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Port Arthur Memorial nets James Gamble Classic championship

December 30, 2016 GMT

For the third time in four years, Port Arthur Memorial took home the James Gamble Classic championship trophy with a 68-63 win over Lake Charles Washington-Marion on Thursday in the Titans’ gym.

Thailan Wesley paced Memorial with 24 points in the finals, including a 3-point shot with 1:55 in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 63 and two subsequent free throws to give his team the lead.

Bishop James knocked down two free throws to extend the lead to 67-63 with 15 seconds left before Darian Chatman, later named the tournament MVP, hit one of two free throws to cap the win.

“I do it for Port Arthur,” said Chatman, who finished with 14 points. “Defense made some big stops and that’s what got us here.”

Chatman scored 11 of his 14 points in the second quarter to erase a six-point deficit in the first and gave his team a two-point lead at the half.

Marion led by one after a fast-pace third quarter that saw the Charging Indians take a seven-point lead before Bishop James – who finished with 14 points - led the Titans back with six points.

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“This game was unreal,” said Memorial coach Kenneth Coleman, who lost in the James Gamble final last year to Ozen as a first-year head coach. “These are the type of games that can only make you better.”

The fourth quarter saw six lead changes before Wesley and the Titans put the game and the title away.

“We are looking for a reason to smile,” Coleman said. “Basketball has always been a big part of this community and I think we are taking steps to getting it back to where it used to be.”

Chatman and Deon Williams, who scored four points in the final, were both named to the All-Tournament team after the win.

West Brook 58, Kelly 54

West Brook’s Curley Amacker knocked down a free throw with 4.6 seconds left in overtime to clinch a four-point win over Kelly as the Bruins took home the third place trophy at the James Gamble Classic.

Amacker, who was named to the All-Tournament team after the win, finished with a team-high 23 points including eight in the fourth quarter which helped force overtime.

Kelly’s Cannon Broussard finished with 19 points while Tevin Baker added nine points. Both were named to the All-Tournament team.

West Brook, who finished the tournament with wins over Kelly and El Campo, had a chance to win in regulation but Lijon Smith’s shot was blocked at the buzzer by Kelly center Parrish Pierre.

Kelly finished the tournament with a 1-2 record, defeating Madison in the first round before losing to Washington-Marion and West Brook in back-to-back games.

DThomposon@BeaumontEmterprise.com Twitter.com/daveth89