, Port Arthur, Texas

November 28, 2012

Prep basketball heats up with YMBL tourney

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — BEAUMONT – On Thursday, attention in the area will be shifted from the

winding down of the football season to the ramping up of roundball, as

the BISD/YMBL South Texas Shootout kicks off its annual tournament.

On the boys side of the bracket, Port Arthur Memorial, Port

Neches-Groves and Nederland will all play in a tough field that will

see strong area teams like Silsbee, West Orange-Stark and Beaumont

Ozen paired with squads from Houston (Fort Bend Hightower), Dallas

(Madison) and even New Orleans (OP Walker).

Port Arthur Memorial (2-2) will face Houston Wheatley in the first

round at 6 p.m. Thursday at McDonald Gym on Lamar’s campus. The Titans

will be looking for a second consecutive victory, after beating West Orange-Stark

58-43 on Nov. 23.

Wheatley is off to a 4-0 start and has averaged 99 points per game in

those victories over Houston Jones, Houston Madison, Houston Reagan

and Houston Kashmere. The Wildcats are led by 6-foot-7 senior post

Tavario Miller, who is averaging 25 points per game this season.

Wheatley is also getting 23 points per game from sophomore Gerald


Nederland (2-2) will face New Orleans Walker in the first round at

7:30 p.m. Thursday in McDonald Gym. The Bulldogs got off to a strong

start this season with a win over St. Pius X, but lost 73-58 to

Hardin-Jefferson and 57-49 to Beaumont West Brook in overtime on


Walker is 2-1 this season, allowing 54.6 points per game thus far

while topping 65 points in two of its three contests. Nederland, on

the other hand, has only allowed one team to score more than 60 once

this season, giving up an average of 52.7 points per game this year.

PN-G (0-2) will take on North Shore at 3 p.m. Thursday at McDonald

Gym. The Indians have lost to Silsbee 60-48 and Barbers Hill 59-47

this season. They face a North Shore team that’s 4-1 this year,

falling 70-37 to Houston Nimitz while beating Spring DeKaney 67-53,

Fort Bend Elkins 51-46, Spring Westfield 53-45 and Spring 63-59.

The Mustangs return two starters from last years team who picked up

where they left off. Senior 6-foot-8 forward Johnathan Motley, a

Baylor commit, is averaging 20.6 points per game this season while

junior guard Brandon Etienne is averaging 13.5 points per game.

On the girls side, Port Arthur Memorial joins area teams like

Hardin-Jefferson, Lumberton, Beaumont West Brook, Beaumont Ozen and

Beaumont Central in a very talented group.

Memorial (8-2) will open the tournament against La Marque at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday at the Montagne Center. The Lady Titans were nipped Tuesday

52-48 by Beaumont Ozen and University of Texas commit Nekia Jones.

Their only other loss this season was to Lumberton in the Bulldog

Classic championship.

They face a La Marque team that is 4-3, having lost to Galveston Ball,

Humble Summer Creek and Pearland Dawson while beating Hitchcock twice,

Dickinson and Texas City. The Lady Cougars are led by senior guard

Courtney Randle, who is averaging 24 points per game.

Games begin on Friday at 9 a.m. for the consolation brackets for both

the boys and the girls and at 3 p.m. for the championship brackets.