Originally published on Friday, December 21, 2012
Christmas came early in Port Lavaca.
The Calhoun girls snapped a two-game District 30-4A losing streak Friday night at the expense of Victoria West. Calhoun's 51-39 win was because of improved defense, said coach Donna Williams.
"It was awesome," she said. "That's how you start Christmas in Calhoun."
Tuloso-Midway and Gregory-Portland were able to beat Calhoun (14-7, 2-2) because its star players were able to have big games. West, by its own admission, does not have that singular person who can carry them on a given night.
"I knew that both of us had (two) losses," Williams said. "We both had to get out of this slump. We started focusing on our defense. We did a lot of feeding it inside to McKenna (Villegas) and Jordan (Edison). They both stepped up and did what they were supposed to do and go to the boards."
Villegas, Calhoun's sophomore post, scored 22 points to lead all scorers. Edison only scored seven points on the evening, but her impact was primarily on the offensive glass.
"These kids want to play well," said Victoria West coach Sandra Jimenez. "We couldn't buy a shot. Our shooting percentage was pretty bad tonight. I could blame it on a million things, but the bottom line is these girls are really trying to play the game, but they are doing so against teams that have experience and have talented players that more, or less, can carry a team."
Jimenez was specifically referring to Villegas. The sophomore scored 15 in the first half and was a colossus collecting rebounds. Edison was more of the same.
"A lot of our game is on the inside," Villegas said. "We have two strong posts who know how to use their advantages."
Calhoun steadily opened up the lead as the game went on. Williams' team led 15-10 after a quarter, extended the margin to 11 at intermission and held onto that momentum in the second half.
Mercedes Ellison scored nine points and Lauren Rodriguez added another seven for Victoria West (15-9, 0-3) in a losing effort. The two combined for 12 points in the second half, just as Williams predicted.
Calhoun uses a 3-2 zone defense. As Ellison started to make 18-foot jumpers from the corner and Rodriguez scrapped for field goals, Williams thought about switching her defense.
However, she kept the confidence in her girls and it was repaid with a win. After McKenzie Zwerschke made a pair of free throws with 3:15 left in the third quarter to give the Sandies a 34-24 lead West's deficit was never less than 10 points.
"We had to keep our heads in the game," Villegas said. "In the past few games we haven't been finishing. This game we kept our composure the whole time."
BOYS BASKETBALLCALHOUN 52, VICTORIA WEST 39
Calhoun won its second straight District 30-4A contest Friday night with a 52-39 win over Victoria West in Victoria.
Isaac Cardona wasn't the leading scorer for the Sandcrabs (13-5, 2-0).
That honor belonged to Jason Alonso, the Sandcrabs point guard who used a series of floaters runners and free throw shooting to score 18 points on the night.
Victoria West fell to a district record of 1-1 with the loss. Chris Erskine led the Warriors (8-8) with 12 points while freshman Ruben Trevino scored 11 points.
"We stayed disciplined. Sometimes, we get a little flustered and miss assignments," said Calhoun coach Aaron Anderson. "Defensively, we played sound. Offensively, we turned it over too much."