, Port Arthur, Texas

January 17, 2013

Central at Nederland highlights district basketball

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Is the district glass half full or half empty? Depends on which team you ask.

Friday marks the end of the first half of district play for the boys and the beginning of the second half for the girls. That means there are a ton of interesting matchups going on today, starting with 20-4A boys undefeated district leader Beaumont Central traveling to Nederland at 7:30 p.m. in the Dog Dome.

Nederland (19-7, 5-1) goes into its third high profile game in the last four with a win against Port Neches-Groves and a disappointing loss to Beaumont Ozen a week ago. The Bulldogs will try to knock off Central (19-4, 6-0) at home for the third straight season in district play. Nederland beat Central 51-34 last year, but Central nipped the Bulldogs 53-49 in the Bulldog Classic last season.

The last time Nederland lost to Central at home in district play was in 2010, when Central won 52-44. Nederland actually beat the Jaguars in Beaumont 47-41 in 2010. If the Bulldogs can beat Central Friday, they’ll move into a first-place tie with the Jags and with Ozen, who hosts Lumberton.

PN-G (8-14, 3-3) will begin the first leg of a tough two-game road trip, going to Livingston at 7:30 p.m. Friday before traveling to Lumberton next Tuesday. The Indians are tied with Lumberton for the fourth and final playoff spot, but could quickly open up a two-game lead with wins on this road trip. PN-G lost 45-41 at Livingston last season.

Port Arthur Memorial (13-10, 3-2) will close out the first half of district play by hosting La Porte at 7 p.m. The Titans got a big 59-50 victory Tuesday over second-place Beaumont West Brook, moving into a tie for that second spot with the Bruins and Channelview. La Porte, at 2-3, sits a game outside of the playoffs with seven to play.

Memorial head coach Travis Williams also has an outside shot to get to 250 victories this season. Williams won 210 games in eight seasons at Silsbee and now has 31 wins with Memorial. If the Titans win out, they’d need to make it to the regional round of the playoffs for Williams to reach the career milestone.

On the girls side, District 21-5A begins its second half as the Port Arthur Memorial girls (22-4, 6-1) travels to La Porte (9-19, 3-4) at 7 p.m. Memorial beat the Lady Bulldogs in the first half of play 63-43, and La Porte sits a game ahead of Beaumont West Brook for the district’s fourth playoff spot.

The Lady Titans have won three straight since dropping a game to Channelview on Jan. 3 and have now won 13 of their last 15 games.

The District 20-4A girls also begin the second half of district play. The PN-G girls are looking to bounce back from a 104-9 loss at Beaumont Ozen and will host Livingston at 7:30 p.m. Nederland, meanwhile, will travel to Beaumont Central.