The Port Arthur News
DEER PARK —
DEER PARK — Friday night the Memorial Titans hoped to earn the title of “Giant Killers.” Instead, they found an opponent too giant to overcome.
Fort Bend Travis improved its season record to 32-3 after dominating in a 60-45 win over the Titans in the area round of the Class 5A state playoffs at D.H. Watkins Gym.
From the beginning, it was apparent that Memorial was over-matched as the Titans struggled just to get the occasional drive past the 3-point arc. The Travis defense, led by juniors and seniors who all stood 6-foot-6 or taller, frustrated the PAM offense at every turn.
“They’re good,” Memorial Coach Travis Williams said. “They’re really good. Defensively they are sound and they play good man-to-man defense. They are tall and they are strong. It’s tough to compete against that.”
A 2-2 tie started the game but that would be as close as the Titans could get the rest of the game. Meanwhile the Tigers drove the lane for acrobatic layups and threw up NBA-distance 3-pointers to stretch their lead to 17-4 by the end of the first quarter.
“I thought we didn’t play hard defensively in the first half, we just didn’t play hard,” Williams said. “I just asked them to play harder to do more and they came out in the second half and did a better job competing.”
By that time, though, Memorial had fallen behind by 20 points,32-12, as Travis continued its offensive attack.
Aaron Harrison led that push, finishing the game with 19 points, 17 of those coming in the first half.
Whether physically or emotionally drained, the Titans came out in the third quarter looking even less capable of scoring a bucket than they did in the first half.
While the Tigers took off on a 17-point third-quarter scoring run, the Titans scored just one field goal in the period when Dorian Chatman hit a bucket with 46 seconds left in the third. PAM hit 4-of-8 free throws in that same time period.
“We missed some easy shots,” Williams said. “We got some stuff in the paint, we were able to get in there and get some good shots but we just weren’t making them.”
Torian Lott led the Titans with 19 points while Albert Jacobs and Tre’ Armstead each hit for 12 points in the game.
The Titans end their season at 18-14 overall while the Tigers advance to the regional quarterfinals where they will face North Shore.
“Now we go back to work,” Coach Williams said. “We get ready for next year, we go back in the spring, the summer, the fall. We keep these guys together and play together and we get ready to come back here again next season.”