East, West girls even in almost every way
Jan. 23, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 22, 2011 at 7:23 p.m.
Adelaide Wenzel wasn't fond taking on her friends.
"I didn't really like the idea of the game," said the junior guard for East. "I really liked playing with them. I had to think of it as a practice scrimmage. It's definitely weird playing against your best friends from last year, and it was hard to get focused and keep it."
But she added that, watching the opposing Victoria West team play was like looking into a mirror.
That's how similar Victoria East and West were to each other in style and makeup.
But the similarities didn't make life easier. It meant the each team could anticipate the plays of the other, Wenzel said.
"It was harder for us because we are so much alike," she said. "There was a lot of back-and-forth running."
For four quarters and 31 minutes and 50 seconds, that was true. Victoria West and Victoria East traded shots, steals, rebounds, foul calls, assists, and, last but not least, pleasantries.
If it wasn't for a good defensive play on a pass and a foul call late in the game, they would have needed extra time to finish.
Two teams that are built to run did just that. The most readily apparent factor in the game? Strong defense, in part because the two teams are, even at this early juncture in their history, are familiar with one another.
"We were playing full-court man some of the time," Wenzel said.
Many of these players were on the same team just a year earlier, and as Warriors coach Sandra Jimenez noted, had played in youth and summer leagues together.
"They knew each other's moves, each other styles," she said.
The Warriors prevailed on free throws was almost anticlimactic. Especially after the flurry of action under the basket that had preceded Sevanah Campos-Reyes' two shots, where the Titans had missed several shots under and around the basket.
The whole game to that point had been a track meet with exciting drives and big shots.
Jimenez had coached some of them last year at Memorial, and at the end of the game there were no hard feelings. Rather, hugs all around.
Warriors guard Eboni Murphy said it was an emotional situation for both teams.
"Some of our best friends are on that team," she said. "It kind of hurts to see them down about the loss.
Then she smiled.
"But hey, West won," she added.
And for the Warriors, that was all that mattered at the end of the game, and looking forward to the next meeting.
"Hopefully, we'll get them at our home court too," said junior guard Sevanah Campos-Reyes.
Both teams didn't let the emotions get to them on the court. They kept the jawing to a minimum.
That didn't mean it wasn't a passionate affair.
"The emotions were getting pretty hot," said Titans junior guard Shanice Hughes. "The game got closer, and got more frustrating."
Despite the loss, the Titans are sure they will be right back at it when the two meet at West.
It will be the same type of game, that's for sure, Wenzel said.
"I think they'll try to win and we'll try to pick one up," she said. "It's going to be the same game.
"We would've felt really good after this. We would've been in a better spot in district, but all it took was one play."
But the outcome? That will be determined on Feb. 8.
BIG STRIDES FOR WARRIORS BASKETBALL
It was a banner night for Victoria West, who won five of six games from the crosstown rival when you count the sub-varsity games (The Warriors only loss was the girls JV).
The Warriors varsity boys gained the most from Friday night. It was the realization that this team does have a lot of determination and skill, and have figured out what it needs to do to win.
They've bought in totally and completely into Coach Pat Erskine's way of doing things, and the results in the last week, including a win over Gregory-Portland.
Against the Wildcats, they moved the ball with ease and hunted for the best shot. The result? A 14-point win.
They did the same against Victoria East, picking up a two-point win.
But now comes the hard part: Maintaining that success. The Warriors now have Floresville and Beeville this week, two teams that can easily sneak up on a team resting on its laurels.
EAST AND WEST THIS WEEK
Golf tees off this weekend with the East and West boys playing each other at the Victoria West Spring Classic, which opens Friday. Teams tee off at Victoria Country Club starting at 8 a.m., with a shotgun start for the second day at Colony Creek Country Club. The girls start their season the following week with the Lauren Johnson Memorial Classic.
Right now, District 30-4A for boys basketball is led by the most unlikely of teams: Calhoun (18-8, 3-0), who have won seven straight. The Sandcrabs have made tremendous strides since the start of the year, and the addition of freshman guard Jason Alonzo to an already potent group of players, including sophomore Isaac Cardona, has bolstered them. The Titans will take their shot at the Calhoun on the road Tuesday. Game starts at 8 p.m.
The West girls take on Beeville at home to start the second round of District 30-4A play. But the big game for the Warriors (19-8, 5-0) isn't that one. It's the rematch with the Jaguars at Floresville on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Warriors gave the state-ranked Jaguars a big blow by beating them at home, 65-60, sending them from sixth in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches weekly rankings to 17th the following week. Victoria West is the only Class 4A team to beat the Jaguars, who have only two other losses, both to Class 5A teams (Converse Judson and San Antonio Highlands). Tip off for the girls at Floresville is at 6:30 p.m.
John Hornberg covers Victoria East and West for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at AdvoSports.com.