Titans set up rematch with Bruins

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Basketball fans headed to the James Gamble Classic today will get the matchup many wanted to see at Memorial High School.

Kenneth Coleman will lead his Port Arthur Memorial Titans against former Lincoln coach Andre Boutte and his West Brook Bruins at 7 p.m.

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Memorial knocked off Houston Wheatley 95-70 Tuesday and West Brook defeated El Campo 75-46 to set up the game. It will be played in front of Gamble, who is expected to be front and center courtside. Boutte, after winning two state titles at Lincoln, went on to coach at Ozen before becoming athletic director at Memorial.

Coleman said he was both a little nervous and excited to coach against Boutte, a man he knows quite well.

“We know we will still cheer for each other,” Coleman said. “It is always difficult to play against somebody that you actually have a relationship with. We look

forward to it. There are two contrasting styles. He controls tempo. We try to control tempo just on the other extreme. It will be interesting.”

The Titans (10-4) first had to fight off a pesky Wheatley team that did its best to hang with the most more physical and athletic Memorial team.

Memorial had a 27-19 lead after the first period behind 11 points from Thailan Wesley. He finished with a team-high 15 points.

The Titans then exploded on both sides of the court in the second quarter with 24 points and Memorial held Wheatley to 12.

Darion Chatman scored five of his 13 points in the second and Jyson Butler also had five points in the frame. He finished with seven points.

“I think the key was staying sound,” Coleman said of how his Titans were able to take control of the game. “We were doing the things that we do and staying consistent with it. When we started to separate, we started to get outside ourselves and tried to throw some one-hand passes.

“Those are things we have been trying to work on. We want to stay sound and feed off the game. We try to put some pressure on you, and it eventually will wear you down.”

Memorial outscored Wheatley 30-20 in the third before the visitors won the fourth quarter 19-14.

The Titans/Bruins winner moves on to Thursday’s championship game. Memorial defeated the Bruins 68-46 on Nov. 25.

“This is not the same West Brook team we played earlier this year,” Coleman said. “They are a lot more sound and they have added some players. Boutte has had the opportunity to be with them a little bit longer.”

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

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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