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Sports

December 28, 2012

Port Arthur Memorial falters in loss to Beaumont Ozen at Gamble Classic

PORT ARTHUR — Through a mirror, darkly stared the Port Arthur Memorial boys basketball team, as everything they’d done right in the first two games of the James Gamble Classic reversed in a 69-54 loss to Beaumont Ozen in the semifinals Friday.

Memorial had jumped out to 8-0 leads in both its previous tourney games, but fell behind Ozen 8-2 in the nightcap. While they jumped to big leads in the first two games and then hung around for the next three quarters, the Titans were unable to overcome a 20-12 Panthers lead after one quarter and a 40-25 lead at halftime.

After the game, Memorial head coach Travis Williams questioned his team’s focus.

“We had no intensity,” Williams said. “You can’t teach intensity. We have to get some guys playing better. Ozen just played harder than us. I don’t know how we can bounce back from this. We have to come out and try to get better each day.”

Ozen and Central will face each other in the championship game at 6 p.m. Saturday while Memorial will play Lake Charles Washington Marion at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the third place game. Washington Marion beat Beaumont West Brook 53-41 earlier in the day to advance to the other semifinal matchup with Beaumont Central, which Central won 60-42.

In another reversal Friday, the normally sweet-shooting Titans missed the mark early and often. Memorial shot just 5 for 22 from the floor in the first half and finished a dismal 32 percent from the field in the game. In the previous two games at the Gamble Classic, the Titans shot 48 and 52 percent from the floor.

Williams said that playing twice in the same day didn’t affect his shooters, but that they just didn’t show up in the game.

“If you’re a shoooter, you’re a shooter,” Williams said. “If your shot isn’t hitting, you have to find something else. You might not hit shots, but you can always get after it defensively. We didn’t.”

Ozen, meanwhile, played a nearly mistake-free game, committing just six turnovers in the game and shooting 48 percent from the field. The only problem for the Panthers was fouls, as they sent Memorial to the line 30 times.

TreVaughn Dennis was the big beneficiary of those fouls in the first quarter, scoring all six of his points in that frame off free throws. Dennis finished as the Titans’ leading scorer with 12 points, adding six rebounds.

“He was getting to the free throw line,” Williams said. “That’s what he does best. He crashes the boards well and did that.”

Ozen’s Kourtney Williams had a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds while Jordan Hunter added 12 points. Memorial sophomore forward Dorian Chatman had 11 points, 13 rebounds and a block while Darren Williams had 10 points, three rebounds and a block.

Memorial advanced to the semifinals by beating Houston Kashmere 63-48 earlier in the day behind a breakout performance offensively by Darren Williams. The 6-foot-3 junior forward scored 19 points in the first three quarters in a very efficient performance.

Williams made 8 of 11 shots from the field, making all three of his free throw attempts to lead the Titans in scoring. The entire Titan team shot well in the game, as Memorial went 26-51 from the field and 10 for 13 from the free throw line.

“The last two days, he’s played well,” Travis Williams said. “When he plays, he can alter shots defensively and give us an inside presence. That’s what we need. You can’t win a big ballgame without an inside presence.”

That was in sharp contrast to Kashmere, who shot just 30 percent from the floor on 18 of 60 shooting. The game’s leading scorer was Kashmere’s Joshua Jacobs, who had 22 points but went 10 for 35 from the field and took 58 percent of his team’s shots.

Joseph Williams had a nice game as well against Kashmere, scoring eight points and grabbing nine rebounds. Dorian Chatman added nine points, four rebounds and six blocks while Torian Lott had seven points, three rebounds and an assist.

Junior guard Albert Jacobs was the only other Titan in double figures, scoring 11 points and adding two rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Fort Bend Ridge Point beat Fort Bend Hightower 53-48 in the consolation bracket, advancing to play Longview in the consolation semifinals. Longview won that game 76-74 and will play Houston Furr, who beat North Forest 68-60 earlier in the day, in the consolation finals at 3 p.m. Saturday.

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