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Memorial, PNG prepare for games after coronavirus break

The Memorial and Port Neches-Groves basketball teams altered their schedules this week after players on both teams tested positive for the coronavirus.

Memorial head coach Alden Lewis said a player tested positive following a Titans 44-43 victory over Barbers Hill Dec. 22.

Lewis said the Titans (4-8, 1-0) came back from the Christmas break and had to go into quarantine due to close-contact protocols.

“Our first day back was Tuesday,” Lewis said. “That was our first practice since (Dec. 21). We have the five UIL days off and those five quarantine days. It’s been some time. We are just trying to catch up, and it is hard to catch up with district games. You can’t worry about the past. You just have to move forward.”

Lewis said his team has been resilient through difficult situations.

“There has been a lot adversity from the football players coming back (in the middle of the season), the UIL break and quarantine,” he said. “They are always ready to get back in the gym. They don’t always understand the sitting out, but they have been ready. That is one thing. I have some kids that love being in the gym and love working.”

The Titans were supposed to play Galena Park Dec. 30 prior to the positive test. Both teams agreed to make the game up on Saturday.

Lewis said the time away from the game has made for spirited practices.

“We were at 100 percent participation (this week at practice),” he said. “They were ready to roll… It has been fun. They have been flying around and excited. Sometimes, they are so excited, you have to put them on the line. We are just working on focusing in on what we have to do.”

Lewis is looking for consistency over these next two games against Crosby and Galena Park today and Saturday, respectively.

Memorial and Crosby tipoff at 7 p.m. today (Jan. 8) at Memorial High School.

The PNG Indians (4-8, 0-2) fell 65-34 to Barbers Hill on Wednesday. Two players on the PNG team sat out and are in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Head coach Chris Smith said one of the players will be back in time to play against Galena Park today.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at PNG High School.

The Indians will host Beaumont United (14-0, 2-0) Saturday after the initial positive test forced them to postpone the game, which was originally scheduled last week.