team) from the field, with star Erica Hernandez shooting just 5 of 21 from the field.

She entered Tuesday night averaging more than 20 points per game, and was right back to it Friday against Beeville with 24.

Much of the credit goes to the Warriors defensive play, which locked down the Jaguars at key times.

The Warriors were ready on Tuesday night, and to Jimenez, it showed.

"They were listening intently, and they were ready to get back out on the floor so that they didn't get cold," she said. said. "They were ready to play, focused and wanted to defend home court."

"We can go real far," "If we keep playing like that, I don't think we can be stopped."

HOPING FOR GOOD LUCK AND BETTER WEATHER

Denys McCarter and Misty Boenig just can't win. And it has nothing to do with the teams on the field.

If it's not freezing cold, it's pouring buckets during the annual Crossroads soccer tournament.

And sometimes, as was the case last year and Saturday morning, both.

No matter, McCarter said, the coach at Victoria West. The soccer teams, boys and girls, prepare for such conditions.

When asked about the rainy conditions, she just laughed. Being outdoor and playing during the winter means being prepared for it.

"We practice in all the elements," she said. "I did mention it to them. The ball was going to get wetter, the ground was going to get wetter.

"I told them not to back away. The keepers were going to have a tough time holding onto the ball and they needed to take advantage of the situations."

It's the price of having to hold the event in January, when weather patterns mean a good chance of rain and frigid temperatures.

And both teams got doses during the week also, playing in the same freezing conditions that made life unpleasant for players last year.

St. Joseph and Fort Worth Arlington Heights played under some of the worst conditions of the tournament.

The fans who braved the weather huddled under umbrellas in the stands, and many more gathered in the open spaces in the press box at Memorial Stadium. Anything to stay dry.

The game started under dry conditions, but that was fleeting. The weather deteriorated over the course of the first half, from clear to light rain to steady rain to monsoon.

But at least it wasn't as cold, with the temperatures rising into the mid-50s by the time the championship rolled around.

Last year, the Crossroads Classic was played in near-polar conditions, during a long cold snap that could have resulted in snow.

At any given time, players waiting to take the field could be found huddled in the stands.

This year's tournament was played completely under gray skies. Let's hope next season's tournament has at least some sun.

EAST GIRLS GOLF KEEP CLIMBING RANKINGS

As golf in the Crossroads prepares for its tee shot for the second half the season, the Victoria East girls climb higher up the ladder.

The recent Texas high school golf rankings have the Titans moving up one spot to No. 9 on the list, and come with an added surprise.

Sophomore golfer Ali Cowan made her first appearance on the individuals list, ranked 10th in the state in Class 4A.

Lake Travis and Edcouch-Elsa are the top two teams in Class 4A entering the second half of the season.

The Titans and the Warriors will open their season in early February.

John Hornberg covers Victoria East and West for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him by e-mail at jhornberg@vicad.com, or comment on this column at AdvoSports.com.

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