Memorial wipes 12-point hole, shares first with North Shore

Published 11:40 pm Friday, January 22, 2016

If anybody knows how to gameplan against North Shore, it’s Kenneth Coleman.
Friday night, he and the Port Arthur Memorial Titans were rewarded for a successful scheme.
The Titans erased a 12-point halftime deficit and kept Coleman’s former team, North Shore, out of rhythm through the night to pick up a key 62-57 home victory, their third in a row. The win also moved Memorial (10-11, 4-2 in 21-6A) into a tie with North Shore (14-10, 4-2) for first in district standings as both teams completed the first wave of round-robin play.
“We wanted to win this bad,” Titans senior center Tyryn Hinton said after scoring 12 points. “Coach Coleman talked about North Shore. It ain’t no more North Shore. It’s Port Arthur Memorial now.”
Darion Chatman (12 points) and Deon Williams (11) also aided the Titans’ win. North Shore’s Latrell Jackson led all scorers with 14.
Coleman worked at the Galena Park high school for the previous four years, first as a freshman coach and then as David Green’s top assistant.
“The kids were really determined not to lose,” Coleman said. “We came out in the second half and gave a super effort. The first half was really not an indication of Port Arthur basketball. The second half was more how we play.”
Deer Park and Channelview, which both entered Friday’s games at 3-2 in the district, may have joined Memorial and North Shore atop the standings. But in Port Arthur, Friday night was all about the rise of the Titans.
A 30-18-halftime deficit turned into a 35-33 Memorial lead 3 minutes into the second half on Deon Williams’ three-point play. North Shore took the lead right back before Michael Ford scored on back-to-back field goals to ignite a 9-2 run to close the quarter. Memorial won that period, 26-9.
“Coach Coleman chewed us out at halftime, and it really ignited us,” Hinton said.
The Mustangs, who won the 5A state championship two years ago with current Texas freshman Kerwin Roach, looked shaky against the Titans’ press and trailed by as many as six points, despite mounting a 7-2 run to pull within 58-57 with 52 seconds left. Jealon King sank two free throws to make it a three-point game, and North Shore missed consecutive three-point shots for the tie.
Memorial made 6 of 6 free throws in the final 69 seconds and finished 24 of 32 for the game, as North Shore (23 team fouls) fell into the double-bonus penalty twice. North Shore converted only 4 of 8 free throws against 13 Memorial fouls.
The first half finished 8-6 in Memorial’s favor, although both teams tried to establish a fast-paced attack. But North Shore seemed to take control with inside-the-paint defense and Terry Mitchell scored 10 of his 12 points in the second quarter.
Memorial hosts Channelview at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a rematch of the Titans’ 57-52 road win Dec. 18.

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About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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