Torian Lott brought them back and TreVaughn Dennis came through in the end, as the Port Arthur Memorial boys basketball picked up what could be a signature victory for head coach Travis Williams program, as they beat Houston Wheatley 81-80 in overtime Thursday to open Beaumont ISD’s YMBL South Texas Shootout.
Port Arthur Memorial (3-2) advances to face Beaumont Central at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Montagne Center.
“This is what we need to get ready for district,” Memorial head coach Travis Williams said. “I’m proud of the kids because we were down 10, 12, 15. I’ve got a bunch of guys who don’t quit. I might get on them and they might make me bad, but they just don’t quit.”
Lott scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, as the Titans bounced back from being down 25-11 after the first quarter to tie the score at 72-72 with 40 seconds to play. Lott hit a huge 3-pointer earlier in the quarter to make it 72-68 Wheatley with 1:20 left.
He then hit four straight free throws to tie the game before fouling out on a play down low on the defensive end. Lott finished the game with 27 points, two rebounds and two steals.
After Memorial forced overtime, it was Dennis who gave them the victory. With the score tied at 80-80, Memorial’s Ron Taylor uncharacteristically missed a pair of free throws with six seconds left on the clock. Dennis skied for the rebound after Taylor’s second miss, grabbing it and going up for a shot of his own.
Dennis was fouled, missed his first free throw before getting a friendly roll on the second to put Memorial up 81-80 with three seconds to play.
“We were nervous starting off,” Williams said. “We just got rattled. Wheatley is a heck of a ball club. We scored 81 points and that’s the most points we’ve scored since I came to Memorial, so maybe we’ve turned the corner offensively. You have to have players to make big plays, and in the end, we made some big plays.”