The Port Arthur News
Torian Lott brought them back and TreVaughn Dennis came through in the end, as the Port Arthur Memorial boys basketball picked up what could be a signature victory for head coach Travis Williams program, as they beat Houston Wheatley 81-80 in overtime Thursday to open Beaumont ISD’s YMBL South Texas Shootout.
Port Arthur Memorial (3-2) advances to face Beaumont Central at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Montagne Center.
“This is what we need to get ready for district,” Memorial head coach Travis Williams said. “I’m proud of the kids because we were down 10, 12, 15. I’ve got a bunch of guys who don’t quit. I might get on them and they might make me bad, but they just don’t quit.”
Lott scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, as the Titans bounced back from being down 25-11 after the first quarter to tie the score at 72-72 with 40 seconds to play. Lott hit a huge 3-pointer earlier in the quarter to make it 72-68 Wheatley with 1:20 left.
He then hit four straight free throws to tie the game before fouling out on a play down low on the defensive end. Lott finished the game with 27 points, two rebounds and two steals.
After Memorial forced overtime, it was Dennis who gave them the victory. With the score tied at 80-80, Memorial’s Ron Taylor uncharacteristically missed a pair of free throws with six seconds left on the clock. Dennis skied for the rebound after Taylor’s second miss, grabbing it and going up for a shot of his own.
Dennis was fouled, missed his first free throw before getting a friendly roll on the second to put Memorial up 81-80 with three seconds to play.
“We were nervous starting off,” Williams said. “We just got rattled. Wheatley is a heck of a ball club. We scored 81 points and that’s the most points we’ve scored since I came to Memorial, so maybe we’ve turned the corner offensively. You have to have players to make big plays, and in the end, we made some big plays.”
Memorial trailed by 14 after the first quarter, but slowly chipped into the Wheatley lead. A big part of the fourth quarter surge for Memorial was the play of sophomore post Dorian Chatman on senior Wildcat forward Tavario Miller.
The 6-foot-8 Miller has committed to Texas A&M and played well for three quarters. He came into the fourth quarter with 23 points and eight rebounds, adding a couple of powerful slam dunks for good measure.
Chatman, though, locked him down from that point forward. Miller shot just 2 for 7 from the floor in the fourth quarter and overtime, missing four straight shots in OT before making a layup in transition after a steal.
“In the second half, he did a good job,” Williams said. “That big guy is tough, he’s going to Texas A&M. Dorian is just a sophomore, so there’s plenty of room for him to grow.”
Chatman finished the game with 9 points and nine rebounds. Dennis finished with 10 points and six rebounds while Joseph Williams had 13 points, six rebounds and two steals. Miller led the Wildcats with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
In other games, the Nederland boys beat New Orleans Walker 56-52. The Bulldogs will play Silsbee at 3 p.m. Friday at the Montagne Center. Colton Weisbrod scored 19 points for Nederland and had nine rebounds, while Zach English had 16 points and eight rebounds. Teammate Jared Lorimier had 10 points and five rebounds.
The Port Arthur Memorial girls beat La Marque 60-55. The Lady Titans advance to face Humble Summer Creek Friday at 7:30 p.m. at McDonald Gym.
Port Neches-Groves lost to North Shore 68-33. The Indians will play Fort Bend Hightower at noon Friday at the Montagne Center.
Other scores from the YMBL
Beaumont Ozen 67, West Orange-Stark 52
Silsbee 58, Little Cypress-Mauriceville 53
Beaumont Central 68, Fort Bend Ridge Point 48
Dallas Madison 65, Fort Bend Hightower 51
Beaumont West Brook 43, Lufkin 26
Beaumont West Book 54, Lumberton 41
Fort Bend Elkins 59, Orangefield 48
Hardin-Jefferson 45, Dayton 40
Beaumont Central 62, Pasadena Sam Rayburn 43
New Orleans Walker 38, Galveston Ball 25
Humble Summer Creek 53, Hempstead 3