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    Dean helps Lady Titans rebound from first district loss



    Victoria East's Kasey Heitzmann shoots the ball over a block from Gregory-Portland's Mariah Blue during the second half of Friday night's game at Victoria East High School.  The Titans defeated the Ladycats 73-52.

    Victoria East's Kasey Heitzmann shoots the ball over a block from Gregory-Portland's Mariah Blue during the second half of Friday night's game at Victoria East High School. The Titans defeated the Ladycats 73-52. Photo by Angeli Wright.

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    Victoria East's Sonya Acuna leaps over Gregory-Portland's MacKenzie West, left, and Christina Maldanado, right, during the second quarter of Friday night's game at Victoria East High School. The Titans defeated the Ladycats 73-52.

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    Victoria East's Kasey Heitzmann shoots the ball over a block from Gregory-Portland's Mariah Blue during the second half of Friday night's game at Victoria East High School. The Titans defeated the Ladycats 73-52.

    Ramaya Dean was determined not to have another game like the previous one.

    Dean scored three points before fouling out in Victoria East's District 30-4A loss at Tuloso-Midway on Tuesday night.

    "I really wanted to win," she said. "I didn't want to lose anymore."

    Dean made sure the Lady Titans returned to their winning ways, scoring a team-high 24 points in a 73-52 victory over Gregory-Portland on Friday night at the East gym.

    "She was in foul trouble and really didn't shoot well," East coach Yulonda Wimbish-North said of Dean. "She was 1 for 6 and it was just she didn't have a good game. I think she realized that. I think she mentally was 'I didn't want to have another game like that.' So she came out ready to play."

    Dean scored 10 of East's first 12 points, and added seven in the pivotal third quarter as the Lady Titans (15-9) assured themselves of maintaining sole possession of the district lead by improving to 7-1.

    "Coach told me to be more aggressive," Dean said. "We picked it up in the second half. We talked on defense. On offense we worked it around. We didn't play any games."

    Wimbish-North moved Dean out from under the basket in the second half. Dean was able to drive to the basket or dish off to Sonya Acuna, who scored 17 points.

    "She's very quick and good with the ball," Wimbish-North said. "She's got a bigger frame and stuff like that. She can take it aggressively to the hole. She's hard to stop."

    East was having a difficult time containing Sarah Wisor, who led the Lady Cats (21-8, 4-4) with 24 points despite sitting out nearly two minutes of the third and fourth quarters with four fouls.

    "I think we did better in the second half," Wimbish-North said. "I was a little bit disappointed that we let her go. I didn't want her to get the ball. I didn't want her to touch it as much and we were allowing her to touch it whenever she felt like it. So I think we did a little bit better in the second half. She's a great player. She almost beat us by herself."

    The Lady Titans trailed 30-29 at halftime and led 39-37 before closing out the third quarter with an 11-5 run.

    The Lady Cats pulled within six with 4:59 left in the fourth quarter, but never got any closer.

    The game was a rugged one as the teams combined to shoot 72 free throws and G-P had two players foul out.

    "I think you just play as it is," Wimbish-North said. "I think in the beginning we struggled offensively. But when they started fouling and we were able to pull it out and do our four corners that was the best offense for us. All the rest of our offense, we were just all frazzled. Basically, we put it in Ramaya's hands and let her go."



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