The Port Arthur News
After going 2-for-9 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and with a one-eyed Colton Weisbrod on the line, Nederland fans could have been a bit anxious with seven-tenths of a second left and the Bulldogs tied at 41-41 with Port Arthur Memorial.
Weisbrod had lost the contact from his left eye, but still had one in his good eye. The junior post calmly knocked down the first of his two free throws to give Nederland a 42-41 victory over the Titans at Memorial Gym on Tuesday in non-district play.
“It was ugly,” Nederland head coach Brian English said. “We’ve got to get better hitting free throws. We got lucky there at the end. Colton, I think he just got contacts, but I think he might shoot better without them. We missed a lot of free throws down the stretch. If we don’t, it’s going to cost us.”
After building a seven point lead in the fourth quarter, Memorial’s Torian Lott took over his team’s offense. The junior point guard scored 11 points in the fourth, including a dagger of a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to make it 40-39 and two free throws to tie the score at 41-41 with less than 20 seconds to play. Lott finished the game with 17 points and four rebounds.
Coming out of a time-out with 10 seconds left, Nederland’s Kirby Hanley drove and then dished it to Weisbrod, who took the ball to the top of the key and thendrove into the lane, where he was met by four Titans and fouled by Memorial’s Albert Jacobs.
Weisbrod had missed a free throw after being fouled while making a layup, but didn’t hesitate to hit the first free throw to give Nederland the victory.
Nederland’s free throw woes crept up in the fourth quarter, as neither team missed from the charity stripe before the final period. Memorial finished 10-for-10 from the free throw line and Nederland finished the game 9-for-17.
“They play great defense and know who to key on, ” English said. “They were doubling Colton and not letting him catch it. We had to have someone step up. (Alex Taylor) hit a big 3-pointer and loosened them up a bit. Some other kids took advantage. Overall, though, it was pretty ugly.”
Weisbrod scored nine of his team-leading 13 points in the final quarter, but was shut out in the first half. He was matched up for much of the game with Titan sophomore Dorian Chatman, and the two played each other very well defensively.
Chatman scored six points in the first quarter and eight points in the game, but four of those came off putbacks. The sophomore was very effective at rebounding in the first half, using his long arms to grab 10 rebounds in the game.
Weisbrod forced Chatman into foul trouble in the second half, but the lane opened up for him when the Titans switched Chatman to the middle of a zone to stop Nederland’s outside shooting in the third quarter.
“We had defensive breakdowns in the third quarter,” Memorial head coach Travis Williams said. “We gave up two threes, and that wasn’t supposed to happen. They can shoot the ball and they hit big shots. We didn’t shoot the ball well. Our defensive tenacity wasn’t there until the last two or three minutes of the game, when we were in desperation mode. That sums up the ballgame.”
After the two teams were deadlocked at 15-15 in the first half, Nederland stormed out of the gate in the third quarter with six quick points. Senior guard Zach English scored nine points in the third and had a hand in all five of Nederland’s baskets. English sunk three of four shots from the field, made both of his free throws and assisted on a big three from Alex Taylor and a jumper from Weisbrod.
English finished with 13 points, tied for the team lead with Weisbrod, adding three assists and three rebounds. Jared Lorimier had eight points for Nederland while Taylor had five points and four rebounds.
For Memorial, TreVaughn Dennis had six points and five rebounds while Ron Taylor had three points, two rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Nederland (9-5) will play at Silsbee on Friday in its final non-district game while Memorial will travel to Little Cypress-Mauriceville as it closes out its non-district schedule. Both teams will compete in tournaments over the holiday break, with Nederland in the Gulf Coast Invitational at Barbers Hill and Memorial hosting the Oscar Gamble Classic.
Nederland 42, Port Arthur Memorial 41
Ned 8 7 16 11 — 42
PAM 8 7 11 15 — 41
NED: Colton Weisbrod 13, Zach English 13, Jared Lorimier 8, Alex Taylor 5, Jamiere Rogers 2, Kirby Hanley 1.
PAM: Torian Lott 17, Dorian Chatman 8, TreVaughn Dennis 6, Albert Jacobs 5, Ron Taylor 3, Joseph Williams 2.
Statistics — Rebounds: Memorial 29 (Chatman 10), Nederland 22 (Weisbrod 7). Assists: Memorial 4, Nederland 10 (English 3). Steals: Memorial 4 (Taylor 3), Nederland 4. Turnovers: Memorial 11, Nederland 7. Fouls: Memorial 18, Nederland 11. 3-pointers made: Memorial 3 (Lott, Taylor, Jacobs), Nederland 5 (Lorimier 2, English 2, Taylor).
Records: Memorial (6-7); Nederland (9-5).
Next: Memorial at LC-M, 7:30 p.m. Friday; Nederland at Silsbee, 8 p.m. Friday