The Port Arthur News
MONT BELVIEU —
A great Port Arthur Memorial game plan held down Pearland in the first half, but a 26 point third quarter sunk the Titans in a 49-37 loss to the Oilers in a Class 5A bidistrict playoff game at Barbers Hill Tuesday.
Memorial led Pearland 6-3 after the first quarter and 15-14 at the half. But, the Oilers then ripped off more points in the third than they scored in the rest of the game combined, using their size and speed to run past the Titans in the pivotal period.
“They’re a very good team,” Memorial head coach Travis Williams said. “We had a great game plan. But, the third quarter, they scored 26 points and that was the difference in the game. They made plays.:”
The Titans came out and took an early 2-0 lead after Dorian Chatman made a point blank shot in the paint. That’s when Williams’ plan kicked in. To limit the Oilers length (Pearland had nine players at 6-foot-3 or taller), Williams pulled his guards out to the perimeter and forced Pearland to switch from a 2-3 zone to a man-to-man defense.
With all those big bodies pulled out on the perimeter, Memorial saw passing lanes open up and its smaller, quicker guards were able to penetrate and hold down the number of possessions.
Defensively, Memorial was able to push most of Pearland’s shots outside and rebounded well despite a lack of size. By boxing out and outworking the Oilers on the boards, Memorial limited second chance opportunities for the Oilers in the first half.
“They’re length was just too much,” Williams said. “In the third quarter, they made plays. That length took its toll. It gave Dorian his third foul and without him in the game, we’re pretty small. We have some mid-range guys, but without that 6-6 presence, teams will try to get inside on us.
“I told the players to remember this feeling and get back to work. Does it hurt? Yeah. Am I mad? No, I’m not mad, because of the effort they gave in this game. As a coach, you never want to lose your last game.”
All that fell apart in the third, as Memorial lost its momentum after halftime. The Oilers came out and immediately pounded it inside to 6-foot-6 senior post Jay Hedgeman, who took an entry pass, laid it in and picked up a foul. That turned a 15-14 Memorial lead into a 16-15 Pearland advantage, kick-starting a 13-0 run by the Oilers to open the third.
Memorial stemmed the tide in the fourth, with Torian Lott scoring seven unanswered points by himself to pull the Titans within eight. However, that’s as close as the Titans got, as Pearland hit its free throws down the stretch and held off the Titans to advance to the area round.
Memorial was led in scoring by sophomore post Dorian Chatman, who had 11 points, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Chatman was the only Titan in double-figures but teammate TreVaughn Dennis added eight points, five rebounds and two blocks.
Lott scored all seven of his points in that fourth-quarter stretch while junior guard Albert Jacobs had six points, one rebound, one assist and one steal.
Memorial’s defense held Pearland’s leading scorer Cameron Reynolds scoreless on the night. Pearland was led by Brandon Sneed and Devon Begley, each of whom scored 10 points.
The Titans played good defensively all night, holding Pearland to 38 percent shooting in the game and just 2 for 11 shooting from behind the arc.
That defensive effort will serve the Titans well next season, but they need to get better on the offensive end as well.
“We held them to 49 points and they scored 26 of them in the third,” Williams said. “In our district, we were ranked No. 2 in defense. We held teams to a 38 percent field goal percentage. That’s not bad. If we can get some scoring and hold people to 45-48 points, we’ll be in business. Hopefully, we can work on things in the offseason and get more efficient offensively.”
Memorial finishes the season at 18-13.
Pearland 49, Port Arthur Memorial 37
PAM 6 9 8 12 -- 37
Pear 3 11 26 9 -- 49
PAM: Torian Lott 7, Dorian Chatman 11, Albert Jacobs 6, TreVaughn Dennis 8, Jaylon Poledore 2, Darren Williams 2, Buddy Lofton 1.
PEARLAND: Jay Hedgeman 7, Brandon Sneed 10, Keith Lawson 6, Cameron Juniel 1, Devon Begley 10, Jeremy Sneed 9, Robert Sneed 3, Santos Okwara 3.
Statistics – Rebounds: Memorial 17 (Dennis 5); Pearland 27 (Juniel 5). Assists: Memorial 6 (D. Williams, Taylor 2); Pearland 7 (Cameron Reynolds 3). Steals: Memorial 7 (Lott 3); Pearland 8 (Hedgeman 2). Turnovers: Memorial 14, Pearland 13. Fouls: Memorial 21, Pearland 17. 3-pointers made: Memorial 1 (Lott); Pearland 2 (Lawson, J. Sneed).
Records: Memorial (18-13); Pearland (27-8).