The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Missing its head coach and point guard, Port Arthur Memorial’s boys basketball team couldn’t muster enough defense Friday against Beaumont West Brook, falling 67-53 to the Bruins at Memorial Gym in District 21-5A play.
Memorial (17-12, 7-4) was without head coach Travis Williams, out with an illness, and point guard and defensive stopper Albert Jacobs, who was held out as a precautionary move due to a recent head injury.
That made it hard for Memorial to stop West Brook’s offense, as the Bruins shot 50 percent from the field and led for most of the game.
“The last couple of games we’ve held teams to 50 points or less, ” Memorial assistant head coach Lance Robertson said. “North Shore only got 49. Today, we gave up almost 70. To me, we just didn’t get enough stops.”
Robertson filled in for Williams on the bench, his first time in the head coaching role since spending three years as Vidor’s head man. He said he found out he’d be filling in for Williams about 4 p.m. Friday.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with coach Williams,” Robertson said. “I told him, ‘I’d wheel you up here in a wheelchair if I have to.’ We’re hoping he can be back with us soon.”
With the loss, Memorial falls behind both West Brook and Channelview in the standings and holds the fourth playoff seed from 21-5A. Channelview beat Deer Park 44-36 on Friday to finish its district schedule at 9-3. West Brook, 8-3, will finish its season against Baytown Sterling on Tuesday while Memorial travels to La Porte.
Memorial jumped out to a quick lead when junior guard Torian Lott knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to open the game. After that, West Brook went on a 17-2 run to end the quarter and never looked back. After Lott’s pair of triples, Memorial missed its next 11 shots, with West Brook’s Michael Zeno rejecting three of those shots himself.
Four different Bruins scored 12 or more points while only five Memorial players finished with a score.
“We were missing our top defender,” Robertson said. “We tried to throw some new wrinkles in there. It was nothing that we hadn’t practiced. Instead of man-to-man, which is what we’ve been doing so well because AJ takes away their best player, we tried to trap more and broke down a little bit. The kids gave energy and effort and just didn’t get it done.”
Lott was hot for most of the game, scoring a game-high 25 points and knocking down all seven of Memorial’s 3-pointers. Teammate Dorian Chatman was shut out in the first quarter by Zeno, but rallied to score 15 points in the game and grab 11 rebounds. Sophomore post Jayden Poledore chipped in with eight points and five rebounds.
Lott helped the Titans cut the West Brook lead to 36-33 in the third quarter, but West Brook quickly went on a 6-0 run to take control of the game again.
“Torian came out well,” Robertson said. “Even Jayden Poledore came out and gave us something. That’ll help Dorian out underneath. Torian hit some threes, but it’s not just offense. We have to play defense also.”
West Brook was led by Zeno, who had 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. The sophomore scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. Jordan Green and Jujuan Hadnot each had 14 points while Rickey Guillory had 12.
Beaumont West Brook 67, Port Arthur Memorial 53
WB 17 14 18 18 — 67
PAM 8 15 15 15 — 53
PAM: Torian Lott 25, Dorian Chatman 15, Jayden Poledore 8, TreVaughn Dennis 6, Darren Williams 1.
WB: Michael Zeno 15, Jordan Green 14, Jajuan Hadnot 14, Rickey Guillory 12, Hastin Dugas 9, Bryce Colbert 3.
Statistics — Rebounds: Memorial 20 (Chatman 11); West Brook 21 (Zeno 9). Assists: Memorial 6 (Buddy Lofton 2); West Brook 8 (Green 4). Steals: Memorial 6 (Lott 2); West Brook 7 (Green 2). Turnovers: Memorial 11, West Brook 8. Fouls: Memorial 16, West Brook 11. 3-pointers made: Memorial 7 (Lott 7); West Brook 3 (Guillory 2, Green).
Records: Memorial (17-12, 7-4); West Brook (19-11, 8-3)
Next: Memorial at La Porte, 7 p.m. Tuesday; West Brook hosts Baytown Sterling, 7 p.m. Tuesday.