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Dec, 2019

Hornets Fight Off Hurricanes

By: Antonio G. Castillo


San Antonio, TX-

Heading into the fourth week of the girl’s season, East Central senior guard, Deja Jones has been one of the better performers in San Antonio. She continued her roll on Tuesday night, pacing the Lady Hornets to a 47-36 win over Sam Houston.

As a team, East Central would start on a good note, leading 18-7 after one, behind the sharp shooting of junior Alanis Macias. In a heartbeat she filled up the stat sheet with 14 points and connected on two treys to help push the Lady Hornets in front.

Jones would add a couple of buckets in the 2nd quarter, but not her usual bulk in scoring. Between her and Macias, East Central had enough points as their defense limited the Lady Hurricanes to 22 points in the first half. At the break, the Hornets held a 30-22 advantage.

The second half saw Jones turn up, and she would go for 17 points, and finish with a game high 27, in propelling East Central to the win.

“I think our kids battled. We had been getting off to some slow starts and I thought we started pretty good. We executed early well in the game. Deja (Jones) has been out with bronchitis a few days already, and she came back and battled for us. The kid has just been a different player, obviously a difference maker. Her energy and her leadership has just really raised this group to a different level,” said East Central Head Coach Ian Ward.

Late in the 3rd quarter, Sam Houston would make their final charge, cutting the deficit down to three points, trailing 38-35 on a Levolea Wallace transition layup. The Lady Hurricanes were never really out of it, staying within striking distance, trailing anywhere from five to ten points.

Leading Sam Houston was Kaliyan Brown who put up a solid double-double of 14pts & 13rebs. She was a load in the middle and at times dominated the paint.

Despite Brown's performance, in the end it was too much Jones, and her key shots that stymied the ‘Canes during crunch time.

Jones would be perfectly placed under the hoop when an errant three pointer missed everything, and she tipped it in. Two possessions later, she put her head down and would get the tough bucket off the dribble and sink the free throw.

Finally, she would attack from the right wing, take on four defenders, slither her way to the hoop and get the two physical points, resulting in the final score, 47-36.

It was the perfect response needed by the Lady Hornets, as Sam Houston was resilient and did not go away easily.

“I knew that they were going to come with some pressure.  They’re a very athletic group and they were going to come and run at Deja. I thought we did a good job of moving the ball. We talked about faking a pass, making a pass, not allowing their pressure and energy to affect us. I thought they did a pretty good job of that. We also went into a 2-3 zone to kind of slow things up,” said Ward.

With the win East Central moves to 8-6 on the season as they now gear up for the NEISD tournament this coming weekend.