Strong second quarter propels Lady Titans past Warriors

Jan. 22, 2013 at 9:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 22, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.

Victoria West's Lauren Rodriguez goes up for a shot against a block from Victoria East's Kamri Hardeman during Tuesday's game at Victoria West High School.

Victoria West's Lauren Rodriguez goes up for a shot against a block from Victoria East's Kamri Hardeman during Tuesday's game at Victoria West High School.   Angeli Wright for The Victoria Advocate

Victoria West honored its teachers at halftime, but Victoria East gave a basketball lesson in the second quarter.

The Lady Titans put together perhaps their best 8 minutes of the season, outscoring the Warriors 21-4 before coming away with a 57-34 District 30-4A win on Tuesday night at the West gym.

East clinched a playoff berth while improving to 16-9 on the season and 8-1 district.

"We just picked up the intensity and really played," said East senior Sonya Acuna. "We communicated on defense and worked hard and talked to each other and moved around and knew that backside was going to be there "

East used its pressure defense to hold the Warriors (16-14, 1-8) scoreless for spans of 5 minutes 34 seconds and 3:07 and scored nine times from the field and three times for the free throw line.

"We've been talking about having some consistency on defense," said East coach Yulonda Wimbish-North. "I don't think we stuck with it the whole time. But if we can play defense the way we played in the second quarter, things will go well for us."

West has been playing most of the season without Treka Franklin and was missing Mercedes Ellison against East.

But the Warriors still led 10-8 after a first quarter in which Wimbish-North picked up her first technical foul of the season.

"I think sometimes we start slow," Wimbish-North said. "I think we're doing better with it. It's still one of those areas we have to work with. I think we got better as the game started going along and I think with this game being such a rival game and nervousness and stuff like that. I think that had a factor too."

East began to take advantage of its size in the second quarter working the ball inside for easy baskets.

Kendall Carter scored 14 points and Ramaya Dean and Acuna each had 11 with virtually all coming within five feet of the basket.

"You just have to find the gaps in the zones and attack them," Acuna said. "You just find whoever will take the shot if it's open or just dump it off. You got to work around it."

Lauren Rodriguez scored 13 points to pace the Warriors, who struggled from the field and the free throw line, where they went 3 for 12.

"I am very proud of the girls because I can never say they just quit and stopped playing," said West coach Sandra Jimenez. "We have a lot of things going against us right now. We're not only missing our two top players. We don't have a lot of size and we still are making mistakes we shouldn't be making.

"We're still turning the ball over way too much," she added. "But under pressure most teams do that. I see improvement in some areas. But the ball's got to fall through the basket."

East will have a chance to wrap up the top playoff seed when it takes on Beeville at home on Friday.

"That's what we're working toward," Wimbish-North said. "We have several games and the playoffs are here. We want to go far in the playoffs so we have to make sure we get those pieces together."



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