, Port Arthur, Texas


January 15, 2013

Port Arthur Memorial girls rebound past Beaumont West Brook 59-44

PORT ARTHUR — When a team can outrebound its opponent by 30, it doesn’t matter how well they shoot.

Well, it matters, but the Port Arthur Memorial girls basketball team proved that a healthy rebounding edge can overcome a slow-shooting night, as the Lady Titans beat Beaumont West Brook 59-44 on Tuesday in District 21-5A play.

The Lady Titans (22-4, 6-1 District 21-5A) outrebounded their geographical rivals 51-21 and had three different players end up with double-digit boards. Senior post Dorcieve Davis led the way with 17 rebounds and 10 points.

“We missed a lot of layups early, ” Memorial head coach Kevin Henry said. “We started out shooting hot, but then kind of fizzled. I wanted us to be more aggressive and take more layups. We did a good job of that in the second half and did a great job of rebounding. We were kind of kidding with the girls that they wanted to pad their stats like Moses Malone. They did a pretty good job overall. Getting district wins is big. As long as we keep winning, we’ll keep moving on.”

Freshman Jakira Ford showed why she’s earned playing time on varsity this season, entering the game in the second quarter and making an immediate impact. The 6-foot-1 frosh scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds, often giving Memorial second-chance points after outside shots missed their mark.

Ford scored a game-high 15 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and picking up two steals.

“She’s a hybrid player,” Henry said. “She can play guard and she can play on the post. That poses some matchup problems for a lot of people.  She can shoot over the top of a lot of people. It’s just getting her to learn everything here at the varsity level. She’s pretty much got everything down pat, but there’s still some things we have to work on and get the freshmen jitters out.”

The Lady Titans shot well in the early going, racing to an 11-0 lead with 4:55 left in the first quarter. Senior guard Crystal Sallier capped that run with a steal and layup, forcing West Brook to call timeout.

Of course, the Lady Bruins responded with an 8-0 run of their own before Memorial responded and closed out the quarter with a 14-10 lead. The second quarter was no less streaky, as the Bruins cut the Memorial lead to 17-15 halfway through the period.

The Lady Titans started finding their range at that point, though, going on a 9-0 run from that point. Memorial led by double-digits for the rest of the game.

Memorial was able to keep West Brook from scoring much, holding the Lady Bruins to 5 for 26 shooting in the second and third quarters. For the game, West Brook’s girls shot 28.8 percent from the field and made just 2 of 11 3-pointers.

Still, Henry said his team could use some work shutting down lanes to the basket when they worried about the outside shot.

“The girls moved around well,” Henry said. “We see each other twice a year, so we know their strengths and know who their shooters are. We tried to get into a zone and get out on the shooters. They also have some quick guards and like to penetrate. A lot of times, we were overcompensating for the shooters and they were able to get inside to the basket. We have some things to work on with our help defense.”

Memorial shot 37.7 percent from the field, making 23 of 61 shots. In the first half, the Lady Titans shot 32.4 percent, but outrebounded West Brook 28-12. In addition to Ford and Davis, Loren Evans had double-digit rebounds, grabbing 13 to go with six points, two steals and a block.

Davis had a nice all-around game, too, adding two assists, two blocks and a steal to her 10 points and 17 boards. Sophomore point guard Joyce Kennerson had eight points, all in the second half, while grabbing two rebounds. Kennerson added two assists and four steals.

West Brook was led by point guard Djimonii Jackson, who had nine points, four assists and four steals. Danielle Metoyer had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Memorial will travel to La Porte at 7 p.m. Friday while West Brook (6-15, 2-5) will host Baytown Sterling.

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