PORT ARTHUR —
Say this for the Port Arthur Memorial Lady Titans: they are not satisfied.
In fact, it seems that head coach Kevin Henry is building quite the powerhouse for the next few seasons at Memorial. His Lady Titans, having won the District 21-5A title for the first time last year and topping 20 wins for the first time in school history, decided not to wait until the playoffs to win 20 this time.
They did it in 24 games.
In his second year as head coach, Henry has a sterling record of 41-14 and has his team on track for another district title this year. The Lady Titans (20-4, 4-1 District 21-5A) tied North Shore for the district lead by beating the Lady Mustangs 50-44 last Saturday. Channelview, who dealt Memorial its only district loss the previous Thursday, is a half-game back of North Shore and Memorial at 3-1.
In a great sign for the future of the program, Memorial is not only having this success with seniors like Dorcieve Davis, Loren Evans, Crystal Sallier and Ariel Hutchinson. The Lady Titans are also getting great contributions from sophomore point guard Joyce Kennerson and freshmen like Jakira Ford and Victoria Brown.
Ford was moved up from the freshman team (which regularly scores 80 points per game, by the way) to provide some depth inside for the Lady Titans and quickly has become one of the team’s leading scorers from game to game. Brown, too, was moved up recently and was one off the scoring lead against North Shore with eight points.
One thing the Lady Titans will have to combat in the rest of the season, according to Henry, is teams trying to slow down the pace of the game. With ultra-fast guards like Kennerson, Memorial would ideally pressure teams constantly with transition buckets and pressure defense.
Lately, though, teams have been trying to make the pace more deliberate to mixed results. Memorial lost by two points to Barbers Hill in the Gulf Coast Classic championship in a similar situation and had a low-scoring affair against Channelview in that lone district loss.
However, the Lady Titans also beat North Shore in a low-scoring contest. If they can learn to play both up-tempo and grind-it-out styles, things could get pretty interesting for this Memorial team in a good way.
Game of the Week
Mid-County Madness, Boys Edition, Part 1 — In a light night for local hoops action, with both the Memorial boys and girls off Tuesday, the Nederland boys’ trip to the friendly confines of PN-G’s Competition Gym ranks right at the top of the calendar.
Nederland (18-6) looks to be making another run at a district title, as it has marched to a 3-0 district record by beating Vidor, Livingston and LC-M so far. PN-G (7-12, 2-1) jumped into contention with a perfect start to district play until a 61-35 loss to Central last Friday.
The Bulldogs should have senior guard Zach English back from an ankle injury he suffered against Livingston before the holiday break. English played some in the Gulf Coast Classic in Barbers Hill, breaking out on the second day by scoring 19 points against Goose Creek Memorial. Even when he’s banged up a bit, English still possesses a great jumper, which helps him score in bunches.
The Indians’ leading scorer, Brandon Pham, is also a very capable shooter and has been having a terrific year. PN-G is looking to avenge a 77-54 loss at home last season to the Bulldogs.
Williams coaches against former team
After spending eight years coaching at Silsbee, after growing up in the community, after following his dad as head coach of the Tigers, it probably meant a little something extra when current Memorial head coach Travis Williams coached against his former school earlier this season.
This is an older note that was delayed by our not putting together a notebook until now, but Williams’ coaching debut against his former school is still worth mentioning. I asked him about it after Memorial’s loss to Nederland earlier this season.
“When you see the guys you’ve been with, something comes inside (you),” Williams said. “You’ve built up a rapport with them. I’m from that area. I want Silsbee to be successful.
“It’s different. I’m not from this area. I like it here. I’m glad to be here, I’ve got a great athletic director, great staff, very understanding principal.”
Williams went 210-54 in eight years with Silsbee and has a 29-24 record with the Titans in one-plus season. Williams’ dad Fred coached at Silsbee for four years, making the state tournament in 1976.
Central, Nederland boys, Ozen girls top TABC rankings
Monday saw the first update to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) state basketball rankings since December 17 of last year. The top ranked team in the area continues to be the Beaumont Ozen girls, who fell out of the top spot and sit at No. 5 in the Class 4A rankings with a 12-1 record this season.
The Port Arthur Memorial girls dropped from No. 12 to No. 18 after losing a pair of games over the break. Beaumont Central is No. 10 again on the Class 4A boys side, while Nederland clocks in at No. 16, one spot lower than the last set of rankings.
The Beaumont Central girls are No. 14 in the Class 4A rankings while the Hardin-Jefferson girls are at No. 11 in the Class 3A ranks. The Hardin-Jefferson boys are ranked No. 11 in Class 3A while the Silsbee boys trail at No. 13.
Voting is done weekly until the playoffs begin.
PORT ARTHUR —
Say this for the Port Arthur Memorial Lady Titans: they are not satisfied.
Bassmaster Elites are coming back
The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
• Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
Mid County knocked out of tournament
The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.
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The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.
MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0
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Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.
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Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional
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