James Gamble Classic provides home court advantage for Memorial Titans

Published 12:08 am Thursday, December 7, 2023

With a bumped-up schedule for the James Gamble Classic, the Memorial Titans are hoping Christmas can come early for the team, as well.

The annual basketball tournament is this weekend (Friday and Saturday) at Memorial High School, with six teams looking to come out on top.

The tournament is typically held during the Christmas break but has found a new home at the beginning of the month, Memorial Head Coach Alden Lewis said.

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No matter when in December the tournament takes place, it still means the same thing — basketball is in full swing.

“It is a great indication that the season is here,” Lewis said. “We are always excited for this time of year. When this time of year comes, you know it is basketball season. The weather is a little chilly and it is time to play basketball.”

The Titans are playing host to Clear Creek, Aldine Eisenhower, Stratford, Brazosport and San Antonio Pieper.

“It is good to see different teams throughout the area and see different styles of basketball,” Lewis said. “You always want some local teams, but we will have some good teams coming in. Hopefully, next year and the year after we can get this to 12-15 teams. We have the facilities and the ability to make it grow as big as we possibly can. Hopefully, next year we can double the teams and keep it growing.”

The Titans are coming off a 3-2 performance, winning the consolation bracket in the Grand Oaks Varsity Tournament.

Lewis said the players have been dealing with some injuries but hope to get back on the right track with some home cooking this weekend.

“We have been up and down, but we are starting to hit our stride,” he said. “We have played some better basketball and improved in some areas, defensively. We should be rolling from here. There should be some good things to come for our team.”

Lewis said it will be good for the team to host the tournament that bears the name of one of the greatest coaches in the state.

“You always want to be able to honor a legendary coach like Coach Gamble, who was great during his time here in Port Arthur,” Lewis said. “It is also great to host a tournament, where your community can come out and your players get an extra 3-5 home games in a row. You don’t have to travel. You get to be in town and play in your home gym.”

The Memorial Titans’ 2022-23 basketball season came to an end following a 50-34 loss to the Killeen-Ellison Eagles in the 5A-Region III semifinals.

The Titans concluded that campaign with a 30-9 overall record.