Season gets underway for Titans, Warriors
Nov. 5, 2012 at 5:05 a.m.
For the Victoria East and West girls basketball teams, the wait is over as both programs begin play on the road this week.
The Titans come off an appearance in the UIL Class 4A state tournament in Austin while the Warriors look to return to the playoffs after last year's postseason hiatus.
The Lady Titans open the season at Corpus Christi Ray on Tuesday while the Warriors play at South San Antonio.
Here are five things to look for from both East and West this season.
Titans go four it
Experience was a key on the 2011-12 as the Lady Titans went 40-3 and advanced to the state semifinals.
The Lady Titans will be looking to replace four starters, including Victoria Advocate all-area MVP Adelaide Wenzel and Defensive Dlayer of the Year Danielle Franklin.
As seniors, Wenzel averaged 16 points per game while Franklin had three steals, four rebounds and six blocked shots per game.
Kenya Griffin and Shanice Hughes were the other two Titans starters and made the Advocate's first and second team all-area, respectively.
Senior post Sonya Acuna will be the lone returning starter for the Titans and will look to build on her first team all-area season of 2011-12.
Last season, the 5-foot-9 Acuna averaged six points and four rebounds per season.
2011-12 bench contributors like senior guards Kamri Hardemann, Breanna Williams and junior post Kendall Carter will likely be looked upon to fill a bigger role this season.
"Even though East graduated quite a few kids, they've got quite a lineup coming back," said West coach Sandra Jimenez. "They still have some juniors that can play the game."
Franklin's a force
The Warriors lost varsity stalwarts in Emily Skipper and Sevanah Campos-Reyes to graduation last season.
This year, West will look to senior post Treka Franklin to be the go-to scorer and help the Warriors improve on a 2-8 District 30-4A record last season.
Lauren Rodriguez, Mercedes Ellison, Allyson Dlouhy and Sylvie Estrada return for West after gaining experience last season.
Height doesn't matter
The last two seasons, Jimenez and the Warriors had to do what they could with a shorter lineup.
This season, the Warriors the status quo will remain as Franklin is West's tallest player and the one with the best vertical leap.
"(We're) Not very tall at all, but we have a lot of speed and we tend to use it," Jimenez said. "If we can get in the right spots and take care of blocking out, we'll be in good position."
New district, new possibilities
Last season, East's biggest competition in district came in the form of the Floresville Jaguars.
Florsville was the other team in the district that was ranked most of the season and the Lady Titans clinched the district title and a No. 1 playoffs seed by beating the Jaguars in Floresville last season.
Reclassification put Floresville in another district, but moved in both Calallen and Tuloso-Midway.
The Calhoun Sandies made a return to the playoffs for only the third time since 1987 and return All-Area Newcomer of the Year McKenna Villeagas.
Villegas averaged 12 points and seven rebounds per game last season. She along with all-district post Jordan Edison and all-district point guard Bryanna Delgado return with playoff experience under their belts.
Reclassification also force the Lady Titans and Warriors to open district play before they open holiday gifts.
East begins district play on Dec. 11 when it hosts T-M, while West hosts Beeville on Dec. 14.
"We have seven teams that can vie for the district championship," Jimenez said. "I don't think one is over the other, but it will definitely depend on how many of them will actually gel by the time it's time for district."