IN THE KNOW: Victoria East vs. S.A. Brennan, regional semifinals
Feb. 23, 2012 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2012 at 8:23 p.m.
Friday at 6 p.m. at the Blossom Athletic Center in San Antonio.• RECORDS: Victoria East (38-2) vs. San Antonio Brennan (36-0)
PREVIOUSLY• BRENNAN'S LAST GAME: S.A. Brennan beat Austin Vandegrift, 40-31, at New Braunfels Canyon on Tuesday. Vandegrift was the third straight opponent to be held to less than 40 points by the Lady Bears. Alyssa Crockett led the team with 14 points; Tanaeya Boclair added 12.
• TITANS LAST GAME: East had no trouble with Gregory-Portland, the third place team out of their district and an opponent they had already beaten twice, winning Tuesday night in Sinton 73-46 in a game that was well over by halftime.
ABOUT BRENNAN• THE TEAM: The Lady Bears have a trio of tall sophomores, led by Boclair, who is averaging a team-high 11.7 points. Crockett (11.6 ppg) is the second leading scorer and the only other player averaging more than 10 points. The team plays an exceptionally defensive style of basketball. The Lady Bears have broken the 60-point mark just six times this season, but that's immediately offset by the fact only one team even sniffed 60 points against them - Boerne Champion logged 55 against them on Jan. 27. Boclair is the team's leading rebounder also, and it's not even close (4.6 defensive rebounds per game, 2.7 offensive). Crockett and Kealani Marquez are averaging just over 2.5 steals per game each. Their game is clear: Force the opponent to make mistakes.
• THEY SAID IT: "Yes, they are 36-0, and, yes, they are a good team. But I think our focus needs to be on what we do and how we play. We probably will touch on them some and some different things, but I don't want to overanalyze anything. I think we need to look at what our strengths are and what we need to do. We're going to play the type of game we need to play, there's not going to be any changes to that. I want to get a feel for matchups, and if there's any particular type of screen we might need to go over. I can't see us changing what we do." - Yulonda Wimbish-North, East's coach, about Brennan
KEYS FOR EAST• Play like they've been here before: The Titans saw this stage last year, making it to the semis before falling to Cedar Park Vista Ridge. The nerves need to be a thing of the past entering this game because Brennan is going to enter it ready to play.
• Don't let the crowd be a factor: This is practically a home game for San Antonio Brennan, and the Lady Bears should figure to have a large and loud contingent. The Titans need to tune out the crowd and not get frustrated when things don't go their way.
• Others have to be offensive options: Adelaide Wenzel averages 16 points per game this season; Danielle Franklin, 13 points per game. Safe to say, the Lady Bears' best defenders will be following those two around all game long. Others - like Sonya Acuna, Kenya Griffin and Ramaya Dean, to name a few - will need to add points on a regular basis.
• Confidence: Both of these teams are playing with tremendous amounts of it. East hasn't lost since late December at the McDonald's Invitational to Bryan Rudder. Brennan hasn't lost, period. The important thing for East is to come out and play like a team that is every bit as good as Brennan and to not let the details - like the record or the defensive statistics - get in the way.
• Make them run: Low scoring teams tend to also be plodding and defensive. All of Brennan's stats point to that style of offensive play, and it's something East, using it's guard play from Shanice Hughes, Wenzel and Franklin, along with Kamri Hardeman and Julia Stastny off the bench, will need to use to press the ball, create turnovers and force the opponent up and down the court. This is how they beat Floresville last year and this year, and it's something the Titans have down to a science.
LOOKING AHEAD• The Titans would get one of two opponents they've seen before: Cedar Park Vista Ridge or Floresville. East lost in the regional semifinals last year to Vista Ridge, who bring to the table Chinwe Duru, a talented senior post who dominated the paint last year. The Titans have had more success against Floresville, going 3-1 all time against the Jaguars, including two wins this year. The Jaguars, 29-5 entering the tournament, get much of their scoring from Erica Hernandez, who is capable of hitting shots from anywhere in the gym, and Brittany Aikens, a sparkplug guard who is capable of taking over games.