Titans coach shares disappointment with playoff exit, excitement for program future

Published 12:20 am Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Memorial boys basketball team’s season came to an end Friday in the fourth round of the 5A state playoffs, as the Titans fell, 72-39, to Ellison.

The Titans finished the season with an impressive 30-9 record and a 12-2 mark in district play.

While the season ended sooner than the players or Head Coach Alden Lewis would have liked, Lewis is eager to see how the team’s success this season folds into the 2024-25 campaign.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Eight of the team’s 10 members are expected to return next season, including four starters.

“(This year’s team) exceeded my expectations,” Lewis said. “We lost some guys and had some guys filling in at new roles. The season went well. Guys stepped up and went with their role, and we were able to get on a run and do well throughout the year.”

The Titans are graduating two seniors this year, including starting point guard Hayden Underwood.

“Since we got him two years ago, he has been great,” Lewis said. “He has been the steady driver to the ship. He is an extension of me on the court. He is a hard worker. He is a very smart kid. He has been a big part of these last two years.”

Lewis thinks the chemistry the Titans built over the past few months is going carry into next season, which will be more competitive with Beaumont United rejoining the district, along with cross-county rival West Brook.

“Knowing that we have a good, solid group coming back is huge,” Lewis said. “This senior group coming up next year has won 60 games in the last two years and has been to the regional tournament twice.

“They are going to be well prepared and know what to expect. They are going to know the grind it takes to get there. They are going to know what it takes to get there and exceed it, which we haven’t been able to do these last two years.”

In Friday’s game, Lewis said the Titans were able to keep the contest close in the first half, trailing 28-22 after the second quarter.

“We had all of the confidence in the world, heading into the game,” Lewis said. “I thought we matched up well and had a good game plan. The first half, we played well. In the second half, we got away from the game plan a bit. It kind of unraveled from there, and we weren’t able to get back on track in the second half.”