Warriors bounce back with win over G-P

Jan. 18, 2011 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 17, 2011 at 7:18 p.m.

After Friday's deflating loss to Calhoun to open district play, Ramon Flores and his teammates knew Tuesday was a huge game.

A loss would put the Warriors in an 0-2 hole in District 30-4A with Victoria East looming Friday.

Bouncing back, Flores said, involved putting in some work during Monday's practice on the parts that needed the most work: passing and shooting.

"It's a big game on Friday," Flores said. "We wanted to lift our shoulders after losing to Calhoun. ... We worked on our shooting a lot. We were all in a slump, but sometimes you just have to keep shooting."

They did it in a big way Tuesday night.

Victoria West was able to bounce back to win its first district game over Gregory-Portland at home 53-39 on Tuesday night with an effort that, while not flawless, saw them hit a majority of their shots and turn the ball over considerably fewer times than on Friday night.

So, what was working?

"Moving the ball, especially in the zone. Maybe faking a pass and making another one," Flores said. "That's what we've been working on. Also, not telegraphing our passes."

Warriors coach Pat Erskine said Tuesday's win was an emotional one, particularly because losing to Calhoun in the way the Warriors did, struggling to hit shots and turning the ball over a lot, and it allowed them to bounce back.

"We knew we could win if we were smart and played well," he said. "We played tight early, loosened up a little bit and let them back in, and tightened up again."

Erksine said Flores, a senior guard, gave the Warriors a needed boost.

"We got some good defensive play from Ramon," he said. "He gave us a few good sparks on defense from him."

Flores finished with six points and two assists, and added two rebounds and two steals.

Victoria West was paced by Drew Erskine, who had 12 points. Jeremy Jimenez added five points and five assists, and Nic Bufford had nine points on 3 of 3 shooting and two blocks.

The Warriors defense focused on making sure they shut down Quaderrick Shaw, the Wildcats primary ball handler and leading scorer.

"We just wanted to keep him out of the paint," Flores said. "That's what they really want to do."

He finished with just nine point, and Erskine said the Warriors were able to get him into some situations he isn't used to.

"We knew he was going to get the ball and we did not want to let him drive," "He took some long shots that really weren't good."

Overall, Erskine said West succeeded at holding on defense.

"We were beginning to pressure on the ball," he said. "We still need to work on help side defense and boxing out. But our pressure on the ball was big, and with about three minutes left, we really stepped it up."


The Warriors had a few seconds to find a shot. Sevanah Campos-Reyes wasn't even sure they would get a shot off.

After a series of passes, nothing. Or so they thought.

Emily Skipper launched a shot as time expired from well beyond the arc, a perfect swish for what turned out to be a crucial 3-pointer against Gregory-Portland.

"It seems that she has all the buzzer beaters," Campos-Reyes said.. "That was big because we didn't think we were even going to get a shot off."

The Warriors stayed unbeaten in Districft 30-4A play with a 67-57 win over the Lady Cats on Tuesday night.

Still, Sandra Jimenez said there was a lot to be desired from the Warriors play.

"We played well enough to win," she said. "We still have to work on some things that we've been working on all season." G-P has some great shooters, and they are a good team.

The Warriors led from start to finish, but the Lady Cats pulled within four points late in the third quarter when main scorer Whitney West started hitting shots. She had missed her first eight of the game, but finished with 17 points, including three straight 3's at the end of the third to put the Warriors on edge.

"I was afraid that we would lose the intensity to finish up," Jimenez said. "I think we put them on the line needlessly too many times, stopping the clock."

Treka Franklin led the Warriors with 17 points, set up often by Campos-Reyes. Also in double figures were Emily Skipper (14), Tiffanie Wyatt (13) and Eboni Murphy (10).

Campos-Reyes, who finished with nine points and three assists, said she needed to find other ways than scoring to make contributions.

"My outside shots weren't working, so I needed to penetrate and dish off to my post, Treka (Franklin), who was having a good night," she said. "We were also getting the fouls we needed."

But a big part of the Warriors strategy was shutting down Lady Cats' top scorer West and Sarah Wisor.

"We knew coming in that (West) and (Wisor) were their big scorers," Campos-Reyes said. "They were going to do anything to get them open. We tried to contain (West), but there's no stopping someone who's hot."

The 3-pointers West hit toward the end of the third quarter narrowed the Warriors lead to just four points. She had no points in the first half and did register the first of her 17 until halfway through the third quarter.

West's hot hand forced defensive changes mid quarter, Jimenez said.

"We were in a zone defense and we had to come out of it and into man," she said.



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