Slow start offensively proves trouble for Memorial in 5A-Region III semifinals

Published 10:43 pm Friday, March 3, 2023

The Memorial Titans basketball season came to an end following a 50-34 loss to the Killeen-Ellison Eagles in Friday’s 5A-Region III semifinals, held in Cypress.

The Titans fell behind early and were never quite able to close the gap.

“We just got off to a slow start offensively,” Memorial coach Alden Lewis said following the game. “We competed at a high level, but against the No. 2 team you can’t start off slow. You’ve got to come out already rolling.”

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The game was a defensive slugfest through most of the first half. The two teams combined for 20 points through the first quarter —the Titans scored just five in the opening period.

Breaking through a tough Eagles defense proved to be a challenge. Killeen-Ellison ran a two-three zone for much of the game, and a full-court press put consistent pressure on the Titans’ ball-handlers.

The Titans especially struggled to match the physicality of their opponent on the boards. Memorial recorded just five rebounds in the entire first — they were out-rebounded by double figures by the end of the game with 19 boards to the Eagles’ 31.

At halftime, the Titans trailed 26-11.

Memorial showed more fight in the second half, rallying back to bring the game within nine points.

Senior guard Jordan Casmore led the scoring outburst, hitting three straight shots from beyond the arc. At the end of the third quarter, the Titans trailed, 37-26.

However, they were unable to close the deficit and went on to fall short of the comeback, 50-34.

Overall, the Titans shot 14-of-37 from the field for a shooting percentage of just under 38.

Casmore led the Titans in scoring with 15 points, all coming from three-point range. Senior wing Ke’Andre Jones finished second on the team with 11 points, also chipping in seven rebounds and a steal.

Jamyron Keller led the Eagles in points and rebounds, posting a 17-11 line.

The Titans concluded their season with a 30-9 overall record.

“I’m so proud of the kids and the progression that we’ve made from two years ago to now,” Lewis said. “With 30 wins, and 20 of those in a row, I’m super proud of them. They accomplished something great and put us back where we needed to be.

“They’re gonna be some hungry kids over the offseason, and they’ll want to get back here and move forward. We can’t wait to get back to this point.”

— Written by Keagan Smith