East finishes 1-4 at Mike Smith Victoria Classic
Dec. 30, 2017 at 9:21 p.m.
Updated Dec. 31, 2017 at 6 a.m.
Wallace McNary started a scoring barrage in the third quarter of Saturday's game against Fort Bend Willowridge.
The 5-foot-3 senior guard scored 12 of his 22 points to bring the Titans within five to begin the fourth quarter.
"We hustle, and we're aggressive," McNary said. "We're a small team, but we don't let that affect us. We'll continue to play with heart."
Unfortunately for East, the Eagles (1-17) held on to win 64-61 despite the Titans (3-16) outscoring them 39-28 in the second half of the final game of the Mike Smith Classic at the District Event Center.
Like most of the tournament, the Titans dug themselves into a hole early.
The Eagles' offense took a 28-5 first-quarter lead and a 38-22 lead into halftime.
"We have to keep fighting," McNary said. "Our thing is that we play really hard, but we have to play all four quarters."
Sophomore D'ary Patton complimented the Titans' offense by scoring 20 points.
"We have to keep playing positive no matter what," Patton said. "Our team doesn't have a lot of big people, so I'll go to work every time."
Patton and McNary combined for 42 points, 18 in the third quarter.
"We can build from this," Patton said. "We have to keep the team going, keep the ball moving and continue to practice and work harder."
The Titans began the third quarter trailing 41-22 after Zachary Harris opened the second half with a 3-pointer for Willowridge.
Patton followed with back-to-back layups before Ed Clay scored at the basket. McNary followed with a layup to pull East within 13.
Two plays later, McNary sank back-to-back baskets to pull East within seven.
McNary closed the quarter by scoring back-to-back baskets again to bring the Titans within five, which was the closest they'd get.
"Wallace brought us back in the third quarter with his scoring," said East coach Peter Staackmann. "D'ary had a good game, and it's been different guys stepping up every night."
The Titans finished the Mike Smith Classic at 1-4, but Staackmann was encouraged with the team's ability to fight back in games.
"The guys continue to battle, but we can't put ourselves in those first quarter positions," Staackmann said. "It seems like it takes us a quarter to figure out what the other team is going to do."
The Titans will play a non-district game against San Antonio Veterans Memorial on Tuesday, before continuing District 27-5A play at Richmond Foster on Friday.
"Hopefully we can continue building experience from these hard losses," Staackmann said. "Hopefully we can continue to improve and get ready for district."
Fort Bend Willowridge 64, Victoria East 61
Points - (East) D'ary Patton 20, Wallace McNary 22, Keaon Griffin 3, Quincy Johnson 6, Ed Clay 4, J'Den Miller 2, Jaren Wilson 2, Elijah Hooker 2. (Willowridge) Trey Singleton 18, Jake Mitchell 20, Xavier Calhoun 7, Cameron Gibson 4, Zach Harris 9. Halftime - Willworidge 38-22. 3-pointers - Wallace McNary 2, Trey Singleton 2, Jake Mitchell 1, Xavier Calhoun 1, Ahmaud Kirven 1, Zach Harris 1.
Records - East 3-16; Willowridge 1-17.