PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

December 5, 2009

Titans cruise to James White title

BEAUMONT — The Memorial Titans improved their season record to 7-1 in claiming a 3-0 mark and a tournament trophy at the James White Invitational held at Beaumont Central High School.

   Memorial finished off its title run with a 54-29 victory over District 21-5A rival West Brook. 

   Port Arthur opened the weekend with an 80-61 route over Dallas Woodrow Wilson on Thursday then returned to action Saturday to Beaumont Saturday morning to face Cleveland, who the Titans crushed 78-51.

   Topping the Bruins did not come as easy as the final score may indicate. The Titans did not put away West Brook until posting a 19-5 run in the fourth quarter.

   Before that shot to the mouth, Memorial's biggest run came on an 8-0 march at the beginning of the first period. The Titans also recorded an 8-3 run that lifted the spread to 26-12 midway through the second. Aside from those spurts, West Brook continued to frustrate the Titans for most of the first three quarters.

   It was not until Port Arthur coach Terrul Henderson changed the tempo of his offense in the third period that Beaumont started to give way.

   His choice was to slow the pace by getting into Port Arthur legendary coach James Gamble's half-court, box offense that forces the opposition into man-to-man defense. Before the switch, West Brook snuggled into a 2-3 zone which enabled it to clog the paint.

   But trailing 32-18 to open the third period, the Bruins were forced out of the comfort's of their zone.

   At first it did not matter because Memorial turned the ball over three times which led to a 6-0 run by Beaumont. That cut the game to 32-24, the closest margins since the end of the first (12-7).

   A quick timeout got the Titans back in line, however. They sharpened up in the latter stages of the third frame and worked in two buckets to take a 35-24 lead into the final quarter. From there, Port Arthur tacked on 19 points, which included 12-3 run. Kaleb Sanders led the way in that march by scoring six of his 15 total points. He scored 8 in the final frame and also tallied 6 rebounds, a block, 3 assists and 3 steals.

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