Victoria East dominates Wharton
Jan. 3, 2012 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 2, 2012 at 7:03 p.m.
Defensively, the Victoria East Titans' goal has been the same and figures to remain so heading into District 30-4A play later this week.
"We want to just be relentless the whole game," East assistant coach Mike Smith said.
It didn't matter who was on the court Tuesday evening as the No. 14 Titans suffocated the Wharton Lady Tigers 92-16 at the East High gym.
Adelaide Wenzel was one of four Titans to score in double figures. Only one player on the East roster did not score a point as the team improved to 25-2 on the season.
Wenzel could have beaten the Lady Tigers by herself, literally. The reigning Victoria Advocate girls all-area MVP managed a game-high 22 points.
The Titans were playing at home for the first time since a third-place finish in the Bryan College Station Tournament last week.
For Wenzel, a loss to Bryan Rudder served as an eye-opener.
"I think us losing made us hungrier to win again," Wenzel said. "It kind of got us ready to play the next game."
On Parent Night, Wenzel set the tone for the game from the outset.
She opened the game with her 52nd 3-pointer of the season, then hit three straight free throws to put the Titans up 6-0 in the first 32 seconds of the game.
East built a 16-point lead in the first 1:32 and put the Lady Tigers in a big hole early on.
The Titans defense helped make sure the lead held up the rest of the game. East mixed in a full-court press with man defense in the half court to help East jump out to a 25-7 lead after the first quarter.
The Titans' starting five played a little less than half the game as East coach Yuolonda Wimbish-North rotated in an entire set of five players early in the first and then again at the midway points of the other three quarters.
"We have confidence in all our girls," Smith said. "I think we're blessed with a lot of good players."
Baskets came at a premium for Wharton in the middle quarters. Erlicia Griffith had a basket in the paint with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter and the Lady Tigers didn't get another field goal until Griffith scored at the 7:19 mark of the third quarter.
By that point, the Titans were ahead 51-12 and the outcome was no longer in doubt.
"We have to execute better," said Wharton coach Michelle Trotter. "We have a press break designed to handle a man press like that, and we just didn't execute. We didn't move our feet, we didn't make good cuts, we didn't execute well."
The Titans used 14 fast-break points after halftime to build on their lead.
Sonya Acuna, Danielle Franklin and Kenya Griffin also finished in double figures with 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Griffith led the Lady Tigers with seven points.
The Titans look for a repeat performance of Tuesday's game when they open District 30-4A play at Calhoun on Friday.
"We know our district is extremely difficult, and we know we're going to have to have great intensity and great effort every time out to compete with those teams," Smith said.
The Titans came into the week as the 14th ranked team in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A poll.
Wenzel said that she doesn't think of the poll and in essence a whole new season begins for the Titans on Friday.
"So far, this season our record is good, but we have to know it's 0-0 when district starts," Wenzel said. "All of this doesn't even count, and we're going to have to start all over and do it all over again, and we're ready for it."
District 30-4A is also represented by Floresville in the rankings. The Jaguars are 20-3 on the season and ranked 11th in the polls.
Smith said a ranking puts a target on the Titans' back.
"Everybody in our district is good, and everybody's going to be ready to play Victoria East because they know that we're a good team," Smith said. "We have to be ready to play."
Last season the Titans finished second in district play with a record of 8-2 record.