Lady Titans commit more than 20 turnovers in loss (w/gallery)
Jan. 3, 2014 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 2, 2014 at 7:03 p.m.
Regardless of whether it wins or loses, Victoria East's Casey Jackson said that her team remains positive.
"We take it as a learning experience," the junior said. "We stay positive and stay together like a team should."
The Lady Titans fell 51-39 to St. Joseph's Lady Flyers on Friday night in a non-district game.
Jackson, listed as a power forward on the roster, led her team in points by scoring 11 points and with three baskets in the third quarter.
The Lady Titans have developed a strong defensive reputation, and teams respond with their own aggressiveness.
Multiple fouls were called on both sides, which is something Jackson said can be controlled by playing the defense the Lady Titans were taught by East coach Yulonda Wimbish-North.
"Our whole basketball program has been built on this defense," Jackson said. "We're just going to keep playing that good defense."
Wimbish-North said her team fought hard but needed to play smarter.
"We struggled from the field shooting, and though we caused turnovers that we needed to, we didn't always capitalize on (them)," Wimbish-North said. "We'd get a steal then we'd turn it over."
The Lady Titans committed more than 20 turnovers.
"We said 15 of those (turnovers)," Wimbish-North said about her team's goal. "It's about taking care of the basketball."
Another difference in East's game was the absence of a few key players.
However, Jackson said the smaller pool of players provided an opportunity for others to step up during game time.
"We had a freshman starting. My little sister (Andrea Jackson) had to start, and she did what she had to do," Jackson said. "We're always going to try our best - a lot of people stepped up."
Another player who showed amplified aggression on the court was junior Erica Barnett.
Barnett scored five points for the Lady Titans.
"(Barnett) was taking shots she needed to take; they just weren't falling," Wimbish-North said. "She definitely gave us a little spark on the bench - we just need to put it together."
This game marks the last non-district game for East, which will go up against Calhoun in Port Lavaca on Tuesday.
The Lady Flyers knew they would need to be more aggressive against Victoria East after they saw how close the Lady Titans played against Yoakum earlier in the season.
St. Joseph coach Carrie Myers said that East's desire to play hard and win made all the difference in the Lady Flyers' performance.
"You could see them diving for the ball and going after every loose ball," Myers said. "We talk about always being aggressive and making sure your hands are up and not on the person. Be aggressive - but not to the point where we're going to get a foul called on us."
Part of the team's strategy was to drive the ball down the court fast, get fouled and get opportunities for free-throws.
But that backfired at times.
"It's the nature of the beast," Myers said. "You gotta play and roll with the tide of the game."
St. Joseph's Kensey Marshall scored 15 points and two 3-pointers, followed by sophomores Iris Young with nine and one 3-pointer and Madison Foeh, also with nine.
The holiday break wasn't much of a break for the Lady Flyers, who hosted a tournament and played multiple games. Myers believes it will pay off.
"We have to have all the girls playing hard all the time," she said. "Us playing so many game will help us do that."
St. Joseph's final pre-district game will be Monday at home against Flatonia at 6:30 p.m. Its first district game will be Friday.