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Titans warm up house with defense in blowout win

Titans 76, Pride 49

RCHA              10       11       7          21       —        49

Memorial        21       12       23       20       —        76

RCHA (6-4)

Jakon Reece 6, Kameron Thomas 19, Zhaire Simmons 7, Greg Carmen 2, Isaac Allen 6, David Hill 4, Zavier Clay 5.

Memorial (9-4)

Tyler Guidry 6, Reao Keller 2, Darion Chatman 9, Bishop James 4, Ja. Butler 2, Jamal Dorsey 1, Xavier Hull 1, Jacolbe Richard 2, Jyson Butler 11, Deon Williams 7, David Torres 4, Thailan Wesley 25, N. Clover 3.

Three-point goals — RCHA 9 (Thomas 3), Memorial 5 (Jyson Butler 3). Fouled out — None. Free throws — RCHA 7-11 (Allen 3-4), Memorial 8-14 (Wesley 3-4, Butler 2-2). Total fouls — RCHA 11, Memorial 16. Technical fouls — None.

Port Arthur Memorial is starting to play the way coach Kenneth Coleman envisioned the Titans would.

They’re turning turnovers into points. They’re creating turnovers. They’re playing fast and furious.

Oh, and they’re creating turnovers.

“We’re getting better and better at it,” Coleman said. “The thing is, though, that we have a certain way to be up-tempo. But the bottom line is, we have to be able to play any kind of way. We have to make adjustments.”

Thailan Wesley scored 25 points, and Memorial knocked off Redemption Christian Homeschool Association 76-49 in the Titans’ first home game in 32 days.

“We could have played harder than we did today,” Wesley said. “We’re going to come back and get in the gym and grind some more for the next game.”

Now, the Titans (9-4) have to wait 10 more days before taking the home court again for the James Gamble Classic. They might not mind; they had played the past 10 games on the road, including eight in two grueling tournaments.

“It’s going to be a fun time,” Wesley said.

RCHA (6-4), based in Houston, took over the schedule for Fallbrook Christian, which according to coach Ed Chung, did not field a team before the season. This is the second varsity season for the Pride.

A close game for just more than 4 minutes immediately turned into a Memorial rout, thanks in large part to defense and solid interior passing. Memorial employed its full-court press to disrupt the Pride’s rhythm and create fast-break opportunities off turnovers.

“We still get a little bit antsy on the half-court offensive side,” Coleman said. “If we don’t get a fast break, we ought to be a little more patient. But they are coming around. I can see the improvement.”

Memorial went on a 9-0 run to close the first quarter and take a 21-10 lead.

RCHA pulled within eight points, 27-19, midway through the second, but would come no closer after that. Wesley scored eight points in the first period and nine in the second.

The Titans all but put the game out of reach with a 23-7 third period.

The Pride found their bright spot outside the arc, where they made nine three-pointers. Jyson Butler connected on three for Memorial.

“We really gave up too many three-pointers,” said Coleman, whose team made five. “We want to make you put the ball on the floor.”

Thirteen Titans entered the scoring column. Butler had 11 points and Darion Chatman totaled nine.

Kameron Thomas led the Pride with 19 points.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

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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