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    Titans hand Calhoun its first district loss



    Victoria East's Xavier Ellis defensively knocks the ball out of Calhoun's Issac Cardona's hands as he goes for a shot during the first quarter of Tuesday night's game at Victoria East High School.

    Victoria East's Xavier Ellis defensively knocks the ball out of Calhoun's Issac Cardona's hands as he goes for a shot during the first quarter of Tuesday night's game at Victoria East High School. Photo by Angeli Wright.

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    Victoria East's Xavier Ellis goes for a shot against a block from Calhoun's Walter Carr during the first quarter of Tuesday night's game at Victoria East High School.

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    Calhoun's Ryan Jackson leaps over Victoria East's Jalen Wilson for a shot during the second quarter of Tuesday night's game at Victoria East High School.

    Victoria East coach John Grammer was so excited he slammed his hand on the scorer's table after shaking hands with the Calhoun players and coaches.

    "We finally got one," Grammer exclaimed.

    The Titans had their usual assortment of turnovers and missed shots, but they made plays at the end of the game and came away with a 49-47 District 30-4A win over the Sandcrabs on Tuesday night at the East gym.

    East improved to 11-11 and picked up its first district win after two losses. Calhoun (15-9) lost for the first time in district and fell to 3-1.

    "That was a good win for us," Grammer said. "We haven't won a close game in a while and I think that will give us some confidence. We had some guys step up and make some plays and some big shots."

    Christian Herring gave the Titans a 46-45 lead on a driving layup off a steal with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter.

    East preserved the lead with one free throw by Jalen Wilson and two by Terry Kinney with 9.9 seconds remaining.

    "We really had a couple of good defensive stops," Grammer said. "Terry Kinney made some big free throws. That was a good win for us."

    The Sandcrabs did not score again until Walter Carr made a layup at the buzzer.

    "I think we mentally broke down," said Calhoun coach Aaron Henderson. "I think one of the key turning points is we got that offensive foul in the backcourt after getting a steal. For me as a coach looking back at it, I feel that was a sign of frustration and uncertainty on our part. They saw that, and it actually fed in their favor and gave them more energy there."

    Herring had 14 points and Xavier Ellis had 12 to lead the Titans.

    Isaac Cardona, who picked up his fourth foul in the fourth quarter, scored 20 points, and Ryan Jackson had 11 to pace Calhoun.



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