, Port Arthur, Texas

December 10, 2012

Nederland tangles with Memorial tonight

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Once again, the Nederland and Port Arthur Memorial will play a very good team in what has proven to be a tough preseason schedule for both teams. At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the two will play each other at Memorial Gym, as those nondistrict schedules wind down.

Nederland will finally be at full strength as Koby Couron, De Shawn Washington and Colton Kimler all join the team off the football squad. The Bulldogs saw their football season end Saturday to Georgetown at the Berry Center, but the trio of forwards may not see a ton of time on Tuesday.

“I haven’t tracked them down yet,” Nederland head coach Brian English said Monday morning. “They may need a couple of days. They may be beat up a bit from the end of the season, so I’m just going to give them some time.”

Memorial’s football season ended earlier in the year, giving Titan head coach Travis Williams more time to incorporate his football players into his rotation. Currently, junior point guard Torian Lott and Albert Jacobs play regularly, with Roderic Rucker also contributing.

Both teams have played tough schedules, with or without the football guys. Memorial has faced four of six non-district scheduled opponents with records at .500 or better and all six teams they’ve played have a combined winning percentage just below .500 for the season.

Nederland is playing the toughest schedule English has ever put together with a combined winning percentage of .551 for scheduled opponents. Both teams also played in the YMBL and Bulldog Classic, fighting through the championship bracket against some very tough competition.

“We are up and down right now emotionally,” English said. “We win some tough games, and then we lose some. It’s been a roller coaster ride this season. You hope this will build some character. I thought we’d be pretty good this year.  This is the toughest schedule we’ve put together, and I hope it will build us into a better team.”

Memorial (6-6) enters the game against Nederland after winning three of its last four at the Bulldog Classic. Before that, the Titans had lost three straight, falling to Beaumont Central twice and Silsbee once. The Titans reached the title game at the Classic, but fell 44-27 to HCYA.

Nederland (8-5) had won four straight games before dropping two in a row on the final day of the Classic. Nederland is 6-3 in its last nine, with its only other loss in that stretch coming at the hands of Central in the YMBL semifinals.

This will be the second straight season the two teams have played, as Nederland beat Memorial 47-41 last season at the Dog Dome. Nederland beat Memorial again in last year’s Bulldog Classic 44-42. The last time Memorial beat Nederland was in 2009, when the Titans won 69-37 at the Dog Dome.