Basketball teams embrace holiday break to reset

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Coaches for Nederland, Memorial and Port Neches-Groves girls basketball teams hope upcoming time off refreshes their respective teams.

Memorial (0-1 in District 21-5A) is coming off a close game against Barbers Hill (2-0). The Titans fell 62-56, but Head Coach Kevin Henry is proud of how the team fought.

“It went down to the final possession,” Henry said. “We missed a layup and had to foul, and they made their free throws. They pulled it out at the end.”

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Henry said while his team came out on the losing end, the game showed his players they can compete.

“They know we are right there and we are just one play away,” he said. “It gives them some confidence going into the rest of the season. We have to play them again, so we have to make sure we are ready, so that it doesn’t happen again.”

Amonti Edwards and Gabriel Roy have held down the paint, while Erial Fontenot and Ariel Scott have played well on the perimeter.

“It has been a host of players playing well,” Henry said. “They are playing with confidence. It is just about keeping their temperaments down when calls go against them.”

Memorial plays CE King Tuesday as a warm-up game before the district schedule starts back up Jan. 4.

In Port Neches, Coach Lance Robertson said his team is struggling scoring points this season. That problem continued in a 57-27 loss to Crosby (2-0) last week, dropping the Indians to 0-1 in district.

“I hope they get a little break and relaxation during the holidays,” Robertson said of his players. “They will be ready to get back to work Monday. We are still trying to find a way to put the ball in the basket.”

The Indians play in a tournament at Little Cypress-Mauriceville Monday.

“We are lucky,” he said. “Going into this tournament, we are playing some teams we have already played. We are treating it like the second round of district. We are playing Bridge City and LCM, who we have already played in the Nederland tournament. Now, we can make some adjustments like we would in the second round of a district game.”

Despite the offensive struggles, Robertson said guards Mariela Dublon and Emerey Riley are playing well.

“Mariela is still playing great defense,” he said. “Emerey Riley is doing a great job of handling the ball and beating the press. Nobody is really scoring that much, but Emerey and Dublon are the ones getting it done right now.”

Nederland (0-1) is coming off a 46-37 loss to Crosby Friday. The Bulldogs played the Cougars close but Crosby pulled away late in the third quarter.

Nederland tied Crosby in rebounds (35-35) and assists (9-9), but the difference was transition points off turnovers as the Cougars led 13-9 in the steal column.

The Bulldogs restart their district play Jan. 7 against Beaumont United (3-0).